Supay River & San José de Paranapura

Nov 03, 2018 - Delfin II


After having sailed downriver last night, this morning we woke up at the entrance of the Supay River, not far from the confluence of the Ucayali and the Marañón Rivers. The Supay is a small tributary to the Ucayali, is located on the side opposite to the Pacaya-Samiria Nature Reserve and it is well known for its abundance of both wild-grown and cultivated camu-camu bushes. Camu-camu is a berry-like fruit that we have been enjoying all week long on board Delfín II in very refreshing juices and desserts. We explored the area by kayak and skiff and watched numerous birds and other creatures, including a large lineated woodpecker that posed for a long time hanging to a dead palm tree, a bare-necked fruitcrow, and a gorgeous adult male white-headed marsh tyrant. Other birds could be seen or heard all around and as always made the forest livelier. We also found a few mammals, including both adult male and female brown-throated three-toed sloths, the sexes easily differentiated by the presence of an orange-colored spot on the back of the males. But perhaps the most notorious sightings of the morning were those of two different groups of the world's smallest primate, the pygmy marmoset. Its really diminutive size made it difficult for us to find, but their fast movements and jumps betrayed their presence and we all had the chance to admire and marvel at this remarkable distant relative.

During the evening we had the opportunity to go ashore and visit the small village of San José de Paranapura. With less than one hundred people, the community is remarkable in many ways, not the least among them being how clean and organized it is. We walked throughout the main (and only) street admiring the well-kept orchards that surround the houses, full of different banana varieties, cocona, charapita peppers, cassava, and many other plants. Very close to the last house there is a small pond where we had the great opportunity to see one of Amazonia's iconic species, the Victoria regia or giant pond lily. Their huge 3-ft diameter leaves completely covered the pond and provided an excellent hunting platform for wattled jacanas and frogs and made for an appropriate end of our last full day exploring the incredible Peruvian Amazon.

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About the Author

Carlos Navarro

Undersea Specialist

Carlos J. Navarro is a biochemist specializing in marine biology, a M. Sc. in Environmental Management and a freelance wildlife photographer/author. Carlos has spent most of the last 30 years living along the shores of the Sea of Cortez and participating in numerous scientific, conservation and environmental education projects on the vaquita, marine invertebrates, sea birds, great white sharks, baleen whales, jaguars and crocodiles. Carlos’ six years of jaguar research provided the basis of ONCA MAYA, a non-profit organization dedicated to jaguar conservation based in Cancun, of which he is a founding member and still serves as a scientific advisor. He loves being underwater, either free-diving or using SCUBA gear and have had the chance to explore the underwater realms of Alaska, Mexico, Svalbard, the trans-Atlantic ridge islands, the Caribbean and both coasts of South America from Panama to Chile and Brazil to Argentina. 

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