The vast, pristine forests of northern Peru are home to an incredible array of rare wildlife. But this spectacular diversity - along with the indigenous Cocama people that live there - are under serious threat due to intense climate fluctuations that cause severe, unpredictable floods and droughts. Working with the Cocama, Earthwatchers collect data on the health of the ecosystem to help improve their traditional hunting and fishing activities and to develop climate change mitigation strategies.
Rare and spectacular wildlife as well as indigenous communities living in Peru's Amazon rainforest ecosystem are under serious threat due to intense climate fluctuations that cause severe, unpredictable floods and droughts.
Since 2006, Earthwatch volunteers have recorded precise annual data on temperature, rainfall, river height, and wildlife population numbers in the Samiria River basin. Over time, this data has revealed which species are most and least impacted by the droughts and flooding, and is given to the indigenous Cocama communities so that they may alter their hunting and fishing activities to target only healthy, stable populations and avoid taking species that have not yet fully recovered.
Earthwatch is proud to say that through the tremendous diligence and consistency of this decades-long expedition, several threatened species have recovered and are now thriving within the Samiria River basin, while sadly, their counterparts outside of the basin continue to decline from unsustainable hunting pressures. With continued funding, we hope to be able to use these results to inspire more conservationists and wildlife managers throughout Peru and South America to adopt similar programs.