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Area and Location of the Los Amigos Conservation Area

Module by: John Janovec. E-mail the author

Summary: An overview of the Los Amigos Conservation Site

Area and Location

The Los Amigos Conservation Area is in Madre de Dios, Peru, and encompasses approximately 140,000 hectares (ca. 400,000 acres) of forest.

The Los Amigos Research Station sits at about 270 m above sea leave and is located at (degrees.minutes.seconds): 12.34.173 S and 70.06.069 W. The station consists of several hundred hectares of property with 35 km of trails that wind through about nine different habitat types, from high terrace forest to palm swamp to flooded forest. There are two private cabins, a dormitory, a two-story tent/hammock shelter, a shade-house plant nursery, cookhouse, and a cafeteria that can handle about 50 people. A canopy walk stretches off of the high terrace forest into the canopy of a towering Brazil nut tree (Bertholletia excelsa- Lecythidaceae). The station is powered by solar and hydroelectricity, with limited use of a gas-powered generator. The water is pumped and filtered from a small dam on a stream running from the high terrace into the lowland forest.

As the polishing finishes are being put on the main station, the crew carpenters and builders working under Renan Valega (station/concession operations specialist and manager and expert ornithologist) is initiating the building of remote camps that will provide long-term researchers with the chance for basic accomodations at selected sites throughout the concession. The remote camps will include tent/hammock platforms, a water supply, and waste disposal.

We travel by car from Puerto Maldonado to Laberinto, which takes about 40 minutes in optimal driving conditions. During rains, the road becomes muddy and the travel time increases, sometimes drastically. From Laberinto we travel in one of the Los Amigos boats upriver approximately 5-7 hours, depending on water level and the amount of rubbish floating on the water. After a full day's travel, we usually arrive at the Los Amigos Research Station by about 4-5 p.m. The boat travels about every two days on average.

See Map Gallery for more geographic information.

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