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Operation Wallacea is an organisation of academics that run biodiversity and conservation management research expeditions to evaluate the environmental health of some of the most beautiful and biologically fascinating regions of the world. Unfortunately such places are under threat from climate change, deforestation, tourism etc. I'll spend 3 weeks at several remote camps in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve in the Mayan jungle working alongside top scientists to carry out surveys like butterfly transects, reptile, amphibian and bird counting, mist netting for bats and camera trapping for large mammals like jaguars, tapirs, ocelots and spider and howler monkeys. I'll then spend a week in Akumal, a small coastal town, where I'll learn how to dive in order to examine the effects of tourism on sea turtles. The data collected will allow scientists to liaise with locals to figure out exactly what we need to do to protect Mexicoâ€™s amazing biodiversity in a sustainable manner, which enables local people to make a living too.To fund this expedition I need to raise around Â£3500, which will cover the actual trip, flights, food, equipment etc.
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Kim Cowling - 1st and 3rd Kilmacolm Guides
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