Saturday, September 30, 2017

AMAZING WILDLIFE WATCHING TRIP REPORT TO THE BLUE THROATED MACAW NATURE RESERVE



From the 16th-20th of September we visited the remote and spectacular Blue throated Macaw Nature Reserve. This former cattle ranch is one of the only places on earth where nature lovers can observe the critically endangered Blue throated Macaw, a species which is numbered at less than 300 in the wild.
Unlike the normal tourists our objective was not birdwatching, we were looking for one of the most elusive species on the planet, the strange and rarely seen Maned Wolf. 

To find the Maned Wolf which is no easy feat we had to combine very early mornings, late evening searches, also we were also aiming to photography the equally strange Giant Anteater in which this Reserve is a stronghold for the species. Our host Tjalle Boors who manages the reserve was instrumental at showing us the Reserve, however we knew what a task we had ahead of us when he informed us that in 4 years he personally had never had a sighting of the Maned Wolf.

The endemic and critically endangered Blue Throated Macaws.

With knowledge of proven Maned Wolf hotspots we were on constant elert, a few times in the night i heard the strange barking/scream of the Wolf, a positive sign that they were in the area. 
The first few days we had little signs, poor weather didnt help, however we were kept intriqued by huge flocks of Blue and Yellow Macaws, Capybara, Lesser Anteaters, Peccaries, Armadillos and many other species. 
Excellent Savannah habitat with forest islands, home to the Maned Wolf, Giant Anteater and Blue throated Macaw

The first main mammal sighting we had was a close up encounter with a Giant Anteater, these unique animals which can eat thousands of termites daily. Its claws are impressive and have been known to have even killed Jaguars and occasionally the odd hunter who has tried to attack these generally peaceful animals. 
 
As the days passed we ticked up our mammal species, also saw an impressive 3.5 metre Black Caiman as well, however the main species we came to look for was still playing hide and seek.
The 2nd last day again presented us with incredible views of the Blue throated Macaws and even better another close up sighting of the Giant Anteater, it literally walked 1 metre from us, an amazing experience given the hardship of seeing them in other locations.

One of 3 Giant Anteater sightings during this mammal watching trip
 
Our last morning we set off again, with still no Maned Wolf sighting. We were almost losing hope when literally out of nowhere the impressive shape of the Maned Wolf appeared out of nowhere, stunned we could barely take pictures as we were watching one of the strangest and most elusive species in South America. 


With the mission accompolished we left this incredible location , with cameras full of images and even more important memories which will last a lifetime. 

For more information about our wildlife watching trips in Bolivia, visit our website of www.nicksadventuresbolivia.com

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