Central Amazon Conservation Complex and Biosphere Reserve (Brazil)

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Central Amazon Conservation Complex and Biosphere Reserve (Brazil)

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The Central Amazon Conservation Complex and Biosphere Reserve make up the largest protected area in the Amazon Basin and are one of the planet's richest regions in terms of biodiversity. It is where most of the ecosystems recorded in the Amazon Basin are found.

Central Amazon Conservation Complex

The Central Amazon Conservation Complex is located west-northwest of Manaus, the capital of Brazil's Amazonas state, between Río Solimões and Río Negro: two of the major tributaries of the Amazon watershed.

This site of approximately 6,200,000 ha (15,320,000 acres) is the largest protected area in the Amazon Basin and one of the richest areas of the planet in terms of biodiversity. It is the core area of the Central Amazon Ecological Corridor.

Jaú National Park was inscribed in 2000, and the property was subsequently expanded in 2003 with the addition of three other protected areas (Anavilhanas National Park, Amanã Sustainable Development Reserve, and Mamairauá Sustainable Development Reserve).

World Heritage Site

The classification of these four sites developed into the current World Heritage property entitled "Central Amazon Conservation Complex," which is also part of the Central Amazon Biosphere Reserve (see below).

  • Jaú National Park

    Jaú National Park is the largest forest reserve in South America. It is situated within the Amazon Biome and the Japurá-Solimões-Negro moist forests ecoregion. It covers an area of 2,367,333 ha (5,849,810 acres) in Amazonas. The park's terrain is representative of the Negro-Solimões interfluvial plateau.

  • Anavilhanas National Park

    Anavilhanas National Park protects the environment of the Anavilhanas Archipelago in the Río Negro (one of the largest in the world) and its forest formations. It is about 1,230 km (80 mi) long and, on average, 20 km (12 mi) wide, with a total area of 350,470 ha (866,000 acres). The fluvial part of the park, 60% of the total, has more than 400 islands.

  • Amanã Sustainable Development Reserve

    The Amanã Sustainable Development Reserve covers 2,350,000 ha (5,800,000 acres) in the north-central part of the Brazilian state of Amazonas. Vegetation is primarily tall terra firma forest with white water várzea and blackwater igapó flooded forest. The Reserve is home to various rare or endangered species.

  • Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve

    The Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve is an 11,000 sq km (4,300 sq mi) reserve in the Brazilian state of Amazonas. The International Ramsar Convention recognizes Mamirauá as a wetland of global importance. The Reserve is in the Solimões-Japurá moist forests and Purus várzea ecoregions.

Located primarily at the confluence of the Negro and Solimões rivers, the World Heritage site contains the majority of the ecosystems recorded in the Amazon, including dryland forests and periodically flooded lowland forests (várzea and igapó, as well as blackwater or white-water watercourses, waterfalls, swamps, lakes and beaches.

The Anavilhanas Archipelago, one of the largest river archipelagos in the world, is constantly evolving and is home to the most extensive array of electric fish on the planet.

The site's várzea and igapó flooded forests, lakes, rivers and islands demonstrate ongoing ecological processes in developing terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. They include a constantly changing and evolving mosaic of river channels, lakes, and landforms. In constant movement, the floating mats of vegetation typical of the várzea watercourses include many endemic species.

The site protects a wide variety of flora and fauna, including rare and endangered species such as the giant Arapaima (the largest freshwater fish in South America), the giant otter, the Amazonian manatee, the black caiman and two species of freshwater dolphins.

The Central Amazon Conservation Complex protects a large and representative sample of flora and fauna of the forests of the Amazon Central Plain, with a significant number of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems associated with the forest, which are periodically inundated by seasonal flooding and swamps.

Central Amazon Biosphere Reserve

The Central Amazon Biosphere Reserve is located in a vast region of Brazil influenced by both the Río Negro and Río Solimões, tributaries of the Amazon River, and in the Amazon Plains - Guiana Shield transition area.

It is representative of the largest forest in the world. It comprises vast protected areas and smaller units that are important as ecological corridors for maintaining the genetic flow of species between these different units.

The Central Amazon Biosphere Reserve includes several regions with low population density where traditional forms of natural resource use are developed (mainly extraction and conventional agriculture).

Over 100,000 inhabitants (2001) live in the Biosphere Reserve, presenting a rich cultural diversity (small northeastern farmers in the region for a long time, indigenous people and fishermen). In addition, Manaus is the largest industrial center in the Amazon region and is becoming an important tourist region.