Together, we are enabling our clients to take part on the collection of environmental DNA samples on their adventures, collecting freshwater samples on their adventures, to help support conservation action and inform world biodiversity policy – with Citizen Science Departures on selected trips. To put this new science to the test, Exodus recently led a small team on a 10-day scientific expedition deep into the Peruvian Amazon to help understand what is currently living in a remote tributary in the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Community Reserve, and how this data collection method could be used to protect and benefit both the wildlife and the communities that live alongside it. Find out more below.
Footprints of the Forest
Watch our new short film ‘Footprints of the Forest’ by our very own award-winning director Olly Pemberton
A visual immersion into the stunning Tamshiyacu Tahuayo community reserve, this expedition first sees eDNA technology heading deeper into the Peruvian Amazon than ever before.
What is the eBioAtlas?
The eBioAtlas, a joint initiative of IUCN and NatureMetrics, aims to monitor biodiversity in different areas around the world, in order to map the distribution of various species and contribute to global knowledge of ecosystems through genetics and cutting-edge technology.
The sample-taking process is based on the fact that species leave traces of their DNA in different environments, such as waterways, wetlands and forests. Using the innovative eDNA technique, it is possible to know the species present in different ecosystems, as well as their migration habits by simply pushing water through a filter with a syringe.
The information collected will be part of the world’s largest repository of flora and fauna species data, contributing not only to local biodiversity but also to a complete global map. This will inform species assessments on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and help identify sites in need of protection as Key Biodiversity Areas.
Why and how is Exodus involved?
Our planet faces unprecedented challenges – not only the climate crisis, but biodiversity collapse. The nature and unique ecosystems that we take clients to explore on our adventures are vital for the survival of our global society but are left increasingly under threat. As a tour operator, creating sustainable adventures is at the heart of everything we do and how we operate, and we are continuously and proactively seeking ways to make a positive impact. We wanted to take a big step further in our commitment to the natural world, which is why we set a goal to ‘become Nature Net Positive’ by the end of 2024, and one of the ways we set out to achieve this is by seeking to support projects that promote nature’s restoration and regeneration, like the eBioAtlas programme.
This project not only enables us to use our trips to help support a scientifically ground-breaking conservation initiative, but it also enables our clients and supplier partners to get directly involved in increasing our knowledge of endangered species around the world and helping to preserve and restore nature.
To read more about Exodus Travels’ commitment to nature, through our Nature Net Positive plan, click here.
eBioAtlas sampling in the Amazon
Exodus Travels recently led a small team on a 10-day scientific expedition alongside NatureMetrics, deep into the Peruvian Amazon to help understand what is currently living in a remote tributary known as Blanquillo, and how this data might be used to protect and benefit both the wildlife and the communities that live alongside it.
Nowhere on earth has habitat loss been displayed in such a stark visual way than in the Amazon rainforest, with a shocking 10,000 acres of rainforest cover reportedly lost per day since 1998. Yet, remarkably, within these rapidly shrinking ecosystems across our world, there are still parts we know relatively little about. In these cases, it’s often because they are in difficult-to-reach, remote locations, making it take longer to get discernible data back. However, with the use of eDNA tools, scientists now have access to a highly detailed snapshot of an area within just several weeks, putting the accelerator on conservation efforts when time is no longer an ally.
We were thrilled to have leading wildlife biologist & TV host, Lizzie Daly joins us on this expedition, and be part of our brand-new short film, ‘Footsteps of the Forest’ which highlights the power of eDNA as a new tool to help uncover what is living in our remaining wild places at a faster rate than traditional methods. Our short film is a visual immersion into the stunning Tamshiyacu Tahuayo community reserve, allowing audiences to see this incredible new technology being used firsthand deep in the Amazon Rainforest.
“While taking the samples themselves was the real motive of this trip, the power of this technology came to life throughout the expedition. We followed stories of local voices, biodiversity and gaps in our understanding to uncover ways of how best to conserve and protect these environments.
We met with local communities to learn how this data could provide evidence for what fish species are present in their lake. A comprehensive picture of what lives there is critical to support local stakeholders in their efforts to mobilise their own fisheries management plan. We also took samples at the junction of the Rio Maranon and Rio Ucayali to understand more about the iconic Pink Amazon River Dolphin. We still know little about their diet and so hope this data will help answer some of those important ecological questions.
Finally, we pushed up into the Blanquillo river, to our final site of sampling. For the first time, this expedition has the potential to set a strong biodiversity baseline to work from which will help measure and track changes in the region in a robust and scalable way.”
– Lizzie Daly
Our Citizen Science Departures
Exodus Travels and NatureMetrics have partnered together to enable client involvement in eDNA (environmental DNA) sample collection across a number of our trips throughout the world – we’re calling these our Citizen Science Departures. These samples will play a vital role in building the eBioAtlas, and once they’re analysed, clients on these trips will receive an update on what valuable conservation data samples from their trip has helped to identify.
We are excited to offer Citizen Science Departures on 20 of our trips, highlighted below. These ‘Special Departures’ are displayed on the Dates & Prices tab. For further information on the sampling process, click here.
15 DaysfromNZD 6,849
Guided Group (Excl. Flights)
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