Rainforest

In the Garden of Deeden: Homemade Medicinal Preparations

In any visit to a market in an Amazonian town, one will find the local “pharmacy” section.  A robust zone dedicated to whole and processed medicinal plants for use in treatment and in ceremony. Cat’s Claw, Dragon’s Blood, 7- and 21-Roots are just a few of the more popular preparations. The bulk herbs can be used … Read more

Living with Wildlife: from subsistence hunting to international wildlife trafficking

‘The smell hits you like a train. Burned hair, rotting flesh, and old meat that’s not smoked for flavor but for necessity. Anyone who is solely used to eating western food, would doubt to eat anything there.’ – is how Dr. Brian Griffiths, researcher of hunting traditions and game species in the Peruvian Amazon, describes … Read more

The quest for the black panther

A light rain trickled down the leaves of the dense forest, glistening as the morning sun penetrated through the clouds. A troop of capuchin and squirrel monkeys passed noisily over our heads as we glided through the flooded forest on canoes. Our group moved in absolute silence except for the occasional beep emitted by our … Read more

The Amazon is not a subplot. Neither are the midterm elections. 

Did you know the Peruvian Amazon rainforest alone occupies a territory larger than that of Ukraine? I did not. That’s a fun fact I dug up from Amazon Watch when researching this blog.  That’s not all they have in common. Both are also under attack from autocratic leaders determined to hang onto power. This I … Read more

Change comes from Exchange: Indigenous education practices sustain Native cultures in the 21st century

By Carolyn Keller and Charles Sunday If you live in the U.S., it’s easier than it should be to relegate Native American experience to history. When we do get news about Native American and First Nations communities in North America, post-elementary school narratives – the ones beyond construction paper hats as Thanksgiving rolls around – … Read more

Down the logging road

Illegal Logging

As a novice conservation ecologist I had the adventurous task of monitoring wildlife populations in the Peruvian Amazon. My perspiring students and I would walk in a straight line through pristine rainforest, holding a GPS, binoculars and a datasheet, to record any monkey, jaguar or rat that we encountered. We had research permits to do … Read more

In the Garden of Deeden: Mulching

Anyone who has walked a trail in the Amazon is aware of a very subtle, steady, quiet descent of dead leaves and other plant materials from the canopy above. This material covers the soil of the forest floor. Natural mulch! However, you can easily employ mulching in your own garden. Mulching cannot be overrated. By … Read more

In the Garden of Deeden: Natural Fertilizers

The soils in Amazonia are so notoriously poor in nutrients, that plants have evolved diverse ways of capturing nutrients from dead leaves, stems, bark, fallen fruit and more. So successful are these plants in recycling nutrients that the vast majority of the nutrients in the rainforest are found in the forest biomass, not in the … Read more

On the road to Desolation (El Camino a la Desolación)

by Vítor da Silva Our canoe hits the embankment of the river, and the 69-year old Maijuna elder, Agapo, pushes me up into the forest as he balances barefoot on his canoe. The forest is thick and there is no path anywhere around me. I wait for Agapo to tie his canoe, and with the … Read more

My Artist Residency Experience in the Amazon Rainforest

By Lindsay Schmittle, Gingerly Press My experience on the 2022 ACEER Artist Residency along the Sucusari River Basin deep in the Amazon Rainforest of Peru was definitely not your average artist residency experience. While this was my first true artist residency, I know that in most residencies, artists tend to spend the majority of their … Read more

Is there a light more profound than that which illuminates the soul? 

Translated by Carolyn Keller and Brian Griffiths Is there a light more profound than that which illuminates the soul?  I could see it in their looks, in the string of smiles from the conversations that brought us together in the wonder of knowing a world where the wildlife has free rein and is constantly transforming … Read more

First Experience in the Amazon with Conservation Fellows Program

Click through Slideshow Experiencing the Amazon rainforest was always something that I looked forward to. It was never a matter of if I would pursue research in the Amazon, but rather when I would begin. A frontier of biological diversity, the Amazon has excited me since I was young, and knowledge of its destruction set … Read more

On a quest for gold 

The first time I visited Madre de Dios, Peru, was in 2010. I took a boat up the Tambopata River, and saw that the water was laced with golden glitter dust. It felt like I was dreaming, being surrounded by a lush green jungle, blue skies, while floating on a river of gold. I fell … Read more

Beyond Biology: transdisciplinary approaches to conservation

A jaguar is on the prowl on the outskirts of a local community deep in the Amazon rainforest. Its roars can be heard in the dead of night; its tracks surround the edges of the village. To some Indigenous communities, this may be a sign that a shaman from a rival village has transformed himself … Read more

THE BLUE MORPHO BUTTERFLY: An Amazonian icon

Blue Morpho Butterfly

The Blue Morpho butterfly is an unforgettable sight for anyone who has been able to witness it flying through its natural habitat of the Amazon rainforest. The Blue Morpho certainly is a species that carries with it the true essence of the Amazon: beauty found in the heart of wildlife and a natural coexistence maintaining … Read more

Birdbaths, Bugs, and Bird-health: parallels in the US and Amazon reveal the consequences of human activity on birds

Birds at Birdbath

These two examples of declining bird health in North and South America are reminders of the valuable and complex systems of interaction that are the basis of life on earth.

¿Por qué debemos conservar los bosques?

No he encontrado manera de responder esta pregunta sin conectarla con lo que me ha movido durante los últimos años a dar cada paso de aprendizaje sobre la vida en “el monte” (como la llamamos coloquialmente en Madre de Dios).  Cinco años atrás, en un proceso de recopilación de materiales audiovisuales para difundir información amena … Read more