The Juruá-Purus Moist Forests are in northwestern Brazil, south of the upper Amazon River. The ecoregion covers the valleys between the upper Amazon to the Purus River. It is part of the Amazon Biome and is mainly covered with evergreen tropical rainforests with a dense high canopy.
Juruá-Purus Moist Forests
The Juruá-Purus moist forests ecoregion is located in the state of Amazonas in northwestern Brazil, south of the upper Amazon River. The ecoregion covers the valleys between the upper Amazon to the Purus River. It is part of the Amazon Biome and is mainly covered with evergreen tropical rainforests with a dense high canopy.
This area lies entirely along the Amazon Basin, and the terrain consists of flat forested plains dissected by large rivers and many small streams, all of which flood annually. It has an area of approximately 24,000,000 ha (60,000,000 acres) and is bounded north, east, and south by the Purus várzea ecoregion. To the west, it adjoins the Southwest Amazon moist forests.
The Juruá-Purus moist forests ecoregion is in the Neotropical realm and the tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests biome. In addition, it is part of the Southwestern Amazon moist forests global ecoregion, including the Southwest Amazon moist forests, Purus-Madeira moist forests and Madeira-Tapajós moist forests.
The climate in the Juruá-Purus moist forests is hot and humid, with average annual precipitation ranging from 2,500 - 3,500 mm (98 - 138 in) and temperatures of 26 - 27 °C (79 - 81 °F) with slight variation throughout the year.
Flora and Fauna
The Juruá-Purus moist forests ecoregion comprises evergreen tropical rainforests with a dense high canopy. The most important tree families in these forests are the legumes, evergreens, woody fruiting trees, flowering trees, aromatic evergreens, palms, figs, and nutmeg trees.
The forests have a very high floristic diversity. The diversity of the Sapotaceae family of flowering trees is unequaled elsewhere in the Amazon lowlands, with 60 species present. In addition, there is a high diversity of timber species.
The fauna found in the ecoregion is also very diverse, with a high occurrence of endemism. Of the 171 mammals recorded in this ecoregion, nearly 120 have been recorded at a single site at the headwaters of the Urucu River.
Vagrant mammals that travel between flooded and non-flooded forests include squirrel monkeys, brown pale-fronted capuchins, woolly monkeys and collared peccaries. Other species do not traverse the rivers, which causes separate subspecies of some primates and insects.
The ecoregion's avifauna includes 554 species. This includes seasonal migrant birds such as toucans, large amazon parrots, and macaws. Local species include tanagers, woodcreepers, pavonine quetzals, curassows, and tinamous.
The Trans-Amazon Highway runs through this ecoregion and has resulted in extensive areas of land conversion, burning, and water pollution. In addition, the Brazilian company Petrobras had been prospecting for oil and natural gas in this ecoregion, regularly deforesting patches throughout the area. Along the rivers, a few large urban centers and many small farmer settlements have impacted the forest environment.
Several protected areas are located within the Juruá-Purus moist forests region, including the Jutaí-Solimões Ecological Station, which covers 289,511 ha (715,400 acres).
Map depicting the Juruá-Purus moist forests (purple)