This ecotourism program that combines science with active travel is a brand-new way to explore the rainforest while offering indigenous and local communities opportunities to learn more about their environment. For example, on a pioneer safari program the indigenous Huaorani learned that some snakes aren’t poisonous as their tradition had led them to believe.
Two safari and photography tour itineraries have been developed in partnership with professional biologists and photographers of Tropical Herping (http://www.tropicalherping.com/
A second program that has been developed takes amateur scientists and photographers into Ecuador’s cloud forest and Upper Amazon Basin. These are the lands of exotic toads, tree frogs, poison frogs, vipers, and almost any imaginable species of amphibian or reptile. The “100 Species Photo Safari” is an intense 13 night lodge-to-lodge expedition of discovery. The $4,796 price includes all lodging, meals, guides, river transfers and park entrance fees. See: http://www.destinationecuador.com/
Among the activities on both tours will be night walks in the forest with special equipment to find and photograph different species as well as in some cases to capture and document research data. Guests will travel with expert herpetologists and discover which creatures are safe and which can be incredibly dangerous.
Also behind Tropical Herping is the goal to compile a world record of the region’s amphibians and reptiles. Recently a book was published about the richest community of amphibians and reptiles in any cloud forest locality above 1000 meters. The team found an array of 101 species that can be reviewed in The Amphibians and Reptiles of Mindo.
“This kind of specialized monitoring is the most effective tool for improving people’s perceptions of reptiles and amphibians, and at the same time their interest helps to promote broader conservation actions by creating visually compelling images with their cameras and even possibly attaching scientific values to their discoveries”
About Tropical Herping
Two young, energetic, friendly and creative professional biologists and photographers founded Tropical Herping to discover, document and preserve tropical reptiles and amphibians through sustainable tourism, scientific research and effective environmental education. Lucas Bustamante is a passionate biologist and local wildlife photographer who has dedicated himself to documenting Ecuador's biodiversity, particularly reptiles and amphibians. Lucas has led innumerable field trips and workshops. He also has written several articles and books about tropical ecology and herpetology. Lucas' photographic work has been featured in National Geographic, Anima Mundi, Discovery Channel and many other magazines.
Alejandro Arteaga (Ale) is an experienced wildlife photographer and biologist from Venezuela. He has devoted the past seven years to photographing reptiles and amphibians in the new world tropics, an activity he integrates with scientific research. Alejandro is author of The Amphibians and Reptiles of Mindo and several scientific articles. He has described three species new to science and his photographic work has been featured in National Geographic, Anima Mundi, Discovery Channel and many other magazines.
Established in 1994, Tropic is an award–winning ecotourism company specializing in responsible, community-based tourism in Ecuador. Programs combine life-changing, active-but-cultural ecotourism experiences focusing on nature, conservation, diversity and sustainability.
For information and reservations contact: Tropic Ecological Adventures LLC. / Phone: +593-02-2234-
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