Members of our team in Peru have just left on an incredible expedition in the cloud forest of San Antonio, in the central Tropical Andes of Peru. They will be documenting the unknown diversity of small mammals in the area, and maybe even discover new species. This research would help us understand the uniqueness and diversity of this region of the Tropical Andes, and further leverage effective conservation actions in the region. 

This expedition is in coordination with the Department of Mammalogy of the Museum of Natural History at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. As part of this, two young zoologists, José Martinez and Kristhie Pillaca, are joining RP’s Biodiversity Scientist Carlos Tello as part of the “mammal team” carrying a 2-week survey of these cloud forests. Before the researchers left to conduct the survey, Jhordy Orcuhuaranga, our social scientist and field coordinator in San Antonio, made the arrangements for a town meeting so the mammal team could present the expedition goals and arrange the involvement of community members in the expedition. By doing so, Rainforest Partnership maintains a mutual and respectful relationship with the community in which everyone is informed and part of the activities in the area.

The tropical Andes are a biodiversity hotspot, home to an abundance of unique wildlife. Nevertheless, the forests are largely understudied. It is essential we conduct baseline research in order to establish a foundational understanding of the diversity of the region, particularly of groups of species that are highly diverse and unique in this region, as small mammals are. This will provide us with a critically needed baseline that will inform our research and conservation actions with our key partners, communities, and the Peruvian Government.