These squirrel-size monkeys helped bring Peru’s Amazon back to life

Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in northeastern Peru has been a concern for decades, but scientists are discovering what could well be the key to its recovery.

As this article in Science Magazine reports, in 1990, vast swaths of the Amazon rainforest were cleared when it was logged, and converted to pastures for grazing water buffalo. Before long, the land was useless, and humans were no longer interested in it. About ten years later, it slowly began to regrow.

Seeking an explanation to this surprising comeback, scientists focused their attention on tamarins, squirrel-sized monkeys. The article explains how the foraging activities of the small monkeys have helped the devastated area to begin its journey to recovery. Read the article.

If you would like to see the Amazon rainforest, and its tremendous biodiversity (and tamarin monkeys), you can visit several natural protected areas in Peru, where conservation efforts are bearing fruit. These include the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, and the Tambopata National Reserve. Many reputable tour operators offer trips to these and other fascinating areas of the Amazon jungle. Explore the DEALS section of the site, and find the one that’s right for you.