Ornithoptera croesus

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Alfred Russel Wallace: The Forgotten Evolutionist


In the Amazon Basin


Artist Notes

The UK based research was followed by a fourteen week exploration of the Rio Negro and its tributaries in the Amazon Basin. Wallace maintained very detailed diaries on his travels. The contents extended far beyond a description of the natural world. He gives very detailed accounts of navigating the Rio Negro and its tributaries, and clearly expresses his concerns and anxieties when negotiating the many fierce cataracts, rapids and whirlpools. With these notes and the data recorded on the wonderful chart he made of these rivers, held at the Royal Geographical Society, I journeyed from Manaus, at the Rio Negro’s confluence with the Amazon, up stream to Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira (800km.). My vessel was a scheduled passenger/cargo boat ‘Tanaka V’. Amongst about sixty others, I was the only non-indigenous on board. In Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira I contacted the elected community leaders whose permission was necessary to precede into the reserves of the upper Rio Negro, Rio Uavpes and Rio Incana. I was presented with letters of introduction to the ‘Capitaos' of the communities of Ipanore, Pina-Pina, Marabitana, Urubucara, Taracua, Acai Parana, Ananas, Mandii Parana, Sao Pedro and Trovoa. After organising a canoe and crew of two, provisions, equipment and 300 litres of petroleum, I embarked on a sixteen day voyage to the remote communities to re-visit many referenced by Wallace.

The Amazon Basin

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Introduction The Specimens In the Amazon Basin
In the Malay Archipelago Biography