Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
Objective: To conserve representative ecosystems of the low jungle of the Peruvian Amazon and to preserve its genetic diversity; to protect species of flora and fauna of the Amazon that have disappeared, such as the black caiman (Melanosuchus niger), river wolf (Pteronura brasiliensis), paiche (Arapaima gigas), taricaya (Podocnemis unifilis), and jaguars (Panthera onca).
Reserve established: February 25, 1972.
The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve (PSNR) is composed of the provinces of Loreto, Requena, Alto Amazonas and Ucayali in the department of Loreto. It extends 2’080,000 hectares and is located in the Ucamara depression, where there is the confluence of the Ucayali and Marañon rivers, which form their natural limits. The southwestern part is delimited by a strip of low hills that forms the watershed with the Huallaga River.
Its main objective is to conserve the resources of flora and fauna, as well as the scenic beauty characteristic of the humid tropical forest. The PSNR is home to a high biological diversity and an important human population that lives from its natural resources. It includes in its interior the basins of the Pacaya, Samiria and Yanayacu-Pucate rivers. Although it is mostly a low alluvial and floodplain jungle plain, it has some low hills in the Pacaya springs.
This topography, added to the alternating hydrological regime of the growing and emptying Amazon, creates numerous islands, pipes and lakes (cochas). Among these which stands out, is famous El Dorado Cocha, located in the lower basin of the Yanayacu.
Its territories are centers of reproduction of several ichthyological species and it has zones with habitats of high fishing productivity. It also protects the area of the most extensive floodplain (varzea) in the Amazon. This gigantic wetland received its designation as one of the first RAMSAR sites in the country, in 1992.
In the PSNR there are numerous communities, both native and traditional. Its territory offers benefits to thousands of people in the area and in neighboring cities, as well as the possibility of developing a first class tourism to explore and discover the Peruvian Amazon.