Research and Biodiversity - Arbio Ong

RESEARCH AND BIODIVERSITY

RESEARCH INTO FAUNA: MAMMALS
The evaluation of mammals began in 2012. Organizations such as CANDES and professional biologists carry out research into the fauna of the ARBIO forest in Peru. This is a diagram of the research:
2012 Oct
CANDES

Camera trap to study “Approach to the wealth of species of mammals in the concession ARBIO, Las Piedras river, Madre de Dios”.

2013 Ago-Set
ARBIO

Monitoring of collpas (salt licks) of mammals in the forest of ARBIO 2013.

2014 Oct-Dic
ARBIO

Monitoring of collpas (salt licks) of mammals in the forest of ARBIO 2014.

2015 May
ARBIO

Camera traps for the Monitoring of collpas of mammals in the forest of ARBIO 2015.

2017 Jul
Blga. Caterina Cosmopolis

Abundance and biodiversity of mammals in the Las Piedras river.

2018 Jul-Set
ARBIO

Camera traps for the monitoring of collpas of mammals in the forest of ARBIO 2018.

The methodology involves sampling using linear transects (both diurnal and nocturnal) and placing camera traps in areas with the presence of species of fruit trees (food for the fauna) and  collpas for mammals.

We have registered 29 species of mammals not  including bats nor small rodents (rats, mice). This wealth of species indicates that the ecosystem is well preserved. As there is an abundance of prey (e.g., rodents and deer), up to 5 species of felines can be observed (jaguar, puma, yaguarundi, tigrillo and ocelote).

This wealth of species indicates that the ecosystem is well preserved.
RESEARCH INTO FAUNA: AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES

Between 2016 and 2017, we made a study of herpetofauna of the forest of ARBIO Peru in charge of Germán Chavez, main researcher of CORBIDI, who is creating a registry of the herpetofauna of the Las Piedras river basin.   Visual Encounter Surveys (VES) were used to register the greatest possible number of species over 10 days of the dry and wet seasons. 3 types of registries were considered:

  • Specimen capture
  • Visual registries
  • Auditory registries using recordings of calls during the research, which were then compared with the calls in the Frogs of Tambopata CD.
69 species were registered in the area, 38 amphibians and 31 reptiles.

The community of amphibians consists mainly of arboreal frogs of the Hylidae family and frogs of humid leaf litter of the families Microhylidae and Leptodactylidae, which is not strange if one considers that most of the study area corresponds to floodplain forests, and the reproduction of these families of species takes place in seasonal water bodies, which become active during the rainy season. Other species are not as common as these families, in fact, these 3 families represent 83% of the species found.

RESEARCH INTO FAUNA: BIRDS

In 2016 we made the first study of birds in the forest of ARBIO Peru in charge of the Eng. Fernando Angulo, main researcher of CORBIDI. The methodologies used were: MacKinnon lists and mist nets, covering 8.5 kilometers of trails in 9 days.

The MacKinnon List involves registering birds of a set number of species (5, 10 15 or 20 species) continuously without restrictions of space and/or time. This method takes into account the differences in the effort, evaluations of the observer and the climate. The species are identified both visually and auditorily.

The mist nets involve placing nets in different places, chosen according to the type of vegetation (forest, pacal, among others) from 5:30 – 6:00 a.m. to 18:00 hours. The results of the MacKinnon List are complemented with the installation of mist nets.

259 species were registered representing 24 orders and 63 families. The result demonstrates that the forest of ARBIO Peru has good potential for birdwatching tourism.
RESEARCH INTO FLORA: INVENTORY OF LARGE TREES

From 2012 we have carried out a census of trees in experimental parcels of 6 hectares. Since 2017 we have prioritized the census of species at risk due to their value as wood, and species which are important for wild fauna. We have obtained a registry of 294 outstanding trees of 78 different species in 25 families in 90 hectares of the forest. The most abundant family was the FABACEAE, secondly, MORACEAE, followed by the EUPHORBIACEAE and SAPOTACEAE. The most common species are:  the Shihuahuaco (Dipteryx micrantha), Catahua (Hura crepitans), Manchinga (Brosimun alicastrum), Pouteria spp (Caimitos) and red Quinilla (bidentata Manilkara).

RESEARCH INTO FLORA: NATIVE VANILLA

This research aims to find strategies to protect and conserve exclusive species of native Vanilla in the Amazon forest of Peru, investigating the strategy of pollination and reproductive mechanisms that drive the spread of the species.

He have developed the research  focused on Vanilla pompona in Madre de Dios Basin. We found many populations along the river of Madre de Dios, some of them potentially connected, despite the high level of habitat fragmentation. For this purpose, we have identified some strategies that may favour the natural spread of Vanilla. Eulaema bees were observed acting as pollinator for Vanilla pompona, so one of the key strategies is to focus on the pollinators, messengers of life for native Vanilla. We revealed a little bit about their ecology, behaviour and preferred food plants, as this was essential to understand the their occurrence and activity.

Vanilla is well known and is a common precious spice. Vanilla pompona has a great potential to be cultivated in the Peruvian Amazon basin as it grows naturally. We found that the spread of Vanilla in its natural habitat, the primary forest, can be achieved, adopting few ecological strategies.

Funding for this research project was made possible by the Nando Peretti Foundation and was attended by Daniela Scaccabarozzi as principal investigator.