Strengthening of the Management and the System of Control and Surveillance of the Yaguas Reserved Zone
The Yaguas Reserved Zone was created in 2011 with an extension of 868,927.57 hectares of land in the lower part of the Putumayo (Loreto) river basin. The principal goal of its creation was to protect and conserve the biological communities of the Yaguas and Cotuhé rivers, and contribute to the well-being of the local population of native communities located in the Yaguas and Putumayo river basins.
This area is of great biological importance because it includes a complete gradient of aquatic habitats in the river of the lower forest, from the headwaters to the oxbow lakes and flood plains. These habitats are home to many endemic flora and fauna species, and this area of the Amazon has some of the highest biodiversity in Peru, including 65% of continental fish species found in the country. In recent years, however, the area is facing increasing threats, primarily from illegal logging and gold mining within the reserve.
The Yaguas Project
For these reasons, in 2015 FZS Perú began to provide financial and technical support to the National Service of Natural Protected Areas (SERNANP) to strengthen management of the Yaguas Reserved Zone. In March 2016, FZS and SERNANP signed the Inter-Institutional Collaboration Agreement to support management of the protected areas. The initial agreement will be active for two years, but we expect to extend it for five 5 years more. As of September 2016, the FZS also receives financial support from Conservation International (CI) to support the project. Over the next two years, the project will focus on the implementation of a conservation strategy focused on strengthening the management and the system for control and surveillance of the Yaguas.
Yaguas’s Conservation Status.
The conservation status of Yaguas is currently under review by the Peruvian government and its conservation authorities. It’s current status as a “Reserved Zone” is temporary, and its final designation is contingent on a process that includes in depth consultations with stakeholders, particularly the native communities who live in the area. The FZS Perú, in collaboration with other institutions, is providing support for this review process, and our hope is that Yaguas will eventually be declared a national park, giving it Peru’s highest possible protection status.
The development of this multi-faceted strategy within the framework of the FZS-SERNANP agreement and the CI project will directly benefit the Yaguas Reserved Zone and indirectly benefit the inhabitants of the native communities within the area.
- Support the SERNANP in employing park rangers and increase their presence in the Yaguas Reserved Zone
- Establish a control post at the entrance to the reserve, along with shelters for ranger patrols
- Improve control and surveillance of the area
- Establish a monitoring program for indicator species including dolphins, giant otters, and turtles
- Assist with the implementation of a conservation strategy for the entire Yaguas watershed
- Provide support to native communities in developing sustainable management plans for aquatic resources
- Collaborate in the process of defining a final category for the reserved zone