Abstract # 2783 Event # 64:

Scheduled for Friday, June 18, 2010 01:30 PM-02:30 PM: Session 14 (Medallion Ballroom A/B) Featured Speaker


FOREST LIFE: A GRINGO PRIMATOLOGIST IN COLOMBIA

T. R. Defler
Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogot√°, Cundinamarca 0000, Colombia
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I would like to tell you about my last 33 years, dedicated to the study and conservation of primates and tropical forest in very wild landscapes of eastern Colombia. The aim of the talk is to provide details of aspects of the very isolated rivers and forests where I have roamed and worked, describing particulars of the primates and other animals and people from the authoritative viewpoint of a long-term resident. Monkeys are some of the main actors here; as a primatologist I have studied seven species in the field but have observed many more in nature, besides having raised at least thirty free-ranging orphan monkeys at my Vaupés research station. Because the venue is Colombia, I have included descriptions of experiences with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) guerrillas as they attempted to extort me and my wife, later requiring that we leave. The influence of cocaine traffickers, including their influence upon our lives and on many Colombians, is described. A local gold rush provides more details of how goes the Colombian Amazon. Descriptions of Indian assistants, local Amazonian residents of the nearby village of La Pedrera and other Amazonian characters are all included to provide society members, nature lovers, and adventurers some idea of how it might be to live in the complex society and geography that is eastern Colombia.