SNAPP TEAM:Amazon Waters
Support SNAPP
Teams Like This
How can connectivity in the Amazon Basin be maintained to support human well-being, wildlife, and the environments on which they depend?

The Amazon Basin is recognized and valued not just for its rich tropical forests, but also for its role as the world’s greatest and most diverse freshwater system. These aquatic ecosystems are foundations for life in Amazonia, critical not only to biodiversity but also for sustaining major fisheries and transportation industries and providing water and other aquatic resources for 30 million Amazonian residents. However, these ecosystems are under threat from mismanaged fisheries, infrastructure development, and climate change.


OUR APPROACH: This team synthesized all available relevant data on infrastructure, water, wetlands and fisheries to examine threats across the entire basin. With the results of this working group, land managers can use these results to make better, more informed decisions about development and conservation in the river basin.

Team Status: COMPLETED
Team Critical Challenge:

Insights on Fish Migration Could Help Management
Exciting research from this working group confirms that the dorado catfish has the longest freshwater fish migration. From the Amazon estuary to their breeding grounds near the Andes, their journey spans 11,600 kilometers and takes 1-2 years to complete. These novel findings will be used to inform more effective fisheries and integrated water basin management in the Amazon.

GIS Roadmap for Conservation
The team produced a geographic information system (GIS) roadmap to help guide conservation efforts at a large scale in the Amazon River Basin. This new tool is scalable depending on user needs, and creates a classification system for the many rivers, estuaries, and basins. Overall, dynamically mapping natural resources and infrastructure impacts is a to support conservation and monitoring.

Amazon Waters Initiative
The Amazon Waters Initiative (AWI) is a call to action to conceptualize the vast, interconnected Amazon River Basin as a single aquatic ecosystem. The AWI seeks to build a network of alliances that will support conservation and management actions focused on maintaining the integrity of this complex river system.




“This new tool will enable scientists and governments to monitor development initiatives across the Amazon basin and help guide policy to minimize the environmental impact of these activities.”

– Michael Goulding, Project co-Leader



Key Products
A spatial river basin framework for Amazonian aquatic conservation

This data article presents a GIS framework that was developed especially for the analysis, management and monitoring of aquatic systems in the Amazon Basin.

Amazon aquatic ecosystem spatial model

The KNB database that contains the data associated with “A spatial river basin framework for Amazonian aquatic conservation.”

Dorado catfish has the longest freshwater fish migration

In this paper published in Scientific Reports, the team found that the migration distances of the Amazonian goliath catfishes are the longest strictly freshwater fish migrations in the world.

Wildlife Conservation Society: Amazon Waters Initiative

The Amazon Waters Initiative is a Wildlife Conservation Society project that spawned from the work of this SNAPP team.

Updated open-source data for Pan-Amazon Basins

A spatial framework for the conservation of aquatic ecosystems in the Amazon-Orinoco-Guianas Region.

Click here to see more products from this SNAPP Team
Mariana Varese
Wildlife Conservation Society Amazonia
Michael Goulding
Wildlife Conservation Society
Armando Mercado
Wildlife Conservation Society
Bruce Forsberg
Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia
Carlos Canas
Wildlife Conservation Society
Carlos Durigan
Wildlife Conservation Society
Charles Jones
University of California-Santa Barbara
Ed Beighley
Northeastern University
Edna Alencar
Universidade Federal do Pará
Eduardo Venticinque
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte
Efrem Ferreira
Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia
Flavio Bezerra Bazos
Universidade Federal do Pará
Guillermo Estupinan
Wildlife Conservation Society
Jane “Carter” Ingram
Pollination Group
John Melack
University of California-Santa Barbara
Leandro Castello
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)
Leila Carvalho
University of California-Santa Barbara
Manuel Glave
Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo en el Perú
Marcelo Paustein Moreira
Fundação Vitória Amazônica
Marcos Costa
Universidade Federal de Vicosa
Miguel Angel La Rosa Salazar
Instituto de Estudios Peruanos
Mino Viana Sorribos
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
Oriana Trindade de Almeida
Universidade Federal do Pará
Paulo Petry
The Nature Conservancy
Polliana Ferraz
Instituto Mamirauá
Rodrigo Cauduro Dias de Paiva
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
Rosseval Galdino Leite
Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia
Sergio Luiz de Medeiros Rivero
Universidade Federal do Pará
Urbano L. Silva, Jr.
Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade
Explore More Teams Like This