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Mamiraua Sustainable Development Reserve

The Mamiraua Sustainable Development Reserve is one of the largest flooded forest reservations in the world, with 1.1 million hectares of lakes, marshy forests and jungle and up to 80 continuous kilometres / 50 miles of flooded area. Together with the Amana Reserve and the Jau National Park, it forms the largest area of protected flooded forestlands in the world.

Located in the mid-Solimoes region, the reserve became a protected area in 1990 when it was declared an Ecological Sanctuary, allowing both the permanence of the local population, as well as the sustainable use of its natural resources. The Reserve is managed by the Mamiraua Institute, a social organization linked to the Brazilian Ministry of Science. The Ecotourism Programme developed at the Reserve is part of a series of economic alternatives implemented aiming the conservation of natural resources through their sustainable use, and also local people’s well being.

In this reserve, more than 300 species of fish were identified, including ornamental fish such as the acara-disk. In addition, about 400 species of birds and at least 45 species of mammals live in the reservation’s area. Among other protected animals is the white uacari monkey (Cacajao calvus calvus), which can only be found in this area. The reservation shows important tropical hardwood species such as sumaumeiras and assacus, which can reach up to 40 metres in height.

Ecotourism generates economic benefits to locals, and invests its profits in community projects, surveillance of the area and environmental education.

The gateway to the Reserve is Tefe, a town 450 km / 280 miles away from Manaus.

Mamiraua Reserve is divided in two areas: a Subsidiary and a Focal Area. The later (260,000 hectares) is where the main activities take place, and where around 63 small riverside villages can be found. In the rest of the reserve, known as the Subsidiary Area, another 95 villages are placed. The total population in the Focal Area is now 6,650 and in the Subsidiary Area 3,630. All of these small villages are scattered along the main rivers and large channels in the varzea environment.

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