Monday, March 1, 2010

Eco-travel & conservation in Peru

Eco-travel. Eco-tours. Eco-lodges. They all sound fun and adventurous - but what are they really doing for the natural world? In the case of Kolibri Expedition's 8-day birding trip through Manu National Park, plenty!

Scarlet Macaws (c) Kaitlyn Rose

Manu is a biosphere reserve located in Peru, offering some of the most awe-inspiring glimpses into the wild that you can find anywhere on the planet. Within the park you can find over 15,000 species of plants, 1,300 butterfly species, and...wait for it...1,000 species of birds! That's more than you can find throughout all of Canada and the United States.

Black-Faced Brush-Finch (c) Carol Foil

The 8-day adventure through Manu's various hot spots isn't all fun and games, though. For the traveler it may be all about birds, or bugs, or flowers - but for the people of Peru it is about protecting and preserving this exceptional example of life on Earth. Instead of mining, logging, and exploiting other natural resources, the people of the Amarakaeri communal reserve outside of Manu are working toward more sustainable forms of industry. Eco-tourism is at the forefront of this crisis, and Kolibri Expeditions is lending a much-needed hand to the communities of the Amarakaeri.

Walking Stick (c) Kaitlyn Rose

Leaf-cutter Ants (c) Kaitlyn Rose

Rufous-Crested Coquette (c) Carol Foil

Andean Cock-of-the-Rock (c) Carol Foil

I will be serving as the hosting blogger for the May 23rd trip, which you can sign up for here. I strongly encourage anyone interested in eco-tourism and/or birding to think about making Manu your 2010 vacation. Not only will you be able to visit some of the most spectacular places in the world, see some of the most breath-taking birds, and meet some of the nicest people - but you will be helping those birds and helping those people keep the natural areas of South America wild and free from bulldozers and dynamite. The price of the trip drops precipitously as more people sign up, so I encourage people to email with your name - or you can reserve your space right on the event page at the bottom.

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