• Instituto Juruá

    Brazil: Protecting Aquatic Biodiversity in the Brazilian Amazon

  • Juruá River, Amazonas

    Brazil: Protecting Aquatic Biodiversity in the Brazilian Amazon

  • Instituto Juruá

    Brazil: Protecting Aquatic Biodiversity in the Brazilian Amazon

  • Instituto Juruá

    Brazil: Protecting Aquatic Biodiversity in the Brazilian Amazon

In Brief

Conservation Value:

Sand beaches along the river Juruá are important for the reproduction of threatened or overexploited species, including the giant south american river turtle (Podocnemis expansa), yellow-spotted river turtle (Podocnemis unifilis), and six-tubercled amazon river turtle (Podocnemis sextuberculata). These fluvial beaches also support breeding areas for the orinoco goose (Neochen jubata), black skimmer (Rynchops niger), large-billed tern (Phaetusa simplex),  migrants such as sandpipers and osprey (Pandion haliaetus) and other specialty species.  Indeed, this is a proiority area of the Amazon for many resident and migrant bird species.  

The many oxbow lakes provide critical habitat for the reproduction of fish, notably several key fish species, notably pirarucú (Arapaima gigas), and feeding sites for turtle hatchlings and waterbirds. Other large aquatic vertebrates that we are protecting are black caiman (Melanosuchus niger), Amazonian manatee (Trichechus inunguis), giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis), and amazon river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis)

Threats:

Illegal fishing and poaching are the main threats.

Actions & Results:

ICFC’s project with Instituto Juruá is building on accomplishments made since 2013 by the Medio Juruá Project and since 2018 by Instituto Juruá:

  • Through a strong partnership with local associations Instituto Juruá has supported 21 protected fluvial beaches that ensure successful reproduction of aquatic species.
  • Through fishing agreements Instituto Juruá, with local communities and organizations, has achieved spatial zoning of around 120 protected lakes, benefiting more than 40 rural communities.
  • Instituto Juruá has implemented community-basedmanagement of pirarucú in more than 18 communities.
  • More than 85 local people, including ~50 women, have received training to strengthen management of pirarucú.
  • Acoustic biodiversity and threats monitoring is occuring in more than 30 oxbow lakes.
  • Intelligence gathering assists anti-poaching activities and ranger patrolling of the 21 fluvial beaches and more than 100 oxbow lakes.
  • Instituto Juruá launched a Forest Scientist Program, which has trained 40 youth in scientific protocols, interview techniques, and data collection analysis. The program includes their local ecological knowledge perspectives in regard to natural resource management.
  • The Instituto Juruá podcast “Vozes do Juruá” was launched in November 2022 with five episodes on pirarucú management. The podcast averaged 50 listeners per episode, plust 182 people tuning in via WhatsApp.

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Location:

Juruá River, Amazonas, Brazil

Goal:

To extend the community-based protection of fluvial beaches and floodplain lakes to conserve aquatic biodiversity.

Project Field Partner:

Instituto Juruá

Cost:

2023 budget: US$43,000 from ICFC (project total US$94,600)

Size of Area Involved:

~2,500 km of Jurua river and community-based protection spanning ~200,000 hectares

 

Fishing for pirarucu must be carefully managed due to the species' high value and vulnerability.
Fishing for pirarucu must be carefully managed due to the species' high value and vulnerability. This air-breathing fish is the largest scaled freshwater fish in the world, reaching over 3 m in length and over 220 kg in weight.

Gallery

Click to enlarge an image

Jurua River
Pirarucu offloaded
Pirarucu
Pirarucu is a valued catch
turtle hatchlingslery7b
turtle hatchlings
Hoatzins
caiman
fishing boat

In More Depth...

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