Aerobotany is where centuries-old classic field biology and 21st century cutting edge technology come together, in the middle of the spectacularly diverse and underexplored Amazon rainforest.
This is the brain child of Dr. Varun Swamy, an ecologist who’s been doing long-term research in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest since 2003. He believes that citizen scientists can make a valuable contribution towards gathering data that will improve our understanding of the biological rhythms and life cycles of rainforest trees, and help monitor and protect these invaluable rainforest ecosystems in the long term.
The research site for Aerobotany is the Tambopata National Reserve, a ~15,000 sq. km protected area in the Peruvian Amazon jungle. We use an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (or in everyday parlance …a DRONE) to capture high-resolution imagery of the rainforest canopy that towers over 50 meters above the forest floor.
What is the Aerobotany Experience like at Refugio Amazonas?
You’ll join a member of the Wired Amazon team and depart for the canopy tower. The canopy tower is a quick 20 minute walk from the lodge and at 35 meters above the
ground, provides incomparable views over the Amazon Rainforest. From there, you’ll work with our researcher to program the drone on its daily route and release it.
The researcher will explain the photos being captured by the drone and how they contribute to the research being conducted.