Uakari Lodge started a participative primate monitoring on trails – and visitors now actively collaborate to science and conservation at Mamirauá Reserve.
Some days ago we have published, on Facebook and Instagram, the image above. it shows the red howler monkeys screaming, as they usually do. The reaction from past visitors was amazing – lots of them came with nice memories on the sounds those cute monkeys do. They can scream and they can scream LOUD! They are particularly active early in the morning, when fog is commonly seen on the surface of Mamirauá Reserve waters, making their screaming even more mysterious and somewhat scary. The fear ends when, taking one of our trails (either hiking or canoeing!) we (very easily) spot them – those sweet little creatures are clearly harmless (well, kind of. The guides them alert us not to be under the trees where they are because, ahm, we can be hit by some poop 😛 ).
The species found at Mamirauá Reserve is the Alouatta juara, that inhabits the northwestern Amazon, in Brazil, Peru, Venezuela and Colombia. It is one of the 06 species of primates that are part of the monitoring project developed by Mamirauá Institute at the ecotourism zone of the reserve. The objetive is to assess if primate density is affected by ecotourism activities: two trails of minimum use (low tourist visitation frequency) and two of intense use (high tourist visitation frequency) are compared to one trail that is not used by tourism – it is kept only for scientific studies.
After 20 years of studies (yes, that is a 20-year-old scientific study for tourism!), results show that the visitation frequency proposed by the Uakari Lodge, as well as the guidance given to tourists, is adequate – Mamirauá visitors do not get too close to the animals, nor offer them food, as at other tourist sites.
The length of the study assures Uakari Lodge does its activities the proper way and science studies have been concluded. To ensure monitoring is still implemented, it is now developed together with guides and visitors. This interactive activity, part of our 7-night programs, is important for the nature and is fun for the guest, who feels being part of the well-known conservation strategies.
If you are interested on the scientific results from this study you can download the paper here. And you can also download the Uakari Journal – sustainable tourism edition, where many of the scientific papes developed at Uakari Lodge are available.
Images: Cynthia Lebrão and Marcelo Santana