Tambopata National Reserve is a 3.7 million acre reserve nestled in the Peruvian Amazon Basin south of the Madre de Dios River in Tambopata Province’s Inambari and Tabopata districts. Created in January of 1990, the national reserve is home to ecosystems that are noted for their biodiversity, representing 165 tree species, over a hundred mammal specials, 1,200 butterfly species, and up to 1,300 bird species (including 32 parrot species coming in at 10% of the worlds total of parrots).
Tambopata has varying seasons depending on the time of year. Between May and October, the weather is generally hot and humid, with daytime temperatures between 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit and a nighttime temperature ranging from 60-72 degrees Fahrenheit. Between the months of November and April it rains very frequently, with heavy rain periods lasting from hours to days. Being located in the Amazon, the Tambopata Reserve has very high humidity percentages
The Heath River, which runs from the Andes northwards toward the Madre de Dios River, marks the natural border between Peru and Bolivia. This river makes up the core of the Tambopata parks and provides natural resources and environments for animals such as jaguar, giant otter, black caiman, harpy eagle, and anaconda. The Heath River also features the worlds most accessible large macaw lick, which has registered up to 260 macaws in one day alone, making it one of the top five largest macaw licks in the world.
Some threats to the Tambopata Reservation are flooding, gold mining, illegal logging, extraction of forest resources, and agriculture. The Tambopata River is an exclusive habitat of birds and mammals. Flora in the national reserve is fairly typical of the southwest Amazon Basin. The Heath River and surrounding plains are a unique ecosystem in Peru. The pampas are periodically flooded, and small groves of trees with varied plant life grow in isolated clumps on the plain.
Gold mining became popular in the 1970s, becoming a key economic activity in Peru. When the Reserve was established in 1990, mining was still popular in the area. This causes an impact on the rainforest, riverbeds, and canyons, making the water cloudy and sediment-filled, polluting the water with mercury. Today, the area is protected, banning mining in the surrounding area, though that doesn’t mean that people are always following those rules.
Illegal logging occurs in the National Reserve and Buffer Zone, even though it’s against the law. Wood is constantly extracted for commercial reasons, being smuggled down river when not following the forestry management rules in effect, which offers selective logging. This extraction is done by migrant farmers, along the main road near the reserve who have cleared the nearby forest because they’ve already cut down valuable wood and have to look deeper into the Buffer Zone provided.
Migration is another issue, which increases illegal logging. The presence of more people around the protected area fuels the demand for natural resources in the immediate area. This exhausts the soil, leading to slash and burn agricultural techniques. This creates erosion and soil depletion. With hunting, fishing,
and gathering it puts pressure on the inhabitants in the Tambopata Reserve to forage for food different resources, ones that are not being used for commercial reasons. Brazilian Politics have been providing public support to pave a highway near Tambopata, which could produce a negative impact on the environment. It could give access to more people migrating to the area. However, at the moment, the poor presence of humans has helped conserve the Tambopata area.
Multicolored Macaws are found throughout South America. They are threatened by the wild bird trade and habitat destruction. They have a length from head to tail of 3.3 feet. “It is the largest Macaw the largest flying parrot species, though the Kakapo can out weigh it.” The Hyacinth Macaw weighs 1.2-1.7 kg with each wing being from 15.3 to 16.7 inches long. They have blue feathers with lighter areas and darker areas. The beak is black, curved, and has yellow outlining. There is also yellow outlining around the eyes of the macaw. They have blue wings and tail, with gold near the beak and around the eyes. There are 18 species of Macaws, which includes extinct and endangered species
The Macaws diet consists of fruits, seeds and flowers that make up a significant part of a macaw’s diet. Their beaks are very strong and help for breaking hard nuts, seeds and coconuts. They also receive benefits from eating clay. The clay lick is used by the macaws for the plants protection. “The clay consumed at the colpa contains chemicals that bind with these ingested alkaloids thus neutralizing their toxicity.” Because of the clay lick the birds are using soil that has the highest sodium content over soils that are best for neutralizing toxins. “Nesting takes place between July and December, nests are constructed in tree cavities or cliff faces depending on the habitat.” The macaws would normally have one or two eggs although usually only one will survive.