Symposium 06: Synergy between science, education, and conservation at the Cocha Cashu Biological Station.

Organized by Roxana Arauco. Research Coordinator. Cocha Cashu Biological Station. San Diego Zoo Global - Peru.

Cocha Cashu Biological Station (Cocha Cashu) is located within Manu National Park, in Madre de Dios, Perú. Currently the station is under the administration of both the Peruvian Government through Servicio Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas por el Estado (SERNANP) and San Diego Zoo Global through the San Diego Institute for Conservation Research (SDZICR). The SDZICR has been administering the Station since 2011 and collaborates actively with MNP to ensure Station activities support broader Park management goals. At this symposium and within the context of this meeting, “Biodiversity and Conservation of the Tropical Andes and the Amazon rainforest”, we will focus on topics of research historically conducted at the Station by more than 300 researchers from around 18 countries. We will also discuss why Station users are motivated to return to the Station, focusing on the unique opportunities afforded by the Station. We will chart the development of more than 20, Peruvian professional leaders in conservation today who can trace their origins back to their earlier experiences at Cocha Cashu. The current administrators of the Station are highly motivated to ensure that this legacy is carried forward into the future, and that its role in capacity building is maximized.

In this symposium, we will bring together representatives of experienced researchers as well as students, who have conducted scientific research at Cocha Cashu. Research efforts at Cocha Cashu have been broad, including a studies on a variety of taxa such as birds, mammals, frogs and topics such as forest ecology and dynamics, and social and anthropological studies. Cashu-based research has encompassed long- and short- term studies across several geographical scales. In many cases this research has led to better implementation of conservation practices. Also, we hope that it will become obvious at this symposium that is all part of the same system, water and forest system, Los Amigos, Manu, Tambopata, Purus , etc, and that there is still a lot to do even within the same altitudinal section.  And last, as one of the Stations’s most important contributions to conservation efforts in Peru, we will share experience with SDZICR’s signature capacity building program, the “Annual Cocha Cashu Field Techniques and Tropical Ecology Course”, designed to train the next generation of conservation leaders.

Perhaps Cocha Cashu’s greatest asset and its greatest challenge is its remote location. From Lima, 4-day adventure-filled journey by air, land, and river  to reach Cocha Cashu, making it a difficult location for research. This challenge is partially offset by Cashu’s 40-year legacy: its international renown and importance for understanding and preserving biodiversity are key to attracting continuing research at the Station. However, the future of stations like this one are far from secure, as they struggle with funding issues and changing priorities in science and conservation. Thus, this symposium not only seeks to highlight past and present work at Cocha Cashu, and catalyze new collaborative research in exciting new directions, but also, foster a dialogue on challenges and possible solutions to this dilemma that all field biological stations face, particularly those located within national parks.

Symposium program: (October 16, 2015).

13:30: Welcoming and “Cocha Cashu in a Nutshell” .

13:45: Birds at Cashu, what was done, what needs to be done. Speaker: Scott Robinson. Institution: Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 USA.

14:05: Fishes at Cashu, Lateral Migrations of Fishes between Cocha Cashu and Manu River. Speaker: Darwin Osorio.

Authors: Darwin Osorio (1), John Terborgh (2), Adriana Alvarez (3), Hernán Ortega (1), Roberto Quispe (1), Vanessa Chipollini (1), Lisa C. Davenport (2). Institutions: (1) Museo de Historia Natural, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Perú. (2) Center for Tropical Conservation, Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA. (3) Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Agraria, La Molina, Lima, Peru.

14:25: Short- and long-term consequences of defaunation on western Amazonian floodplain forests. Speaker: Varun Swamy. Institution: Institute for Conservation Research, San Diego Zoo Global.

14:45: Giant Otter Conservation in Manu National Park - Their Demography and the Effects of Territory Size on Reproductive Success. Speaker: Jessica Groenendijk.

Authors: Groenendijk, J (1), Hajek, F (2), Schenck, C (3) and Staib, E (3). Institutions: (1) Cocha Cashu Biological Station, San Diego Zoo Global Peru. (2) Nature Services Peru. (3) Frankfurt Zoological Society.

15:10: Dropping an undergrad out in the jungle: My experience as a Cocha Cashu student. Speaker: David Chang. Institution: Laboratorio de Estudios en Biodiversidad, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia.



15.30: Coffee Break

16:00: EDUCASHU: Cocha Cashu’s Conservation Education, Capacity Building and Outreach Initiative. Speaker: Jenny Glikman. Institution: San Diego Zoo Global.

16:20:  Terrestrial Vertebrates Monitoring at Manu National Park: Uncovering Trophic Cascades. Speaker: Patricia Alvarez-Loayza

Authors: Patricia Alvarez-Loayza (1), Martin Austad (2), Harald Beck (3) and Ingrid Serrano (4). Institutions: (1) Center for Tropical Conservation, Duke University, North Carolina, USA. (3) Towson University, Maryland, USA. (4) Universidad Andina, Cusco, Peru.

16:40: Research Stations for Conservation: Cocha Cashu and Ranomafana. Speaker: Patricia Wright. Institution: Stony Brook University and the Institute for Tropical Conservationa and Ecology and Centre Val Bio.

17: 00: CLOSURE remarks.

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