Pacaya Samiria

Come to discover the flora and fauna of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, the largest protected area of flooded forest in the Amazon.

Pacaya Samiria National Reserve is located in the northeast of Peru, in the region of Loreto. It is bordered by the Marañon and Ucayali rivers which are major tributaries of the Amazon. These rivers form the Amazon where they meet. The area covers 2’000,000 ha with a predominantly flat topography and because of this most of its forest are flooded most of the year providing a unique beautiful landscape. There are three main river basins crossing the reserve: Samiria, Pacaya and Yanayacu Pucate. The reserve is also the most extensive area of protected flooded forest (várzea) in the Amazon Rainforest.

It has an annual monthly temperature between 20°C (68°F) and 33°C (91°F) and an annual rain fall of 2000 to 3000 millimetres.

Being the second largest protected area in Peru, it has high biologic diversity: it hosts 965 wild plants species and 59 farming ones, grouped in 558 genres and 132 families; the vertebrate fauna is constituted by nearly 1,025 species which represents 27,02% of the vertebrates diversity in Peru and 36,30% of the total registered in the Amazon; the ichthyologic resources are the most important, as for the importance in the ecologic processes in the reserve as for its economic value since it is the food base of the local population.

The Reserve and its surroundings are home to approximately 92.125 people divided in 208 small villages, of which 92 communities are inside the PSNR and 116 are in the nearby areas or “buffer zone” as they are commonly named.

The population living inside and outside of the reserve belongs to seven different cultures:

Indigenous people Kukama Kukamilla whose ancestral territory spans much of the Reserve; the Kiwcha from San Martin who reached the basins of the Lower Huallaga and Marañón when the trade routes from the colonial times were established; the Shipibo Conibo whose traditional territory is the Ucayali basin, forming at least, a community inside the Reserve, as a result of the transfer occurred at the time of the missions; the Shiwilu (Jebero) whose traditional territory is the Paranapura basin in the Yurimaguas area, and from there, there was a migration process toward the basins of the Lower Huallaga and Marañon, some descendants of the Shiwilu live in the communities of the reserve; the indigenous people Kacha Edze or Urarinas (shimaco), whose territory is the Chambira basin, in the buffer zone of the Reserve; the riverside inhabitants, which most of them have been subject of historical mixing processes, having an indigenous social base and recent migrants from mainly San Martin, Yurimaguas and Pucallpa (Eco APECO Studien, PIMA, 2005).

These populations are mainly engaged in traditional activities of fishing, hunting, gathering forest products, subsistence agriculture, small-scale marketing and extraction of forest resources.
Official website of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve – pacayasamiria.org

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