Studying Amazon Butterflies

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January 30th 2006
Published: February 1st 2006
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Shiripuno RiverShiripuno RiverShiripuno River

The Shiripuno River is a White Water River; easy to watch BLue and Yellow Macaw.
Studying Amazon Butterflies in Ecuador
(Part I)

The Shiripuno Research Center started with the odyssey of Fernando Vaca (ECUADOR) and Rodney Guerra (U.S.A) in march 2002, the goal was to help with ideas to our friend Eugenia Nieto Sevilla who begun to built a campsite for an ecotourism project in the Shiripuno River, which is inside the Anthropological Huaorani Reserve and she had been helping them to develop different ideas in the forest management. We want to taste, explore and enjoy different forest in a different region of the Ecuadorian Amazon. We had the experience of the Napo River forest experience which is still good forest, but the scenery that we were having was an indescribable forest experience.
Our first night was in a comforting motorized canoe (it was leaking!) without a roof, there was a little shower, a proof that we were still in Rainforest. We woke up with a beautiful Ocelot in front top of the canoe and at the other end of the canoe was a chicken.
Finally we reach the camp that was an open field, there was not trails, and we catch seven butterflies in less the three hours not much eh! But they were
Shiripuno RainforestShiripuno RainforestShiripuno Rainforest

The diversity and abundance of wildlife in Shiripuno is high compare with others areas that we were used to.
Agrias sp. those are the butterflies that feed on Coca Plants and those are very rare at least in the Lower Napo River.
The monkeys of several species were almost everywhere which means that the forest is in excellent conditions. Our dream started to become true in our eyes and we couldn’t miss this chance to create a place to produce science and knowledge.

We made the first bird list in the area, so officially we started running at 2002 with a little budget or almost nothing, the constant hunger for natural history information in particular of this area, that is considered very rich but unfortunately not well studied at all, not anymore.
The necessities of handful information in the monitoring of the wildlife in the Amazon Rainforest move us to built up a place where all the nature lovers and students of Tropical Biology would stop and hook up with the project that will fit with...


The Shiripuno Research Center is located in the Pastaza and Orellana provinces, 90 kms south from Coca on the Auca Road to the Shiripuno River which is inside the Huaorani Anthropological Reserve.

Shiripuno Research Center waypoints:
S: 01˚ 06' 282"
W: 076˚ 43' 896"

How to get there

a) By plane from Quito to Coca 35 minutes (Tame or Icaro)
b) By bus from Quito to Coca 9 hours, we suggest to take the day bus one day before the tour start and overnight in Coca.

To get the SRC is necessary to take a local bus from Coca to the Shiripuno River for 3 hours on the Auca road, then downstream by motorized canoe for 4 hours to reach the Center, depending on water level.


At the moment we are using some cabins at the Shiripuno Amazon Lodge and using theirs facilities such as food, lodging, and transportation. In the future we are planning to have our own space.


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