Anglia Polytechnic University Colombia ’91, Cambridge Rainforest Expedition

Dave Gandy

The expedition aimed to justify the proposed creation of a Biosphere Reserve in the region by compiling comprehensive bird and mammal inventories of the tropical moist forest between 1000-3500m, particularly looking at threatened , poorly known and endemic species. Working closely with the Fundacion para la Educacion Superior (FES) and students from the Universidad del Valle, the team assessed the scale of human impact on the environment and local attitudes to conservation. Follow-up work was continued in 1992 and 1993 and led to the establishment of a local community conservation group and the purchase of a private reserve.

Project update: 19/8/96. This Anglo-Colombian team discovered a new bird species, the Chóco Vireo (Vireo masteri), and helped set up the community-led NGO FELCA to manage the new Rio Nambi Nature Reserve after winning the first BP Follow-up Award in 1992. The situation worsened dramatically recently with the firing of the Reserve’s director, illegal logging in the Reserve, and demagogic control of FELCA alienating tourists and researchers (P. Salaman in litt. 1998).

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