Connecting with the Giants of the Forest - Arbio Ong

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Connecting with the Giants of the Forest

A constant threat in the Las Piedras river basin is illegal loggers in search of hardwoods, especially Brazilian teak (Dipteryx micrantha). The life cycle and ecological role of this species makes their use for lumber unsustainable, because it takes them hundreds of years to grow. The trees being cut now are between 400 and 1200 years old and are irreplaceable. Arbio protects and monitors these hundred-year-old trees, in great demand from the lumber industry.

Shihuahuaco (Dipteryx micrantha) en el bosque de Arbio.
Shihuahuaco (Dipteryx micrantha) en el bosque de Arbio.

Another problem we face is the arrival of settlers who establish farms, causing the degradation of adjacent forests by cutting trees in order to plant crops such as cacao, papaya, or corn.

It is also significant that this area is located 20 kilometers from the interoceanic highway, and thus is vulnerable to agricultural expansion and the building of logging roads.

On this expedition we will visit the home of large Amazon trees, which keep the ecosystem healthy by providing nesting places to birds, housing insects, playing a fundamental part in the water cycle by pumping hundreds of liters of water from their roots to their crown and promoting cloud formation through evapotranspiration, and through the many other services they provide to the forest and the entire planet.

Representative list of tree species in the Arbio forest:
  • Brazilian teak (Dipteryx micrantha)
  • Garapa (Apuleia leiocarpa)
  • Peach palm (Bactris gasipaes)
  • Breadnut (Brosimum alicastrum)
  • Lupuna colorada (Cavanillesia hylogeiton)
  • Spanish cedar (Cedrela odorata)
  • Kapok (Ceiba pentandra)
  • Copaiba (Copaifera paupera)
  • Wild fig (Ficus inspida)
  • Renaco or Mata palo (Ficus trigona)
  • Sandbox tree (Hura crepitans)
  • Huayruro (Ormosia coccinea)
  • Bulletwood (Manilkara bidentata)