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Exploring the canopy

The rainforest canopy is one of the great remaining mysteries of the natural world, and scientists and conservationists have only recently begun to unlock the wonders that this habitat hosts, thanks to observation facilities like those at Sacha Lodge that put them right in the middle of the canopy.

Animals you can expect to see in the canopy

Since exploration of this level of the rainforest is still young, scientists can’t be sure exactly how many animal species call this their home, but it is estimated that anywhere from 60-90 percent of life in the rainforest lives in the canopy. Around Sacha Lodge, this includes:

Primates

  • Red Howler Monkey
  • Squirrel Monkey
  • Spider Monkey
  • Pygmy Marmoset
  • Tufted Capuchin
  • Noisy Night Monkey
  • Lemurine Night Monkey
  • Yellow Handed Titi Monkey
  • Red Titi Monkey
  • Brown Woolly Monkey
  • Silvery Woolly Monkey
  • Graells Tamarin
  • Saddlebacked Tamarin
  • Golden Mantled Tamarin
  • White-bellied Spider Monkey

Over 500 species of birds, most notably the rainbow parrots and toucans. Others include:

  • Zigzag Heron
  • Scarlet-shouldered Parrotlet
  • Lanceolated Monklet
  • Collared Puffbird
  • Rufous-headed Woodpecker
  • Short-billed Leaftosser
  • Dot-backed Antbird
  • Ochre-striped Antpitta
  • Chestnut-belted Gnateater
  • Orange-crested Manakin

Sloths

Snakes, like the boa constrictor

 

Adaptations of the rainforest animals:

  • Monkeys have developed distinctive calls for communication since it can be hard to see through the thick branches and leaves.
  • Many animals are able to jump, glide, or soar between branches to travel from tree-to-tree.

Ways to Explore the Canopy at Sacha Lodge

Sacha Lodge offers its guests two unique ways to explore the liveliest layer of the tropical rainforest:

  • The Canopy Walk: This sturdy bridge spans 940 feet (275 meters) between three strong metal towers, high in the rainforest canopy at 94 feet (36 meters) above the ground. Your journey across this bridge will get you up close and personal with the 500-some bird species and many monkey species that call the canopy their home.You’ll also get a unique look at the epiphytes (organisms/ plants that grow on the surface of other plants, deriving their nutrients and water from the air & water that accumulates around them) of the upper canopy.Visit at any hour of the day and you’ll find different species that are awaking and making their majestic calls. Even if you can’t see them through the thick and verdant foliage, you will be sure to hear their cacophonous chorus.
  • The Kapok Tower: Hugging a giant kapok tree 135 feet (43 meters) above the rainforest floor, this platform puts you right in the heart of the wildlife action. For a breathtaking panoramic view of the canopy, walk onto the crow’s nest and take in the rainforest in 360-degrees. Its height and perspective has earned it a reputation as one of the best canopy observation towers in the entire Amazon jungle.

The Layers of the Rainforest

The rainforest has several layers, each with their own habitats and home to their own species of flora and fauna. The layers are-

  1. Rainforest floor (shrub level): Where larger mammals and small plants live. These plants do not require much sunlight, which allows them to thrive where it is mostly blocked from the thick layers of leaves above.
  2. Understory (under canopy): The layer between the ground-level shrubs and the flourishing canopy.
  3. Canopy: The vegetation-thick area about 90-130 feet above the ground where most of the rainforest wildlife resides.
  4. Emergents: The uppermost layer of the rainforest where only the tallest and healthiest plants can push through the thick canopy to reach the sunlight.

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