The Amazônia Association is focused on the Xixuaú-Xiparinã, an area approaching 200,000 hectares of intact primary forest, protected and conserved by its local inhabitants.
The region is situated along the Jauaperi river, at the southern tip of Roraima state, 70km south of the equator and 500km north west from Manaus. The area is home to around 100 local people, known as ribeirinhos. They live mainly from fishing and small scale subsistence agriculture.
The Jauaperi river is a tributary of the Rio Negro in the north-central Amazonian region. The humid equatorial climate has average temperatures of 25°c, with two main seasons. The primary forest in the region has high priority for conservation of Amazon biodiversity, not least because of the impact of diverse water systems: the 'black' waters of the Rio Negro, clear water of the Jauaperi and 'white' water of the Rio Branco.
The area is rich of native vegetation that provides fruit, oils, resins, dyes and medicinal plants, and contains hardwood, Brazil nut trees and rubber. Animals in the rivers and on land show spectacular diversity: just amongst mammals, over 40 species have been recorded, 10 of which are listed by the IUCN as being in danger of extinction (jaguar, giant otter, armadillo, anteater, spider monkey and manatee). Reptiles include turtle species that are much sought-after on the black market, and the rare black caiman. There are many species of ornamental fish. The myriad bird species include the harpy eagle and many parrots and songbirds. Recent studies that are now being analysed suggest the presence of endemic species particularly adapted to the conditions of this specific area.
Edited by Emanuela Evangelista