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Tambo Blanquillo’s Canopy Tower: Part 1 – Biodiversity


August 7, 2017

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This is the first of a series of blog post that will take you into our attractions, their history, how were they built, why are they unique, and what species are common around them. Next month, we will share the behind-the-scenes of how this massive tower was delicately built almost 20 years ago.

Manu National Park and the Tambo Blanquillo – Private Reserve are amongst the most biodiverse places on Earth. There are more species of plants in a hectare of these forests, than there are in all of North America. These forests host more bird species than anywhere else in the world (10% of all the world’s bird species have been recorded here), and there are more butterflies here than in all of Europe. However, it is not that easy to see them all.

Photo: Luis Felipe Raffo

Photo: Luis Felipe Raffo

Many species inhabit the understory, also known as the “forest floor”. This is the niche that most people visit. This is where you would expect to see terrestrial species such as Tapirs, Capybaras, and Jaguars. While walking the trails you will see many species. However, you will be missing half the action. Just as how many terrestrial species don’t make their way up to the Canopy, most Canopy species don’t make it to the ground, and the only way to visualize and experience their world is by being up there. How do you get up there, you ask ? Using our Canopy Tower.

Photo: Luis Felipe Raffo

Photo: Luis Felipe Raffo

Photo: Luis Felipe Raffo

Photo: Luis Felipe Raffo

Our Canopy Tower is over 50 meters tall -however, the Tree itself is more than 70 meters tall, and it has been calculated that the Tree is over 400 years old-, making it the highest Canopy tower in the Amazon. It was constructed in a non-destructive way –more on this next month, but we can anticipate you that it was built on a way that it allows the tree to continue growing-, leaning over a Kapok tree. While the climb up the stairs is a long –and sometimes difficult- journey, the view from the top can’t be beaten.

Imagine seeing a carpet of green forest underneath you, as you stand in the highest tree on sight (this is the biggest tree outside the actual boundaries of the park); Scarlet Macaws and Paradise Jacamars fly by at eye level, and maybe, just maybe you are lucky enough to spot a Harpy Eagle or a Crested Eagle sitting on a nearby branch, patiently waiting for one of many troops of monkeys to come around and visit the nearby trees.

Photo: Alfredo Fernandez

Photo: Alfredo Fernandez

Typical species around the Canopy include several kinds of Monkeys, specially the Spider Monkey. Our once Volunteer Bertie Gregory discovered that one family of Spider Monkeys would visit the neighboring trees every afternoon, between 4 and 5pm.

Another great species to catch here, that is virtually impossible to see near the forest floor is the Great Potoo. This bird is very common to see in our canopy tower, but extremely rare to see elsewhere. This master of camouflage nests on one the branches of our Kapok tree, and can be seen most days, as it is just sitting there, waiting for the night to come, so it can and hunt moths and other insects.

Spider Monkey - Photo: Bertie Gregory

Spider Monkey – Photo: Bertie Gregory

Extra points if you can spot the Great Potoo – Photo: Alfredo Fernandez

Extra points if you can spot the Great Potoo – Photo: Alfredo Fernandez

So, if you wish to experience something as unique and thrilling as our Canopy Tower, please do not hesitate to contact us, so we can begin planning your adventure.

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