Fourth island in the world because of its size, Madagascar was separated from Africa for about 240 million of years. Over geological time, this geographic isolation helped the biodiversity evolve extraordinarily, with high rates of endemism. Madagascar has become the kingdom of lemurs and a unique herpetofauna, especially characterized by chameleons.
Nine month after its creation, Exode tropical's team set up his first photographic report in rainforest. The project "chameleon and its habitat" was created to raise public awareness of conservation issues on the large African island. Winner of the Youth Challenge 2005, this initiative was applauded and funded by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in France.
This one month journey takes us to the natural parks of Ranomafana and Andasibe Mantadia and allows us to begin with our eco reports activities. It has resulted in an exhibition, conference and school activities. This first experience leave its mark on the association later actions development.
Only three million years ago, new areas were emerging to the surface of the Earth. They formed a bridge that connects two huge land masses formerly independent, North America and South America. Over thousands of years, a prodigious number of species are going to cross, giving birth to one of the greatest biological corridors in the world : Central America.
Costa Rica is in the heart of this biogeologic turnover. Today, this state, which represents nevertheless only 0,03 % of the appeared lands, shelters about 5 % of all the species known on earth. 25 % of its surface is classified in protected area and thousands of visitors move every year to contemplate the natural marvels of the country.
As ecovolunteers for missions of preservation of the wild fauna or as voluntary reporters for the Ministry of the Environment (MINAET), we photographed a representative sample of the biodiversity of the country. By moving closer us to local associations and to national parks, we were interested in the rehabilitation and in the inventory of endangered species and in the improvement of the living conditions of animals in captivity.
During almost 3000 years, the Mayan reigned in Mesoamerica, making of their civilization one of the rare that have settled in an environment so inhospitable as rainforest. During the centuries, the Mayan tamed this wild nature and shone culturally. Famous for their immense cities, their pyramids, their system of writing and their knowledge in astronomy, they bequeath us an outstanding inheritance. Today, their civilization collapsed well and truly, but their culture did not disappear for all that.
Between national parks and pre-Colombian ruins, this biological and archaeological expedition takes us in the heart of the Mayan cradle, between Guatemala and Mexican regions of Chiapas and Yucatan. Since the Mayan decline, the nature took back its rights, holding with her the vestiges of a civilization mysteriously disappeared. These two countries possess some of the biggest areas of rainforest of the Central America today. But unconsciously exploited, the forest burns slowly. For seven months, we followed, photographed and filmed scientists, local communities and volunteers of the whole world to understand how hard these actors of the preservation are working to protect what remains of the Maya Forest
Clamped between Peru and Colombia, Ecuador is a real hotspot of biodiversity which has thousands of reasons to attract the naturalists lovers. Just mention the Amazonian forest, the Andes Cordillera or the Galapagos Islands and you will see sparkling the eyes of the naturalists, the photographers, the climbers, the divers or the sailors. Covered with legends and famous depiction in the whole world by the expedition of Charles Darwin, Ecuador offers to the travelers a magnificent palette of landscapes and the opportunity to live unforgettable experiences in isolated communities of the modern world.
After 18 months dedicated to the rainforests of Central America, it was high time to interest us in the biggest equatorial forest of the world. The Ecuadorian Amazonia covers all the East of the country. This region, called Oriente, is the richest on earth in term of biodiversity and is the refuge of numerous Indian ethnic groups (Huaoranis, Kichwas, Shuars). It is also the theater of a massive and immoral deforestation, mainly motivated by the extraction of the oil.
On the other side of the Andes, the magic of the Galapagos operates unlimitedly and drains millions of visitors. 175 years later Charles Darwin, we are lucky to walk on the earth of the huge tortoises and the marine iguanas. But since 1835, things changed. The mass tourism and the introduction of invasive species threaten more and more the wealth of the archipelago.
Ecuador, big laboratory of the evolution, fast turned out a destination of choice for the team of Exode Tropical : the opportunity for us to end in beauty our American expeditions.