Satipo Road – new name?

Apaya Birding Lodge. Satipo road. Photo: Juan Chalco.

by Gunnar on June 30, 2011 · 0 comments

in Birding Neotropics

Satipo road in the spotlight.

You will undoubtedly hear more about Satipo Road in Peru here on Birdingblogs.  Right now Rich Hoyer is on a solo recce of this marvelous area. Whether WINGS start offering tours here or not depends much on the development of the infrastructure for birders in this area. RainForest Partnership who is in charge of fund-raising for the community lodge project has one problem. When trying to raise money among non-birders – you know the normal people who think it would be great to save some amazingly rich cloud forest for posterity and happily would contribute – they are not too thrilled to hear that the money would go to something called SATIPO (a town of some 30000 inhabitants) ROAD (who wants to give money to a road?) – they may get cold feet.  Thus, another name is needed.

Pampa Hermosa again?

RainForest Partnership obviously realized this in the campaign last year. Instead they raised money for Pampa Hermosa – the name of the district where the  project is running. It would seem that that name should do the trick, if it wasn’t for the fact that among the birders there are already two Pampa Hermosas on the map.  One Pampa Hermosa is a protected area close to San Ramon, which already has in its vicinity a good lodge with the same name. The other Pampa Hermosa is the newly described Scarlet-banded Barbet base camp where an expedition starts from.  So from a birder’s point of view, we don’t need one more Pampa Hermosa.

In everybody’s point of view – we need a new name.

Some background

I have presented the area in many blogposts on my own blog (one summary here) as well as here on Birdingblogs.  I compared it with Manu road because of the similar bio-diversity. Satipo road has no reason to envy big brother. Both the scenery and the birds of Satipo road is as good as Manu road. There are even a couple of endemics and several undescribed forms/species that make this area a hotspot for birding – and still at a fraction of the cost of a Manu road tour. The area should live a birding boom once the lodging infrastructure is sorted out.

Pick a new name for Satipo road, please.

I have been running on Kolibri Expeditions Facebook page a small survey to see what name is favored by potential visitors.  Sure it is a bit birder biased, but since the principal niche is for birders – that is not a bad thing.

We had 3 principal choices:

  • Colibri Trail/Ruta de los Colibries. Colibri is Hummingbird in virtually all languages except English
  • Tunqui Forest/Bosque Tunqui. Tunqui is the Quechua name for Andean Cock of the Rock
  • Mariposa trail. Mariposa (spanish for butterfly) being the major village in the area.

Colibri Trail got over 50% of the votes and is the clear winner.

Colibri Trail – wants volunteers

As marketing device I think Colibri Trail will work very well. There are 45 species of Hummingbirds here including the endemic Fiery-throated Metaltail. Imagine in the future the villages lined with hummingbird friendly plants and restaurants and lodges with Hummingbird feeders. The Colibri Trail would get well deserved recognition both in Peru and worldwide and would be the first of its kind in Peru. Being the closest cloud forest from Lima we should expect a lot of visitors in the future from the capital.

Training of the locals  to build home made feeders and to supply clean feeders needs some attention. Maybe there is someone among the readers of Birdingblogs who would like to volunteer? Let us know in the comments or send an e-mail to me: kolibriexp@gmail.com

Top photo: Temporary community birding guesthouse at
Apaya/Calabazas on Colibri Trail, Satipo road by  Juan Chalco.

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