We find that the biological wealth of tropical forests is fascinating. Do you agree? Thanks to the CAFOTROP programme, we are diving into the heart of these lush environments to discover all their treasures. Climb with us to the tops of the trees. Welcome to the canopy!

Did you know? Forests cover about 30% of the earth's surface and are home to the greatest biological diversity, especially in tropical regions. But they are declining rapidly. The main culprit? Man and his excessive consumption, which leads to mass deforestation. So we must quickly describe and protect biodiversity. Since 2005, our scientists have been taking turns “at the bedside” of the most remarkable sites around the world. In the framework of CAFOTROP missions, they collect data and specimens, plants, mammals and insects. The exploration takes place in the undergrowth but also in the canopy, i.e. in the tree tops where the fauna and flora are still different. Quite a feat! To reach these high spots without damaging the foliage and the life that nests there, the researchers have developed access techniques adapted to their sampling needs, with the help of climbers.

Eric Guilbert cherchant des Tingidae à l'aide d'un parapluie japonais - Nouvelle-Calédonie, Mont Koghis

© C. D'Haese

By studying these unique environments, they hope to discover atypical organisms and unlock the secrets of the dynamics of life. Among them, the evolution of species from the 'supercontinent' called Gondwana to the current biodiversity, after 165 million years of continental drift. Thanks to the CAFOTROP programme "Survivors of Gondwana", they are researching the forests of the Andes in Chile, the Eucalyptus forests in south-western Australia, the southern tip of Africa in Pondoland, and the high altitude of the Argentine Yungas. Join our entomologists, mammalogists, ornithologists and ecologists in their adventures!

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