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Who We Are

spectacled bear - tumbesian region - white winged guan - ecotourism

Heinz Plenge - Chaparri Project Director

Heinz is the vision behind Chaparri. A wildlife photographer turned conservationist. After two decades traveling throughout Peru taking photos of wildlife and seeing many conservation projects, he returned to Chaparri in 1996 and was inspired to work with the community in conservation. He is a now a community member and directs all aspects of the project. His work has been internationally recognised when he was awarded the prestigious Schubert Prize in 2004.

Rob Williams – Scientific Director

Currently working as Peru Country Program Director for Frankfurt Zoological Society. Rob has been involved with Chaparri since 1999 and oversees the development of research initiatives and conservation programs in the reserve in conjunction with Heinz.

Ivan Vallejos Santa Cruz - Head Park Guard

Ivan Vallejos Santa CruzIvan started working with the reserve at 15 years of age and was initially in charge of the White-winged Guan reintroduction project. He now coordinates all park guard work and is responsible for the day to day management of the reserve.

Joel Vallejos Santa Cruz - Community Park Guard

Joel Vallejos Santa CruzA community park guard based in Chaparri Valley where he works with all aspects of the project including care for the rescued bears.

Santos Porfirio Santa Cruz Calderón - Community Park Guard

Santos Porfirio Santa Cruz CalderónA community park guard based in Chaparri Valley where he works with all aspects of the project including care for the rescued bears.

Esau Monteza Quiroz - Community Park Guard

Esau Monteza QuirozA community park guard based in Chaparri Valley where he works with all aspects of the project including care for the rescued bears.

Valentin Sanchez – Community Park Guard

Valentin is in charge of patrolling remoter areas of the reserve on horseback and coordination with the community security initiative the “Ronda Campesina”. He is very experienced with horses and cares for the reserve horses.

Juan Andres Plenge Pardo

A 5th semester veterinary student from the University Alas Peruanas. Juan Andres works primarily on the Andean Bear Conservation Project and is also a keen herpetologist and has found several new species of reptile and amphibian for the reserve.

Dina Farfan Flores

Coordinator of biological monitoring for Frankfurt Zoological Society. Dina is a collaborator on the Andean Bear field studies.

Renzo Guidice

Currently a master’s student at the University of East Anglia. Renzo has been involved in many of he wildlife research projects over the past two years and led the Andean Bear research program in 2006.

Chaparri Project Advisors (2009)

Pierre Gay

Owner of Zoo Doue de la Fontaine in France and conservationist. Pierre has visited regularly and advised on animal care as well as providing core funding for the bear care and general conservation work and supporting the community sculptures association.

David Gill

Owner of South Lakes Wild Animal Park and founder of the Wildlife Protection Foundation. David has visited regularly and advised on animal care as well as providing core funding for the bear care and general conservation work.

Dr Lydia Kolter

Curator of Cats and Bears, Zoologischer Garten Köln (Cologne Zoo) and co-chair of EAZA Bear TAG (the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums Bear Taxon Advisory Group). Lydia advises on bear husbandry and care and on reintroduction procedures and protocols.

Dr Christine Fiorello

A wildlife vet from the University of Georgia. Christine advises on veterinary issues and animal catching for scientific studies.

Norberto Luis Jácome

A biologist working with Buenos Aires Zoo who runs the Andean Condor reintroduction program in Argentina and has advised on establishing the condor conservation project in Peru.

Other advisors and collaborators

The Chaparri Project has also received a lot of support from other scientists, conservationists and volunteers over the years. We would particularly like to thank:

Bernie Peyton
Antonio Brack
Bruce McClellan – International Bear Association
Harry Reynolds – International Bear Association
Karen Noyce – International Bear Association
Isaac Goldsetin – Wildlife Conservation Society
George Wallace – American Bird Conservancy
Fernando Angulo – Asociación Cracidae Peru
Luis Torres – designer
James Condor – volunteer
Daniel Rosengren – volunteer
Luke Harris and Jana Planz – volunteers
Claudia Koch – volunteer
Henriette Bertemes and Marcus – volunteers
Neil Renwick – volunteer
Gustavo Cañas – botanist
Reynaldo Linares-Palomino – botanist
César Chavez – biologist
Jeremy Flanagan – ornithologist
Jean Cassandra – Peace Corps Volunteer
Tim Appleton – British Bird-watching Fair