Leaders & Staff: Tour Leaders

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Doris Valencia

Doris Valencia, a naturalist born in Cuzco, Peru, began her study of the Manu wilderness at a young age. She has served as a volunteer park ranger in Manu National Park, and has been working as a naturalist tour guide for about twelve years. She is an avid student of the flora and fauna of Manu and has a special interest in birds. Doris is an excellent birder and leads birding groups throughout Peru including Paracas National Marine Reserve, Bajuaha-Sonene National Park, Tambopata-Candam...

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Machiel Valkenburg

Machiel Valkenburg was born in 1982 in a southern province in the Netherlands where, encouraged by his parents, he began birding at an early age. During his teens he studied landscape ecology and began performing bird surveys with the Dutch Centre for Field Ornithology. During this period he started traveling outside of Holland, first to Greece, Hungary, Romania, Scotland, and Morocco. Later, his birding travels took him extensively outside of Europe into Western Africa and further east to Ru...

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Marco Valtriani

Marco Valtriani holds a degree in biology with an ornithology major from the University Pisa; his thesis was on the ecology of the Dunlin in the Mediterranean basin. A passionate hiker, birder, and field researcher, Marco has spent years exploring wild areas around the world, from France to Nepal, Syria, and Venezuela. He is a licensed private guide and tour planner, creating and leading itineraries for international conservation organizations, schools, and private travelers. Marco specialize...

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Eric VanderWerf

Eric VanderWerf  lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he runs his own wildlife research and management organization, Pacific Rim Conservation. He has been an active birder for over 30 years and has birded extensively on six continents. Eric has conducted field research on a variety of birds, with a focus on Hawaii and the tropical Pacific, and has authored over 70 scientific papers and technical documents. He completed a Ph.D. in zoology at the University of Hawaii in 1999 and an M.S. at the...

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Santiago Villa

Santiago Villa is a member of SEO/BirdLife and the local environmental association ADENEX from Extremadura, and co-founder of the SEO-Cáceres group. Santi has operated his own birding tour company, Spainbirds Nature Tours, since 1999. He has also led tours for some of the well-known UK tour companies, as well the American Birding Association and several RSPB local groups. Santi has participated as an ecotourism expert at meetings and conferences in different localities of Spain such as...

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Milan Vogrin

Milan Vogrin is an overall naturalist and bird and reptile lover with a great knowledge of the fauna and flora of his homeland, Slovenia, and neighboring countries. He has a degree in ecology, specializing in birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Milan has led and successfully finished more than 30 ecology projects in Slovenia. He is the author and co-author of more than 500 articles in various scientific journals at home and abroad, as well as in popular journals. He has been a professional advis...