Novel approaches to understand the state of biodiversity and support livelihoods: the distribution and degradation levels of Mauritia flexuosa stands in Amazonia

Funding Body: Newton Fund

Project Duration: 09/2019 – 02/2020

Project Overview:

When managed sustainably, biodiversity can provide a viable pathway to economic development for communities in tropical forest regions. In the northern Peruvian Amazon, palm fruits are some of the most valuable forest resources: sale of fruits of the palm Mauritia flexuosa can generate an annual income of up to 40,000 USD for a community, and, together with other palm species, contributes, on average, 30 % of income to rural communities. However, stems have typically been cut to harvest fruits, and this has led to a reduction in the number of trees, and, as M. flexuosa has separate male and female trees, to a depletion of female, fruit-bearing individuals.

In this project, we will address the urgent need to develop cost-effective monitoring systems of the extent and health of M. flexuosa stands by developing a new methodology based on UAV technology to map the distribution and degradation levels of this species at landscapes scales.

Team Members:

Name Role Affiliation/Institute
Tim Baker Principal Investigator Leeds
Freddie Draper Co-principal investigator Leeds
Ximena Tagle Co-principal investigator IIAP / Wageningen
Euridice Honorio Researcher IIAP
Gerardo Flores Field team leader IIAP

Project Partners: IIAP, SERNANP, Leeds

Contact Information: Tim Baker (t.r.baker@leeds.ac.uk)