.......Amazing, Magical Amazon..Butterfly Lodge.....


Take a Walk in the Rainforest

Entering an Amazonian rainforest feels like walking into a giant terrarium.

Plants a local nursery would grow in pots reach for the equatorial sky. Philodendrons are large enough to wrap a tree. Fig trees grow so tall their tops rise above the canopy, and palm trees abound.

Several new species of trees have been discovered at adjacent Jatun Sacha Biological Station. Bright red Bromeliads and Heliconias decorate the greenery, along with 160 species of orchids, including just discovered new micro orchids, unknown to even the most avid orchid lovers.

Our tropical rainforest reserve of nearly 500 acres in this Upper Amazonian Refuge is an endemic center, boasting the richest diversity of any area in South America.

In adjacent Jatun Sacha, 1,900 vascular plant species have been identified, including 160 orchids.

Well over 750 butterflies species (entomologists speculate there are double that number) and 120 herptile species have been recorded.

Butterfly Lodge has comfortable, self-guided trails laid out by Phyllis Faber, of the California Native Plant Society, and Frank Almeda, Chair of Botany, California Academy of Sciences.

If you quietly sit on a log, the forest will speak to you. In fact, troops of monkey may even "chat you up" - they will certainly chatter about you.

The magnificent morpho butterfly that flew through the dining room at breakfast, now patrols sunny forest glades.

Damselflies hover and swirl around you.

Dreamy pink butterflies lead your way along the path; and you may spot an elusive wood-nymph.

You may even discover a new species we can name after you.

..........Butterfly Lodge: Where magical realism comes to life.........


Ornithologically, the area around Butterfly Lodge is probably the richest in South America.

Researcher Bonnie Bochan has found 537 species - and the list grows each time she visits. The chorus of bird calls has to be heard to be believed.

It starts with ethereal dawn calls of tinamous, swelling with the raucous chorus of caracaras, parrots and toucans blended with the occasional notes of Swainson's Thrushes, Blackpoll Warblers and Scarlet Tanagers.

There are 40 are neotropical migrants (present October - May) while 19 are austral migrants (present March - September). Exploratory field trips range from mature terra firma to floodplain forest, and river-edge to islands.

These excursions are interspersed with lectures and discussion. Field research methods, such as tape recording and mistnetting are incorporated.

How do 27 species of hummingbird, 51 antbirds, 76 flycatchers and 25 tanagers coexist? Come and find out.

Be part of one of these interactive groups, by contacting Health & Habitat (healthhab@igc.org).

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