Pirarucu Participatory Monitoring in the state of Amazonas

From late August to September, the Instituto de Pesquisa Ecológicas (IPÊ) in partnership with the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio) held training and other meetings linked to the participatory monitoring of pirarucu in the Unini River Extractive Reserve, the Baixo Juruá Extractive Reserve, the Jaú National Park and the Amanã Sustainable Development Reserve.

Between August 15 and 23, the Unini River Extractive Reserve and the Baixo Juruá Extractive Reserve started using pirarucu management forms. This initiative results from a long development process carried out in 2018 toward building a protocol to monitor pirarucu (Arapaima Gigas) in protected areas. The forms were distributed to representatives of local communities and fisheries technicians.

In the first week of September, eight community members from the Unini River Extractive Reserve, the Jaú National Park and the Amanã Sustainable Development Reserve were trained on the pirarucu monitoring protocol. In the last week of the month, the Baixo Juruá Extractive Reserve received the same training for 13 community members, which also included following up on the activities carried out by the community members who had already been trained on how to fill in the pirarucu monitoring protocol forms.

The main goal of these training programs and follow-ups is to standardize the data collected by communities engaged in species management in the Amazon. For Ângela Midori, manager of the Unini River Extractive Reserve, “monitoring is a fundamental part of our management work, as it allows us to check whether our management practices are ecologically sustainable and socially fair.”

The pirarucu monitoring protocol has resulted from discussions among managers, researchers, associations, technical staff and others. It includes the collection of all bioecological and socioeconomic information that is required to develop important analyses that will support the management groups.

These activities are carried out in partnership with ICMBio through the National Center for Research and Conservation of Amazon Biodiversity (CEPAM), which is part of the MONITORA Program (Continental Aquatic Subprogram). They are also linked to another project supported by the PCAB: “Participatory Monitoring of Biodiversity in Amazon Conservation Units”.