THE MARAÑÓN RIVER IS THE HYDROLOGICAL SOURCE OF THE AMAZON.
SOURCE OF THE AMAZON
The Marañón is one of the last major free flowing tributaries to the Amazon. It is a vital link between the Andes Mountains and the Amazonian lowlands. Each year at high water the Marañón runs brown with sediment flowing down from the mountains. This is deposited in the rainforest, essentially feeding the Amazon with soil and nutrients that the ecosystems need to survive. If this connectivity between mountains and Amazon is broken, the results will be disastrous.
IT IS THE LIVELIHOOD AND HOME OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE, MANY OF WHOM ARE INDIGENOUS TO THIS AREA.
HOME & LIVELIHOOD
Hundreds of thousands of people live next to, or nearby to the Marañón River. They rely on it for fishing, food production, transport and water. Groups who live by the river include peasant farmers, towns and villages; many of these people identify as indigenous Awajún and still lead a largely traditional way way of life.
THE MARAÑÓN VALLEY HAS SOME OF THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF BIODIVERSITY AND ENDEMISM IN THE WORLD. MANY ENDANGERED SPECIES CALL IT HOME.
ENDANGERED SPECIES, BIODIVERSITY & ENDEMISM
The Marañón supports an enormous number of unique ecosystems. Isolated between the Andes Mountains, the Marañón has allowed for many species to evolve without interaction with other areas, which leads to extremely high levels of endemism in the valley. These species rely on the Marañón to survive.
Birdlife International lists the Marañón valley as urgently in need of protection; at least 10 of the bird species that live there in IUCN categories of critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable.
New species are regularly being discovered and scientists have shown that overall species diversity in the Marañón has been significantly under-estimated, highlighting the need for further study and immediate protection.