Photo by Murray Cooper
The Tiputini Biodiversity Station (TBS) is a research facility established in Amazonian Ecuador in 1994 by Universidad San Francisco de Quito in collaboration with Boston University. We serve as steward of 744 hectares (about 1800 acres) of primary lowland rainforest approximately 300km (200 mi) ESE of Quito. TBS is situated on the north bank of the Tiputini River, a southern tributary of the Napo River within the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve.
Our primary activities are associated with research and education. Located within the world’s greatest biodiversity hotspot, according to the study “Global Conservation Significance of Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park” published in the renowned journal PLoSONE, and one of the planet’s last wilderness areas, our main goal is to better understand nature so that appropriate and effective conservation strategies may be implemented.
TBS also serves as a non-official guard post for the Yasuní National Park.
What we do
TBS seeks to find out more about the workings of the lowland Amazonian rainforest. Consequently, scientists are constantly here conducting research on a wide array of topics ranging from cataloging the regional megadiversity to animal behavior to global climate change. The more we know and the more we share what we know, the better chance we have to manage and save this place for the future.
Because we are so interested in the conservation of the Amazonian ecosystem, a large proportion of our efforts are dedicated to environmental education. About 85% of our visitors are students in organized groups that come for relatively short visits.
Fewer and fewer individuals from all around the world have regular contact with nature and as such, humans overall are losing appreciation for nature. Although we cannot overcome that situation with a short visit, we do hope to increase the level of awareness about the wonders of the rainforest, pressures upon it, and the justification for maintaining it.
Who we are
TBS is governed by a Board of Directors who work together to advance the goals set out in the strategic plan and are committed to actively provide professional experience to the organization. TBS Director is responsible for the overall management of the station and oversees administrative staff in Quito and in the field. TBS also consists of the many researchers and students that visit us every year to conduct their studies.
Where we are
The Tiputini Biodiversity Station site was chosen specifically due to its location within a pristine area of Amazonian rainforest with essentially no human impacts. Its intact nature is entirely due to its remote location and historical lack of access. Most of our forest (90%) falls within the category of terra firme; narrow areas of varzea occur along the riparian zone; some small patches of igapó are scattered in low lying areas.
Beyond the camp itself, there are essentially no anthropogenic impacts in the form of deforestation or hunting for kilometers in every direction.