• Amazonas


  • Kampankis Project

    Wildlife Inventory

How You Can Help

Kampankis Wildlife Project

The rainforest of Amazonas, Peru, spans over 26,000 square kilometers of unexplored high jungle mountains, white-water river canyons, and pristine lowland primary forest – home to the indigenous Awajún people and countless rare, endangered and unknown wildlife.

Prepare to embark on a remarkable journey as we introduce you to our extraordinary project that delves into the hidden treasures of the Amazonas rainforest.


Through Dr. Peter Lerche’s close collaboration with the Awajún, Dr. Lerche became privy to information Awajún hunters would rarely, if ever share with outsiders including their knowledge of animals unknown to the outside world.

The Awajún, who live in and hunt these forests today just as they have for generations, are elite wildlife trackers. Among their reports; the existence of a lake in an isolated ecosystem located in the highest mountain elevations populated with fish unlike any such in the Amazonas rivers.

And, the existence of an animal known to the Awajún as a “Fierce Beast” – an awe-inspiring creature that inhabits the upper mountain elevations.

Due to Dr. Lerche’s strong relationships with Awajún leaders, ACIPeru has been granted special access to previously off-limits regions of Awajún ancestral land.

© Marco Schenone

Our Kampankis Project includes employment for Awajún men and training in the use of motion-activated field cameras and GPS units.


~ Kampankis Mountains ~

Amazonas Peru

Amazonas ~ 38,850 sq km (15,000 sq mi) consisting of regions covered by rain forests and mountain ranges. The rain forest zone predominates (72.93%) and it extends to the north over its oriental slope, up to the border with Ecuador in the summits of the Cordillera del Cóndor.

Our area of research: The Kampankis Mountains that has been inhabited for centuries by Awajún people. Measuring ~180 km long but just 10 km wide, the Kampankis form a knife-thin ridge separated from the Cordillera del Cóndor to the west by a thin strip of lowland forest 40–60km wide.

The northern end of the mountains, with a maximum elevation of 1,435m, extends from Santa Maria de Nieva into the Zona Reservada Santiago Comaina.
The southern ridge extends south from Santa Maria de Nieva with elevations reaching 1600m into the Zona Reservada Rio Nieva.
This southern section of Kampankis with Nieva River following its western slope is called by some as Shamak Nain (mountains of “Shamak” bird).


Awajún Territory, Amazonas Peru

peru map



The Andes Mountains cut through the Amazonas wilderness leading to the
lowland jungle of Nieva River and Awajún Indigenous Communities.

Kampankis Conservation

Geology: The Kampankis Mountains are well described in the geologic literature. They are composed of continental and marine deposits that range in age from the Jurassic (160 million years old) to the Neogene (5 million years old) and include eight geologic formations in which varieties of sandstone, limestone, and siltstone predominate.

Vegetation: The vegetation of the Kampankis Mountains varies with geology and elevation. Five primary vegetation types have been defined in the Kampankis areas: 1) riparian vegetation along streams and rivers; 2) lower hill forests between 300 and 700m elevation, on sandy to clayey soils; 3) mid-elevation forests at 700–1,000m, on sandy to clayey soils; 4) forests on limestone outcrops and associated soils, between 700 and 1,100m; and 5) low forests on sandstone outcrops and associated soils on the highest slopes and ridges of the range, at 1,000–1,435m elevation.

Birds: The Kampankis avifauna is a diverse mix of lowland Amazonian and Andean foothill bird communities. Through field observations and recordings, the ornithological team registered 350 bird species, of which 56 are typically montane.
Several rare and little-known species recorded during the inventory—like Leucopternis princeps, Wetmorethraupis sterrhopteron, and Entomodestes leucotis — are known from very few sites in Peru.

Mammals: 57 of the 79 species of medium-sized and large mammals believed to occur in the area include: White-bellied spider monkey Ateles belzebuth (Endangered), Common woolly monkey Lagothrix lagotricha, Juruá red howler monkey Alouatta juara, White-tailed Titi monkey Callicebus discolor, Saddleback tamarin Saguinus fuscicollis, Saki monkey Pithecia aequatorialis, Owl monkey Aotus vociferans, Tayra Eira barbara, Jaguar Panthera onca (near threatened), Puma Puma concolor, Short-eared dog Atelocynus microtis (near threatened), Tapir Tapirus terrestris (Vulnerable), Giant armadillo Priodontes maximus (Vulnerable), Giant anteater Myrmecophaga tridactyla (Vulnerable), River otter Lontra longicaudis, Tamandua Tamandua tetradactyla, Chestnut sac-winged bat (Wagner's sac-winged bat) Cormura brevirostris (Rare), and Lesser Long-tongued Bat Choeroniscus minor which prefers undisturbed forests.

UPDATE: An establish tribe of the Peruvian Red Uakari Monkey, Cacajao calvus ucayalii (Vulnerable), has been confirmed in an area ~34mi/55km SSE of Sawi Entsa near the settlement of Candamo (05°31′S 077°39W′; altitude 1,421 m a.s.l.). The Peuvian Red Uakari is an Amazonian primate with peculiar features; it has a bright red, bald face, a short tail, and ruddy fur. This monkey is highly specialized and is found mainly in palm tree habitats. This population is isolated from the other known uakari populations in the eastern lowlands, which raises questions concerning their taxonomic status and biogeographical history.

~ Area Wildlife Videos ~

Special Thanks to Ronald Wagter for his videos.


Giant Anteater

South American tapir



South American tapir

White-lipped peccary


For information on how you can contribute to the success of the Kampankis Project
and enrich the lives of the Awajún, contact