Tiputini Biodiversity Station (TBS) is a scientific field research center in the Ecuadorian Amazon. It was established in 1995 by Universidad San Francisco de Quito in collaboration with Boston University, and is jointly managed by them as a center of education, research and conservation. A higher diversity of reptiles, amphibians, insects, birds and bats has been found there than anywhere else in South America, and possibly the world. km ESE from Quito, the capital city of Ecuador Coordinates: . It is located on the northern bank of the Tiputini River, and although separated from the Yasuní National Park by the river, the station forms part of the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve.It is located in the province of Orellana, about 280
It is a field study facility in which students and other scientists perform different research projects.Although the station is geared towards research and education it is not strictly off limits to tourists. There are however no regular tours to the area. Its location near the Tiputini River provides a remote locale for ecological research on the Eastern Ecuadorian Amazon habitats of the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve. It was built with sustainability in mind so deforestation was kept to a minimum when building the cabins and lab.
The forest surrounding TBS is mostly terra firma, km2 is preserved by the TBS. Though consisting mainly of primary non-flooded forest, a rather narrow belt of flooded vegetation is also present towards the river, the stream tributaries and the surroundings of a small oxbow lake. Along the Tiputini River, several beaches become exposed during the dry season, but these are short stretches, never more than 100 meters in extent.of which a tract of 6.5
Because of its remote location and agreements with local indigenous groups, no hunting of large mammals has occurred in the area and it is possible to habituate and study primates that are difficult to observe elsewhere. The discovery of further oil deposits in the region has put the station at risk from nearby development of petroleum extraction and transport infrastructure, though the impacts may be mitigated somewhat by voluntary concessions by the management company. It remains to be seen if promised environmental sensitivity is implemented in the field, however.
The facilities are located around the two-story lab. The station includes 9 cabins, a few labs, and a cafeteria. Four cabins are for the head researchers and employees that work there full-time and include 2 beds and a full bath. The other 5 cabins are for additional researchers and student groups that visit and include bunk beds and a full bath. The bathrooms have running water and flush toilets but no hot water. TBS has electricity available in the cabins for about 6 hours a day (3 in the afternoon and 3 at night), and for 24 hours in the lab. The station has a large cafeteria that can comfortably accommodate about 60 individuals. There are 3 meals served every day, with box lunches available to researchers in the field that may miss a scheduled meal. There is internet access but it is limited because of the physical location of the station. In the researcher's downtime they can go on hikes to lookout towers around the facility.
The station has been the site for many research projects and has led to the publication of many papers. Bird population studies, reproductive behavior, social structure, and seed dispersal characteristics have all been studied across multiple bird species. Primatology is a large topic of study in this area because of the diversity and abundance of primate species. One paper looked at the relationship between primates and naturally occurring mineral licks using camera traps to identify different species that visited the lick, as well as the frequency and duration of their visits.TBS has also been the host for many genetic research projects. One project looked at the genetic relationships between offspring and parents to determine reproductive behavior in manakins. This project was novel in using a new technique for sampling genetic material. Sampling of genetic material from offspring requires a sample from the bird after hatching or from the egg after it has developed to the extent that veins have become visible. These birds however suffer from high nest predation rates and consequently not all the offspring from a nest can be sampled. In order to surmount these problems researchers took eggs from the nests and replaced them with plaster eggs which the mother could take care of. In the meantime the eggs were incubated until they were ready to have a genetic sample taken. Afterwards the eggs were placed back in the nest with the mother.
TBS has initiated a river turtle nest project in which locals collect turtle eggs on the river banks by the Tiputini station and rear them in captivity. Their populations have been decimated in recent years due to collecting of turtle eggs for sale at market. Podocnemis unifilis has shown improvements in recent years, but P. expansa is still in danger in this region of the river.TBS also has camera traps set-up around the facility and in the neighboring forest to capture photos of the various species in the surrounding national forest. These camera traps are used to estimate population sizes of certain species and to document rare species. TBS also serves as a place to reintroduce captive animals into the wild. A black caiman farm near the station closed down and most of the captive caimans were introduced into the rivers near TBS. However, the main goal of this station is to provide a place for people to perform experiments and research.
TBS is located near the Huaorani Reserve. These local people have not yet shown any malcontent toward the workers at the TBS and in fact a few stop by the station to ask for food or other supplies.However, the Huaorani have shown aggressive behavior toward the oil companies that have tried to drill in their lands since the 1950s. Today some Huaorani can be found in villages along the side of the roads established by oil companies, but others still live in the deep jungle.
Tiputini Biodiversity Station has been featured in the BBC series Andes to Amazon , in National Geographic and on National Public Radio.
Primatology is the scientific study of primates. It is a diverse discipline at the boundary between mammalogy and anthropology, and researchers can be found in academic departments of anatomy, anthropology, biology, medicine, psychology, veterinary sciences and zoology, as well as in animal sanctuaries, biomedical research facilities, museums and zoos. Primatologists study both living and extinct primates in their natural habitats and in laboratories by conducting field studies and experiments in order to understand aspects of their evolution and behavior.
The hickatee or in Spanish tortuga blanca, also called the Central American river turtle, is the only living species in the family Dermatemydidae. The species is found in the Atlantic drainages of Central America, specifically Belize, Guatemala, southern Mexico and probably Honduras. It is a relatively large-bodied species, with records of 60 cm (24 in) straight carapace length and weights of 22 kg (49 lb); although most individuals are smaller. This is a herbivorous and almost completely aquatic turtle that does not even surface to bask. Bizarrely for reptiles, the eggs can remain viable even after being underwater for weeks -in the recent past, some scientists mistakenly claimed it nests underwater, likely due to visiting Central America during a frequent flood, when nests are often submerged.
The greater prairie chicken or pinnated grouse, sometimes called a boomer, is a large bird in the grouse family. This North American species was once abundant, but has become extremely rare and extirpated over much of its range due to habitat loss. Conservation measures are underway to ensure the sustainability of existing small populations. One of the most famous aspects of these creatures is the mating ritual called booming.
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Yasuni National Park is in Ecuador with an area of 9,823 km2 between the Napo and Curaray Rivers in Napo, Pastaza, and Orellana Provinces in Amazonian Ecuador. The national park lies within the Napo moist forests ecoregion and is primarily rain forest. The park is about 250 km from Quito and was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1989. It is within the claimed ancestral territory of the Huaorani indigenous people. Yasuni is also home to two uncontacted indigenous tribes, the Tagaeri and the Taromenane. Many indigenous people use the riverways within the park as a main mode of travel. Several waterways in the area are tributaries that lead into the Amazon River, including blackwater rivers high in tannins boasting vastly different floral composition than the main riverways. The spine-covered palm, Bactrisriparia, and aquatic plant Montrichardia linifera typically line the edges of these slow moving rivers, often referred to as Igapós.
The white-bellied spider monkey, also known as the white-fronted or long-haired spider monkey, is an endangered species of spider monkey, a type of New World monkey. It is found in the north-western Amazon in Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru and Brazil, ranging as far south as the lower Ucayali River and as far east as the Branco River. In the past, the Peruvian, brown and white-cheeked spider monkeys have been treated as subspecies of A. belzebuth. As presently defined, the white-bellied spider monkey is monotypic. It has a whitish belly and a pale patch on the forehead, which, despite its common name, often is orange-buff, though this might be due to dirt and other stainers. They live in groups of 20 to 40 individuals, splitting into small parties of 1 to 9 when in activity.
Universidad San Francisco de Quito USFQ is a liberal-arts, private university located in Quito, Ecuador. It was the first totally private self-financed university in Ecuador and the first liberal-arts institution in the Andean region.
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