When Taricaya was established the first thing we had to do to protect and study the rainforest under our care was to allow ourselves complete access to all parts of the reserve. We created a border limit trail that circumvents the entire reserve and opened trails within the reserve to effectively monitor the area against any intruders like poachers and loggers and for investigation.
We began by walking the forest following animal made paths or areas opened up by tree falls or natural depressions when canvassing the area. Once points of interest such as swamps, colpas, streams and emergent trees were located we then cleared direct permanent trails that were marked and mapped.
We have now a complete trail system mapped with GPS and with name signs and distance tags every 25m and we constantly maintain the trails open and clear to allow us an effective monitoring and research of the reserve.
- Trail maintenance: Take a machete and help the staff clear the trails along the reserve or divert the trail which must then be re-plotted. Repair and update signs and markers.
- Big Loop: Once a month we take a full day to border the reserve in search of possible invasions into or around our area.
- Go along the trails to identify and connect micro-habitats and points of interest such as bamboo thickets, mammal colpas and emergent trees.
- The 476ha of the reserve are connected by a system of trails that total more than 57km.
- The Big Loop (walk around the entire reserve along the border trails) takes around 6 hours.
- Eugenio Trail (the back border of the reserve) was cleared 100 meters before the actual border of the reserve because on that side we have a huge swamp area.
- Each trail has a name with a story to it. Alex trail is named after the first volunteer that came to Taricaya, Navidad trail was finished in Christmas eve so named after it (Navidad is Christmas in Spanish), Oso Bandera trail was named after the Giant anteater spotted in the area while making the trail (Oso bandera is the common name in Spanish). Ask the staff for the story behind each trail´s name.