Dr. Richard Bodmer’s travels for Earthwatch by riverboat into the heart of the Amazon region to help preserve the incredibly diverse rainforest habitat.
Why the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve?
Dr. Bodmer has worked in this reserve for over 20 years and is passionate about fostering comanagement of the land between native inhabitants and government agencies. “Bushmeat hunting is an important economic activity that has been traditionally used by rural poor of the Amazon. If well managed, bushmeat hunting can provide long-term socioeconomic benefits to local communities and help conserve Amazonian biodiversity through maintaining intact rainforests,” he has written. “If poorly managed, bushmeat hunting will lead to the extirpation of animal populations, reduced socioeconomic benefits that rural people obtain from wildlife, and a decreased value of intact forests.”
Why work with Earthwatchers?
Says Dr. Bodmer of the most recent Earthwatch volunteer group: “The volunteers were truly helpful in monitoring the wildlife populations. New areas of research were initiated with the help of the volunteers, including a wading bird survey and mist netting. But it was the assistance that many volunteers provided to the local communities that was truly unexpected. Many volunteers provided health and education materials to the local communities who are involved with community-based conservation.”