The Central Amazon Conservation Complex makes up the largest protected area in the Amazon Basin (over 6 million hectares) and is one of the planet’s richest regions in terms of biodiversity. It also includes an important sample of varzea ecosystems, igapó forests, lakes and channels which take the form of a constantly evolving aquatic mosaic that is home to the largest array of electric fish in the world. The site protects key threatened species, including giant arapaima fish, the Amazonian manatee, the black caiman and two species of river dolphin.
The land to the left of the river is the eastern edge of the Jau National Park. The park is the largest forest reserve in South America and covers an area greater than 5.6 million acres.
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Justification for Inscription
Criterion (ix): The varzea and igapó forests, lakes, rivers, and islands of the proposed site together constitute physical and biological formations and demonstrate ongoing ecological processes in the development of terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. They include a constantly changing and evolving mosaic of river channels, lakes, and landforms. The floating (and constantly moving and changing) mats of vegetation typical of the varzea watercourses include a significant number of endemic species, including the largest array of electric fishes in the world. Anavilhanas contains the second largest archipelago of river islands in the Brazilian Amazon.
Criterion (x): The expanded property substantially increases the already impressive protection offered by Jaú National Park to the biological diversity, habitats, and endangered species found in the Central Amazon region. The area is one of the Endemic Bird Areas of the World, is considered as one of the World Wildlife Fund’s 200 Priority Ecoregion for Conservation, and it is also a Centre of Plant Diversity. The expansion of Jaú National Park to include an important sample of Varzea ecosystems, igapó forests, lakes and channels significantly increases the representation of the aquatic biodiversity of the Central Amazon region. Expansion of the site also enhance the protection of key threatened species including giant arapaima fish, the Amazonian manatee, the black caiman, and two species of river dolphin.
The Central Amazon Conservation Complex makes up the largest protected area in the Amazon Basin (over 6 million hectares) and is one of the planet's richest regions in terms of biodiversity.
The site is made up of Jaú National Park, Demonstration area of Mamairauá Sustainable Development Reserve, Amanã Sustainable Development Reserve and the Anavilhanas Ecological Station located in Amazonas State The site includes an important sample of annually flooded (várzea) ecosystems, igapó forests, lakes and channels which take the form of a constantly evolving aquatic mosaic that is home to the largest array of electric fish in the world.
The rivers provide a landscape of white-sand beaches during the dry season and flooded forest during the wet season, as well as secondary stream beds of distinct sizes, channels, paranás and an important fluvial phenomenon, the ria lake, which is typical of all large rivers in the Amazon region. The site contains the nine-tier waterfall of the Carabinani River, and also includes a significant proportion of the black-water drainage system, the headwaters of which are located primarily in the Guiane Shield. Its dark colour results from organic acids released into the water through the decomposition of organic matter and the lack of terrestrial sediments.
The forest cover is linked to the extensive and continuous forests of the Amazon Central Plain. It encompasses a landscape, which is characteristic of the lower Negro River and was typified as follows: dense tropical forest, located primarily on terra firme, thereby free from inundation in the flooding season; open tropical forest, apparently associated with the physiognomy of tropical forests and areas of ecological tension, such as wide soil and climatic transitions between two distinct geobotanical zones; and Campinarana, a vegetation mosaic restricted to the Negro River watershed, occupying primarily upland regions and drained by tabular watercourses.
The park protects an impressive sample of fauna, with many species associated to black-water river systems. There is a high diversity of vertebrates with 120 species of mammals, 411 birds, 15 reptiles and 320 fishes. Numerous species of conservation concern live within the park, including jaguar, giant otter, Amazonian manatee, South American river turtle and black caiman. The importance of the site for Amazon fauna is reflected in the fact that it contains approximately 60% of the species of fish reported to exist in the Negro River watershed, and also 60% of the birds recorded from the Central Amazon.
The site is home to relics of past human occupation of the Amazon region. A recent survey identified 17 archaeological sites at the mouth of the Negro River, with collected material as of yet undated, suggesting that the area may have been a passageway between the Solimoes and Negro watersheds and representative of ethnic groups present in these two regions. Numerous stone carvings are found on the river's edge, reinforcing the potential for archaeological research. Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC