The scientific expedition: from preparations to actual research

21 dezembro 2010

The 3rd Scientific Expedition to the Terra do Meio and more specifically, to the Serra do Pardo National Park, took place from December 3 to 14 but preparations began long before.
By Ligia Paes de Barros

The 3rd Scientific Expedition to the Terra do Meio and more specifically, to the Serra do Pardo National Park, took place from December 3 to 14 but preparations began long before. It was originally scheduled to take place in August and so the first step towards materialising it was taken in May when technical staff from WWF-Brazil and ICMBio got together with the scientific research coordinator to analyse satellite images of the park area and define those spots within the protected area that would be the priority targets for research.

Four research bases were defined on that occasion and in June a logistics team from the Instituto Natureza Amazônica (INAM) went into the field to prepare the way for the researchers. 

Preparing the camps

With their back packs or rather “jamanxins” (a kind of back pack made by adapting small oil drums and fitting them with straps to make them easy to load and carry), 20 men headed into the forest of the National Park to set up the camps.

Specialised forest workers as they were, accustomed since childhood to walking in the depths of the forest, they set off from Itaituba (Pará). First they were taken in a plane chartered by the ICMBio to one of the expropriated cattle farm areas on the banks of the Xingu River which nowadays is the ICMBio’s operational base for its work in the Serra do Pardo National Park. From there they went on in small high-powered boats known locally as ‘voadeiras (flyers) up the Park’s rivers and streams until they got to the nearest points to the areas that had been selected for the research activities. From then on they spent days walking through the thick forest until they came to the exact spots. “That is the hardest part. The journey through the forest requires a great physical effort. You have to open up a trail, walk all day long in the dense forest and at the end of the day you still have to set up your little shelter to spend the night”, declares Rodrigo Pereira Junior, technical director of the INAM, a company specialising in capacity building in forest management and contracted in this case to take responsibility for the expedition’s logistics.

Once the area for the research activities had been defined they set up the camps which consisted of two dormitory spaces with wooden frameworks to support the canvas covers and from which to hang hammocks, a kitchen space and another space for the researchers’ work table.




To know more about the Scientific Expedition to Terra do Meio 2010:



Dormitório no acampamento da primeira base de pesquisa durante Expedição Científica ao Parque Nacional da Serra do Pardo.
Dormitory at the first research base camp during the Scientific Expedition to the Serra do Pardo National Park.
© WWF-Brasil / Adriano Gambarini
Edineide Souza, cozinheira da expedição.
The expedition’s cook Edineide Souza
© WWF-Brasil / Adriano Gambarini
DOE AGORA
DOE AGORA