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Showing posts from 2012

Daniel Velazquez: an artist with a mission

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My friend, Daniel Velazquez is an artist, photographer, and filmmaker residing in Belize. I met Daniel on my 2004 summer volunteer trip to Belize to study ocelots in the jungle. I came through town (San Ignacio) on my way to the forest and met him hanging around a favorite volunteer joint, Eva's kitchen and bar. He is a friend of the project I was volunteering for, and had done a fair amount of filming and photographing at the site (which was 2 hours into the jungle at the Las Cuevas Research Station).
At the time, Daniel was working on a series of paintings which featured red-eyed tree frogs in his artistic interpretation of the forest. His residence hosted a number of these paintings, and felt like a forest itself with all the green paint and frogs. Daniel has since moved on to a number of other projects, and is now working on creating his own studio and space for artists. He is also in the midst of editing one of his many documentaries.
Daniel's up and coming artist space…

Macaw research in the Peruvian Amazon

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Wow, where can I start? I just returned from a stint in the Peruvian Amazon. More specifically, in the Tambopata Research Center (TRC) situated in the Tambopata National Reserve on the upper Tambopata River in the center of a large uninhabited track of primary tropical lowland forest near the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park in the Madre de Dios Region of Peru. Whew! In short, it was beautiful and amazing, and the work I took part in was so important to the conservation of some of the most colorful and spirited birds on the planet.

Proyecto Guacamayo, or the Tambopata Macaw Project, is based around a series of clay licks in the area (in fact, this area hosts the highest concentrations of avian clay licks in the world). The director of this project, Dr. Donald Brightsmith, has been working on this project for over 10 years. Dr. Brightsmith was my professor for a month-long tropical ecology field course in Costa Rica in 2000, and was a huge factor in getting me interested in birding and th…

Rare Species of the Andes and Amazon

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In light of my upcoming trip to the Peruvian Amazon, I'll be shedding light on some of the coolest species to see in the area. I'll start with this blog, taken from the Our Amazing Planet website, about rare species dwelling in the Andes and the Amazon.

The Andes range is one of the longest on Earth, consisting of 4,400 mountainous miles that stretch through the western coasts of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. While the Amazon rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world, once covering almost half the South American continent. It once stretched across Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Suriname. The Amazon rainforest is being cut down daily and has shrunk to a fraction of its original size. The rapid rate at which it is disappearing makes an accurate range impossible to record.

Here is a gallery of some of the least protected, and some of the rarest, endemic species found in the Andes-Amazon basin of Peru …

4th Annual Wildlife Charity Party

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It's that time again! My annual nightclub fundraising event to raise money for a charity of my choice. This year, like last year, the money will go to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation. Susan and Martin Tyner are trying to raise enough money to build an animal rescue facility that will serve as a Nature Park and Educational Center. It will also house the rescued wildlife that trickles in throughout the year. I would like to see this park finished, as it will be the first of its kind here in Utah. I also hope to work there.

This year's party, like last year's, took place at the W Lounge in downtown Salt Lake City. My goal was to raise double the money I raised last year. In order to do that, I employed more volunteers and different entertainment aspects. I brought in Aspen Moon, a local artist who excels at live painting. I had him paint something with a wildlife theme, and he decided to paint a desert tortoise carrying the world on its back.

I brought in a body/face paint…