Mashpi = Tourism + Conservation + Science
A world of creatures to discover
On arrival at Mashpi Lodge, you are entering far more than a five-star hotel in an exquisite location. You are accessing a research station, a base for exploration and discovery at the vanguard of rainforest protection.
Our science and investigation projects are ample and varied. Even before construction on the lodge was completed, a biologist was hired to conduct an ambitious program of research. Its aim? To find out as much as possible about the myriad natural elements within the 1,200 hectare (3,000 acre) Mashpi Reserve and their interaction with this diverse ecosystem.
The information gathered was useful in building a conservation strategy, combining sustainable tourism and forest preservation, and thereby safeguarding further deforestation and the creation of isolated pockets of forest.
The final goal is to cultivate the importance of research within the overall project, while enriching the lodge’s knowledge of its ecosystem. This knowledge is then shared with local communities, our guests and the wider public, with the aim of spreading the message of the importance of conserving this endangered and fascinating bio-region.
Our research efforts have grown over the years, with national and international agreements signed; and even new species to science discovered. We have collaborated with several universities, participating and designing different research projects, involving butterflies, mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles and macroinvertebrates.
These initiatives have demonstrated to us that our conservation efforts should go beyond merely protecting our reserve with its hotel. They must be a combination of research, education, ecotourism and community support in order to be truly successful.
Research & Projects
Investigation is a key function of the Mashpi project, which has led us to invaluable discoveries about the forest. As result of various scientific studies, several new species have been discovered and described. Additionally, other have allowed us to learn more about the forest inhabitants and the environmental services that they provide us.
Our Science Team
Find out more about the team of dedicated biologists and para-biologists who spend their days and nights within the forest, observing, measuring, counting, numbering, labelling and looking for new species to share with the world!
We are currently working on several mechanisms for guests to become more involved with our research and conservation efforts. These could encompass volunteering their time to help with research, donating scientific or expedition equipment, or donating funds.
Understanding The Forest
The ecosystem of the Chocó is a world still being discovered by science, home to innumerable species yet to be described. Get a more in-depth vision of our amazing forest by reading our latest blogs.
Life Centre Project
Located to west of the lodge, the Life Centre was conceived as a place for learning and discovery. Here we learn about the species of butterflies found in this region, observing the whole process of metamorphosis from eggs into beautiful butterflies.
About 300 species of moths and butterflies have been identified to date in the Reserve, and our team has reproduced 50 of these to date. About a dozen can be seen in the centre itself. Most of the interpretation in the centre is provided by our guides or the employees from the local community involved in the project.
World of Birds
With some 400 species of birds spotted to date – 35 of which are endemics (found only in Mashpi’s nearby forests) – Mashpi’s Reserve is a birdwatcher’s paradise. You don’t need to be an experienced ornithologist, or to even travel to the deepest part of the forest, to see and enjoy the mystic beauty of birds, although sometimes this effort pays off with the spectacular dances of some rare species!