Caura River, Venezuela

Caura River, Venezuela Photo
©John Polisar

Originating about 6,500 feet above sea level in southwestern Bolívar State, near Venezuela’s border with Brazil, the Caura River runs more than 435 miles north and empties into the Orinoco River. About 475 species of birds, 168 species of mammals, 13 amphibian species, and 23 species of reptiles share this watershed with thousands of plant species, more than 270 species of freshwater fishes, 92 species of benthic invertebrates, and 12 species of crustaceans. At the same time, the Caura is the lifeblood for many human communities who depend upon it for food, transportation, recreation, livelihoods, and their cultures.

Fast Facts

  • The Caura River basin covers more than 17,500 square miles.
  • The Caura River is the second largest tributary of the Orinoco, and is more than a mile wide at its mouth.


A water diversion project, encroachment of gold and silver mining in the south, agriculture expansion in the north, hunting, and overfishing all pose challenges to maintaining the integrity of the ecosystems that support the Caura Basin’s rich wildlife.

WCS Responds

WCS is studying the composition and dynamics of the fish communities in the Caura watershed. We are also surveying the use of wildlife and other natural resources by the Ye’Kwana and Sanema indigenous peoples.
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