The latest addition to our series on the Worlds Butterflies is this DVD of the Amazon rainforest, comprising 30-minute film in English and Portuguese versions, including giant otters, a jaguar, bees, beetles, spiders, and an ant-lion Many more butterflies arranged by Family The film was made in Portuguese to help the education and conservation work at Cristalino, and we hope that many Brazilians, young and old, will be introduced to the fascinating world of butterfly-watching by seeing the film.
Fo the rest of us, it is just what it says: an Introduction to the Butterflies of the Amazon Rainforest.
See the incredible riches of the rainforest on your screen!
Latin America houses by far the greatest variety of life of any continent. Far from destroying life, the Ice Ages in Latin America generated massive increases in biodiversity, so that today the Rainforests of the Amazon Basin are the greatest Museum of life anywhere on the planet.
The butterflies are a precious example of this wealth of life. We are lucky that as we walk the trails of the Cristalino Natural Heritage Reserve, we can take a trip into the deep past, seeing untouched the butterfly heritage of the past 100 million years.
The film brings you this experience, vividly on the screen, just as you could see it with your own eyes no tricks or fake-photography. It was all filmed during our visit to the Amazon Basin for 2 weeks in August, visiting the Rio Cristalino Lodge on the Rio Cristalino. You can see where it is, and how you get there on its website www.cristalinolodge.com.br.
The Lodge is magnificent; not only a welcoming and very helpful staff, and excellent facilities, including electricity and library, but the finest food you are ever likely to find at a forest lodge! Joao and his team in the kitchen produce food that would be worth a detour in any part of the world.
As for the wildlife, well, we saw giant otters close up, a fine jaguar, tapirs swimming in the river, lots of monkeys playing in the treetops, a herd of 56 peccaries, a huge stag beetle, a cayman close up at the dock, and many other things.
But of course, the highlights were the butterflies; we probably filmed about 230 species in the space of 2 weeks its hard to be sure yet; they are tricky to identify, and the number of moth models and their mimics makes things that much harder.
We were helped by 2 volunteer guides, Gill & Will Carter, from Weslaco, Texas, who have been visiting the Lodge for some years and guiding groups of birders as well as some butterfly-watchers like ourselves.
We had another contact in Brazil from a Lodge in Guaramirim, Santa Catarina State. Its another conservation site, in southern Brazil and with an Atlantic forets population. You might like to check out its website at www.ra-bugio.org.br and if anyone has been there, we would be glad to hear about it from you.