Arbio-Peru

A non-profit preserve on the rio Las Piedras.

March, 2020 – I visited this nearly 1,000 hectare Peruvian concesión to continue my rainforest experience and explore ways in which I might help with conservation. Like any tropical rainforest, the number and diversity of animals and plants here in the Peruvian Amazon is overwhelming. I walked the forest each day and saw and experienced something new each time. Sometimes I was framing one photo when two or three other opportunities presented themselves. In my three weeks there, I took hundreds of photos, a portion of which are going to start appearing below (so check back as I work through the photos . . .)

The photos below show why the people of the world need to help. The images of trucks loading rainforest lumber, most certainly taken from nature-preserve land, were captured at one moment in time on one day at a river port just downstream from the bio-station I visited. This goes on every day. If one looks closely, the workers can be seen hiding the dark-colored wood in the center of the load.

Amphibians:

Insects:

Spiders & their structures:

Fungi:

It was the rainy season but somewhat dry during my stay. Still, there were some interesting specimens. I’m in the process of cataloging and editing, so they’ll show up just below shortly . . .

Arthropods, other

Fungi, cordyceps:

I came with a fascination for cordyceps, a genus of fungus known to parasitize insects and other arthropods. Interesting, in that it seems to modify the behaviors of some (a terrestrial ant might take to climbing plants and clamp its mandibles to a leaf’s edge before dying, when the fruiting bodies, aka mushrooms, erupt releasing the spores). They are species specific, this one appears to have taken down a spider. Shot in situ with an iPhone11.

Daniel Winkler who runs mushroom eco-tours from his wonderful Mushroaming site, identified this as probably Gibellula pulchra

Cordyceps fungus possibly on a spider
Same specimen as the previous but shot in macro mode with an Olympus TG-6. I made the caption for an Instagram post, “A microscopic spore grows into a brainless predator, killing & eating just to make copies of itself—makes one think.” To follow on Instagram: @IvorPeterBrians

Reforesting:

A taste of the Forest

I must ask Ronald, my forest-sensei, to remind me the name of this tree (background) and its fruit. The fruit is delicious. During a walk, we found them littering the ground under the tree and stopped to quench our hunger. The insect larva which eat them also, have evolved an interesting survival strategy. One can imagine that many forest dwellers would like to eat juicy, sweet fruit and if a caterpillar inside is not fast, it’s a goner! Well, they are fast! Squeezing your fingers on an over ripe fruit results in the larva wriggling to the surface with lightning speed and literally jumping clear of the fruit, and the larger fruit eater. I didn’t eat a single one!

My hosts:

As a nonprofit, Arbio relies to a degree on donations to fund their programs. Please do what you can. Here is a link to their page: https://www.arbioperu.com/en/donaciones/