Nature in all its splendor in 8 photos taken in Central America and Peru · Global Voices Français

Photos courtesy of Daniel Nunez.

On the International Day of Biological Diversity, I want to share with you my favorite photos of the wildlife of Peru and Guatemala. I am a biologist and wildlife photography has become an essential working tool; It is indeed possible to reconcile science and nature conservation through photography. The image makes it possible to visualize a research project, to identify less common species, and to include new species and new behaviours.

Five years ago, I picked up a camera and started photographing the biodiversity I had been observing for some time. I developed a real passion for photography while studying biology at Universidade del Valle in Guatemala. I was regularly involved in trips to see animals, and at this time I made the decision to dedicate myself to photography.

At first I was mainly interested in reptiles and amphibians, species that are often stigmatized, but gradually I began photographing other animals such as birds and mammals. Here are some of my favorite photos with a brief description:

The resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno), a bird found mainly in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica, is, in my opinion, one of the most unusual birds in the world. This image is the result of several days of waiting and observing the behavior of quetzals in their nests. After waiting for more than six hours in the forest of the Atitlan volcano, in Solola province in Guatemala, a man carrying food for his young in his beak approached his nest and the photo was taken at this very moment.

On a rainy afternoon, we went in search of the big cats (specifically the jaguar and puma) along the Tambopata River in the Tambopata National Park. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see any of them but we were able to spot one of the jaguar’s favorite prey… the capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris). The Kabayi family, her mother and her child were there, near the river, between showers.

This photograph shows the mating of a Guatemalan black-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis moreletii). During the night, we observed the behavior of several males and females near a small artificial pond where species like these can take advantage of water wells to mate and lay their eggs. This species is found in Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

This type of frog is probably common, but I was still very happy when I first saw it. There are several species of glass frogs in the family Centrolenidae, but Hyalinobatrachium viridissimum is the only species native to Guatemala. Being able to see your members clearly is really impressive.

One of my favorite photos, which depicts three species of parrots feeding on mud at Collpa Chunco in the Tambopata Reserve in Peru. The first day I couldn’t see a single parrot on the wall because of the rain, but the next day 30-40 parrots came running around the trees and feeding on the trees. The picture shows the species Ara macaw (red macaw), ara ararauna (blue and yellow macaw), and ara chloropterus (green winged macaw).

The Palm Adder (Bothriechis bicolor) is one of Guatemala’s coolest snakes and one of the first I was able to photograph; That is why this photo is one of my favorite photos.

One of the most unexpected and challenging encounters I have ever had. It all started while hiking in the mountains at 10 am to study other species. Having moved the equipment in vain for a whole day, the meeting around 10pm made us forget everything. The eyelashes boa (Bothriechis schlegelii) is very common in countries such as Costa Rica, but in Guatemala it is found only in a few places on the Caribbean coast.

Finally, one of the coolest animals I’ve ever seen. Ranitomeya Fantastica is endemic to the provinces of San Martin and Loreto in Peru, which means that it can only be found in this region. Confined to a specific area, habitat loss and human activities put it at risk. Here the male carries a pair of tadpoles on his back, which is a completely normal behavior for this species of frog.

Please see other photos on my Instagram and Twitter.

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