Exploration Sira 2018: Unveiling indigenous stories and recovering forgotten species.

This year is an exciting one for Exploration Sira. We have new team members, new supporters and we are venturing to a location in Sira we have not previously visited; Yuyapichis. This is where we will climb to the highest points beyond 2,200m and explore an area where a forgotten species was last recorded in the 1970’s. The team of Peruvian and British biologist is getting ready, and this year will be led by Ruthmery Pillco Huarcaya (left) and Eleanor Flatt (right).

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Exploration Sira 2018 aims to unveil indigenous stories and recover forgotten species. We will achieve this by deploying camera traps and carrying out amphibian surveys to investigate the unique biodiversity that Sira contains. With a special focus on finding the Sira Harlequin frog that has not been seen since the 1970’s and, creating better understanding of the habitat and distribution of the critically endangered and endemic Sira Curassow (see photo below). We will also be expanding our attempts to record the biodiversity of Sira by sampling the dung beetle and butterfly community present for the first time ever. All of which will surely lead to discovering new species to science.

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The team has always worked with the local people, relying on their expertise and knowledge of the forest. As well as our scientific research our team will focus on photographing the indigenous cultures that surround Cerros del Sira and telling the story of how they are connected to their wildlife: unveiling never told before stories. Understanding how local people and wildlife live alongside each other in remote and special locations is essential to preserving areas around the world. This is especially true for the Sira region as it is a communal reserve (meaning that it should be managed involving to a great extent its local peoples). 

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This year we have managed to grow our team and our expedition efforts which would not have been possible without our new supporters. A great thanks to the continued support of the Scientific Exploration Society and our new partner the American Bird Conservancy, who provided us with funding for field equipment, travel and expedition costs. Also, thanks to Hennessey hammocks who provided the team with hammocks and shelters to provide a little bit of luxury and comfort during the two tough expeditions. The support of our previous and new supporters has made Exploration Sira possible, so again a huge thank you to all of you.