Bolivia’s Batman and Peru’s birdy cave drawings

A biologist known as Bolivia’s Batman, ground zero for Amazon deforestation in Peru, and camera traps showing the bird species from ancient cave drawings were among the top stories from our Spanish-language service, Mongabay Latam.

Bolivia’s Batman: “There are many more bat species here”

“Colombia gets the gold medal” for having the highest number of bat species in the world, said Luis Aguirre, the biologist known as Bolivia’s Batman. Of the more than 1,350 bat species in world, 380 inhabit Latin America and the Caribbean. Most are at risk from habitat loss, conflict with ranchers, and wind turbines. While Bolivia registers two new bat species a year, Aguirre believes there are so many more to find.

Bolivian biologist Luis Aguirre believes promoting conservation spaces is as important as registering new species. Image courtesy of Luis F. Aguirre.

Peru: New images show southern Amazon region as epicenter of deforestation

Illegal gold mining and agriculture laid Peru’s southern Amazon region to waste last year. New satellite images from the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project show the highest deforestation in Madre de Dios, Ucayali, Puno, Huánuco and Loreto. In some cases, agricultural activity extended into buffer concessions and permanent production forests. The list of top areas impacted includes Bahuaja Sonene National Park.

The indigenous community of Kotsimba is one of the zones with the highest deforestation in the southern Amazon region. Image courtesy of National Service for Natural Protected Areas of Peru (Sernap).

Seeking traditional knowledge through plants

“It’s not management per se, but a relationship they establish with the environment,” said Bolivian ethnobotanist Narel Paniagua-Zambrana about an indigenous community’s traditional herbal medicine. Along with researchers from Bangladesh, Bolivia, the Gambia, Nepal, and Palestine, she received the Organization for Women in Science-Elsevier Foundation Award for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World for her work on indigenous plant medicine.

After winning the OWSD-Elsevier, Foundation Award, Bolivian biologist Narel Paniagua-Zambrana asked President Evo Morales to declare a National Day of Bolivian Women Scientists. Image courtesy of the Elsevier Foundation.

Peru: Camera traps show bird species images depicted in ancient cave drawings

Camera traps in a dry forest in northwest Peru show bird species depicted in ancient drawings on the walls of a cave. While researchers have used camera traps near watering holes to document spectacled bears in Batan Grande Archeological Park for ten years, for the first time they looked at the 4,000 birds in the footage and registered 35 species, 11 of them endemic to the Tumbes region, and the endangered white-winged guan (Penelope albipennis).

Cave drawings show local wildlife recently captured by camera traps. Image courtesy of SBC Peru.

Read these stories in their entirety in Spanish here at Mongabay Latam.

This story first appeared on Mongabay

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