A botanical expedition to a remote area of Paraguay has been suspended until an agreement with Indigenous people can be reached.
The 60-member expedition, sponsored by Britain’s Natural History Museum, was due to start this week. Researchers planned to conduct a month-long survey of the animal and plant life in Paraguay’s Dry Chaco region. The museum came under criticism from human-rights groups, however, after it was revealed the area was home to the Ayoreo, an Indigenous group who have tried to stay hidden from the outside world. Activists claimed the expedition would expose the Ayoreo to disease and put the scientists at risk of attack.