Inkaterra has launched an initiative to conserve a diverse collection of native edible and medicinal/ mystical plants, cultivated with regional agricultural or agroforestry techniques. Rescuing ancestral knowledge of Amazonian goods and carbon-free farming, the bio-orchard outreaches the preparation of natural compost, sowing and harvesting vegetables, aromatic herbs and tropical plants and the use of organic fertilizers. Amazonian peppers, cocona (Solanum sessiliflorum), sacha culantro (Eryngium foetidum), uncucha (Xanthosoma sagittifolium), maxixe (Cucumis anguria), among other crops, are being produced as part of this initiative to educate local communities on healthy nutrition to enhance their gastronomic identity, while exploring economic opportunities through sustainable entrepreneurship.
Palm trees are essential for the ecology of tropical forests, while also representing one of the most important plant groups for the economic development of native communities. This forestry project aims to conserve the most diverse sample of native palms. Studying their features and cultural meaning, the Palmetum hosts 17 of the 23 species identified by the Ese’Eja culture and is used in 340 different ways. Species include Geonoma deversa, with large impermeable leaves used for thatched roof weaving in local architecture; the Yarina or ivory palm (Phytelephas macrocarpa), with valuable seeds employed in handcrafts; and the walking palm tree (Socratea exorrhiza), which moves its roots in search of sunlight.
The fauna monitoring initiative contributes to flora and fauna inventories performed by Inkaterra since 1978, to determine the baseline and measure of ecotourism’s long-term impact over biodiversity. The motion-sensitive camera trap system installed around the property allows researchers to study the behavior of wildlife native to the Inkaterra areas of influence. With a thorough analysis of tracks and other indicators, areas with a rich diversity of Amazonian fauna are located and studied. A monthly total of over 1000 photos per camera have allowed the identification of 39 animal species, including ocelots (Leopardus wiedii), giant armadillos (Priodontes maximus), tapirs (Tapirus terrestris), collared peccaries (Tayassu tajacu), white-lipped peccaries (Tayassu pecari), tayras (Eira barbara) and tamanduas (T. tetradactyla).
540 bird species have been registered within the areas conserved by Inkaterra Asociación in the Amazon rainforest of Madre de Dios. Four monitoring techniques are practiced, including bird banding for the codification of species dynamics. Bird banding contributes to ornithological research, through international codifications to study avifauna’s ecological dynamics and population. Biometric data including size, weight and wingspan is measured and registered in special formats to be collected in world databases. Inkaterra encourages the declaration of local reserves with the involvement of local communities for the conservation of endemic species, as well as providing a safe migratory route for birds flying from Canada/USA to Patagonia.