Yavari-Samiria, Peru

Yavari-Miri, Peru Photo
©Pablo Puertas

Few places in the world rival the Yavari River and its seasonally flooded forests in the western Amazon Basin for sheer wildness. The river, an Amazon tributary, forms the boundary between Peru and Brazil. The Lago Preto Conservation Concession protects more than 38 square miles of tropical forest, mauritia palm swamps, and flooded forests in this region. The many animals sharing the habitat include macaws, black caiman, giant river otters, peccaries, tapirs, armadillos, anteaters, sloths, jaguars, and pumas.

The Greater Yavari-Samiria landscape, which covers more than 5,700 square miles of pristine Amazon forests, contains one of the most remote and isolated ecosystems in the region. There are still un-contacted indigenous groups living here, and the overall human population is one of the smallest found anywhere in South America.

Fast Facts

Fourteen species of primates live here, including the critically endangered red uakari.


The greatest challenges to wildlife in this landscape are subsistence hunting and human-wildlife conflicts.

WCS Responds

WCS has been working in Peru’s Greater Yavari-Samiria Landscape for more than 20 years to promote the sustainable use of natural resources and coordinate conservation efforts. We have encouraged community-based conservation to improve the livelihoods of local inhabitants through management of wildlife, fisheries, and forest products. WCS researchers have studied peccary ecology in this area and provided recommendations to permit a certified, limited commercial harvest of peccary pelts. This will give local communities the means and incentives to better manage wildlife populations. Our conservationists are also studying and monitoring the red uakari, black caiman, giant river otter, macaw, and fish populations.

From the Newsroom

Amazon Waters: Conserving Wildlife, Securing LivelihoodsApril 29, 2013

Dr. Julie Kunen, Director of WCS’s Latin America and Caribbean Program, describes the value of Amazon waters to the lives of millions of people and a spectacular array of wildlife. These waters are facing steep threats from a combination of infrastructure development and climate change.

Deep Trouble in Shallow RiversNovember 15, 2010

WCS researchers see drops in wildlife numbers as climate change causes Amazonian rivers to run low.

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