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News and activities

May 2009
Database. The project has databased distribution information from more than 170,000 specimens of tropical Andean butterflies, including records from the Natural History Museum, London, the Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, the Museo del Instituto de Zoología Agrícola Francisco Fernández Yépez, Universidad Central de Maracay, Maracay, the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Bogotá, the collection of Jean François LeCrom, Bogotá, the Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias Naturales, Quito, the collection of Padre Francisco Piñas, Quito, the Museo de Historia Natural, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, and the Museo de Historia Natural Noel Kempff Mercado, Universidad Gabriel Rene Moreno, Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Databasing was conducted by project members, volunteers and assistants paid through funds from the Darwin Initiative, Conservation International and the MIZA, as well as through the efforts of other project members. A summary of the data will be available soon on the database web page, when the database is updated.

May 2009
Type Specimens of Neotropical Butterflies. Using a scanner bought by the project in 2008, we are in the process of scanning the archive of print photographs of the type specimens of neotropical butterflies built up by Gerardo Lamas over the last 30 years at the Museo de Historia Natural, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima. Thanks to the collaboration of Gerardo and Carlos Peña, we have some 10,000 photographs already scanned, a third of the total, which will be made available on the internet after the associated data have been processed.

September 2008
Workshop "Priorities for Research and Conservation of Andean Butterflies". A total of 15 participants attended a workshop to discuss and define priorities for research and conservation of Andean butterflies. Participants were from the following countries: UK: 1, USA: 2, Colombia: 4, Ecuador: 1, Peru: 2, Bolivia: 3, Poland: 1, France: 1, with 5 additional participants attending the subsequent conference. The workshop involved discussions on the project's activities, the content of the final publication, methods for the selection of priority areas for research and conservation, development of the Red List assessements for Andean butterflies, assembling of databases, and ideas for future projects. The programme is available here.

September 2008
I International Conference on Andean Butterflies. The project organized the first International Conference on Andean Butterflies, which was held at the Hotel San Agustin Urubamba, Urubamba, Peru, in September 2008, financed in part by Conservation International. A total of 120 participants registered at the conference, from 12 countries, including 87 people from the 5 tropical Andean countries, with students forming the majority. There were 50 talks and 20 posters, with prizes for the best poster, and best undergraduate and graduate talks. Many thanks to all of the local organizing committee: Gerardo Lamas (Museo de Historia Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos), Gorky Valencia, Rocio Orellana, Jessica Ttito, Carla Chaparro, Roxana Cruz, Rosa Mayorga, Orlando Samanez, Daniel Concha (Museo de Historia Universidad Nacional de San Antonio Abad del Cusco), and Carol Castillo. The programme of the conference and the abstracts are available here.

September-December 2007
The second courses in research on Andean butterflies were conducted in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. We offered two types of course, an intermediate and an advanced, and a number of students from the first courses in 2006 returned. Each course involved talks and practicals, and field work. Courses presented information on the systematics, ecology, biogeography, and conservation of butterflies, and field and statistical methods. The instructors, dates, localities and number of students at each course are detailed below.

December 2007
Second International Theoretical-Practical Course: Methods in the Analysis and Study of the Diversity of Tropical Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea). Parque Natural Regional El Vínculo, Corregimiento El Vínculo - Municipio de Guadalajara de Buga, Carretera Panamericana, Valle del Cauca, Colombia. December 14-19, 2007. Instructors included the following: Dr. Mauricio Linares and Dr. Camilo Salazar, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá; Luis Miguel Constantino, CENICAFE, Chinchiná, Caldas; Lic. Efrain Henao, Universidad de Caldas, Manizales; Ing. Jean Francois Le Crom, editor Mariposas de Colombia, Bogotá; Dr. Keith Willmott, McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville. A total of 30 students attended the course. The complete programme is available here.

December 2007
Second International Theoretical-Practical Course: Advanced Methods in the Analysis and Study of the Diversity of Tropical Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea). Parque Nacional and Área Natural de Cotapata, La Paz, Bolivia. Estación Biológica Asociación comunitaria de Ecoturismo Urpuma. November 30 to 5 December 2007. Instructors included the following: Ing. José Luis Aramayo and Lic. Julieta Ledezma, Museo de Historia Natural Noel Kempff Mercado, Universidad Gabriel Rene Moreno, Santa Cruz de la Sierra; Lic. Fernando Guerra, Colección Boliviana de Fauna, La Paz; Blanca Huertas, Natural History Museum, London; Dr. Jorge Bizarro, "Reserva Ambiental Serelepe", Quatro Barras, Paraná, and Dr. Jim Mallet, University College London, London. A total of 19 students attended the course. The complete programme is available here.

November 2007
Second International Theoretical-Practical Course: Advanced Methods in the Analysis and Study of the Diversity of Tropical Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea). Hotel La Jungla, Banda de Shilcayo, Tarapoto, Perú. November 20-25, 2007. Instructors included the following: Jae-Woo Chung and Dr. Jim Mallet, University College London, London; Dr. Stephanie Galluser, Instituto de Investigación Biológica de las Cordilleras Orientales - INIBICO; Raúl Gonzales Alegría, URKU Estudios Amazónicos, Perú; Dr. Zach Gompert, University of Wyoming, Laramie; Dr. Mathieu Joron, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh; Dr. Gerardo Lamas, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima. A total of 16 students attended the course. The complete programme is available here.

September 2007
Second International Theoretical-Practical Course: Advanced Methods in the Analysis and Study of the Diversity of Tropical Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea). San Francisco, Parque Nacional Podocarpus, Zamora-Chinchipe, Ecuador. September 17-21, 2007. Instructors included the following: Lic. Judith Borja, Fundación Ecológica Arcoiris, Loja; Dr. Patricio Ponce, Director of Research for the McGuire Center in Ecuador, Quito; Lic. Santiago Villamarin, Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias Naturales, Quito; Dr. Keith Willmott, McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville; Raúl Aldaz, Entomologist and Ecological Guide, Lita, Ecuador. A total of 11 students attended the course. The complete programme is available here.

July 2007
5th International Conference on the Biology of Butterflies. Members of the TABD Project participated in this conference in Rome, Italy. A poster showing progress made with the project this year was presented there.

May 2007
Small research project grants. Nearly 40 applications from 6 countries were received for small project grants from TABDP, of which 17 were selected to receive an award. Projects were selected based on their relevance to understanding diversity in tropical Andean butterflies and their conservation, on their overall scientific merit, on their feasibility, and on the importance of the research to the project members' own studies of butterflies. We would like to thank all who submitted applications. Please click here to see the projects granted.

April 2007
Collections databasing. The project has so far databased locality information from more than 90,000 specimens of tropical Andean butterfly species, including records from the Natural History Museum, London, the Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, the Museo del Instituto de Zoología Agrícola Francisco Fernández Yépez, Universidad Central de Maracay, Maracay, the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Bogotá, the collection of Jean François LeCrom, Bogotá, the Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias Naturales, Quito, the collection of Padre Francisco Piñas, Quito, the Museo de Historia Natural, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, and the Museo de Historia Natural Noel Kempff Mercado, Universidad Gabriel Rene Moreno, Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Databasing is being conducted by project members and assistants funded by the Darwin Initiative, Conservation International and the MIZA, and by other project members and volunteers.

ELEN II PANAMA. Various members of the TABDP attended the second International Conference on Neotropical Butterflies in the city of Panama. A poster was presented of the project to report achievements made since 2006. A number of potential new collaborators were contacted. For more details and copies of abstracts contact Blanca Huertas (b.huertas@nhm.ac.uk). Some photos and details are in ELEN Conference 2007.

Above Dr Angel Viloria in Panama.

September-December 2006
The first training courses in Methods for the Study and Analysis of Tropical Butterfly Diversity took place in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia. Each course involved 3 days of lectures and practicals, with the remaining 3 days devoted to field methods. Course topics included butterfly systematics, ecology, biogeography, conservation, and collecting methods. Details of course attendants, dates, locations and numbers of participating students are detailed below.

December 2006, Sajta, Bolivia.
The first Bolivian training course took place at the Estación Biológica El Valle del Sajta, Universidad Mayor de San Simón, Cochabamba, from December 11-16. Course lecturers included the following: Ing. José Luis Aramayo and Lic. Julieta Ledezma, Museo de Historia Natural Noel Kempff Mercado, Universidad Gabriel Rene Moreno, Santa Cruz de la Sierra; Lic. Fernando Guerra, Colección Boliviana de Fauna, La Paz; Lic. Yuvinka Gareca, Museo de Historia Alcides D'Orbigny, Cochabamba; Dr. Jorge Bizarro, "Reserva Ambiental Serelepe", Quatro Barras, Paraná, and Dr. André Freitas, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil; and Dr Keith Willmott from the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville. A total of 25 students attended. Funding from WWF Bolivia enabled the two Brazilian lecturers and students from Pando, Bolivia, to attend the course. The course featured in an article in Newspaper El Deber on 21 January 2007.

November 2006, Yanayacu, Ecuador.
The first Ecuadorian-Peruvian training course took place at the Estación Biológica Yanayacu, Cosanga, Napo, from November 20-25. Course lecturers included the following: Lic. Santiago Villamarín, Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias Naturales, Quito; Harold Greeney, Director of the Estación Biológica Yanayacu, Cosanga; Dr Gerardo Lamas from the Museo de Historia Natural, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima; and Dr Keith Willmott from the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville. A total of 25 students attended.

October 2006, Villavicencio, Colombia.
The first Colombian training course took place at the Estación de Biología Tropical Roberto Franco, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Villavicencio, Meta, from October 9-14. Course lecturers included the following: Gonzalo Andrade, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Bogotá; Dr. Mauricio Linares and Dr. Camilo Salazar, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá; Luis Miguel Constantino, CENICAFE, Chinchiná, Caldas; Ing. Jean Francois LeCrom, editor Mariposas de Colombia, Bogotá; Dr. Gerardo Lamas from the Museo de Historia Natural, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima; Dr. Jim Mallet, University College London, London; and Blanca Huertas from the Natural History Museum, London. A total of 28 students attended. The course received additional funding from AndinoNET.

September 2006, Rancho Grande, Venezuela.
The first Venezuelan training course took place at the Estación Biológica Dr. Alberto Fernández Yépez, Rancho Grande, Aragua, from September 25-30. Course lecturers included the following: Ing. Quintín Arias, Dr José Clavijo and Dr. Jurg de Marmels from the Museo del Instituto de Zoología Agrícola Francisco Fernández Yépez, Universidad Central de Maracay, Maracay; Prof. John Lattke, head of the Estación Científica Dr Alberto Fernández Yepez; Blanca Huertas from the Natural History Museum, London; Megan van Fossen and Grisel Velásquez from Conservation International; Dr Angel Viloria from the Centro de Ecología, Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas, Caracas; Dr Gerardo Lamas from the Museo de Historia Natural, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima; and Dr Keith Willmott from the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville. A total of 26 students attended. The course received additional funding from AndinoNET and was featured in the newspaper El Nacional on 7 October 2006.

June 2006, Bogotá, Colombia.
Foundation of the Asociación de Lepidopterología de Colombia (Association of Lepidopterology of Colombia)
In a meeting held in the Instituto de Ciencias Naturales of the Universidad Nacional of Colombia, in Bogotá, the foundation of the Asociación de Lepidopterología de Colombia (Association of Lepidopterology of Colombia), ACOLEP, was celebrated. Various well-known members of the lepidopterological community, at both national and international levels, were invited to and participated at this meeting as founder members. More than 40 members of different regions and occupations, including researchers, students, butterfly enthusiasts, etc., were present, among them several members of the Tropical Andean Butterfly Diversity Project which supported this initiative.

May 2006, Florida USA.
First international meeting of the Tropical Andean Butterfly Diversity Project The first international planning meeting of the Tropical Andean Butterfly Diversity Project (TABDP) was held at the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, in Gainesville. This event took place between 20-30 April 2006, with representatives of the principal organizations and institutions involved in the project (see attendants below).

The main purpose of the meeting was to discuss the project's objectives and development of project activities and methodology, with an emphasis on the requirements of each country for the training courses to be conducted beginning September 2006.

Participants

Meeting participants, Gainesville, 2006