Weekend trip to Balbina
I saw this macaw, along with many others at the Centro de Preservação e Pesquisa de Mamíferos Aquáticos (CPPMA – Preservation and Research Center for Aquatic Mammals) near Balbina, Amazonas.
Sometime in the 1980’s a hydroelectric dam was constructed on the Rio Uatumã, north of Manaus. A great extension of land was flooded due to the dam. This construction has been defined as an economic, social and ecological tragedy, as much more methane is released than the amount of carbon dioxide expelled if they had continued to use thermoelectric plants burning oil as was previously done. It has been categorized as the most inefficient dam in Brazil.
The energy company from the hydroelectric dam sponsors the CPPMA in order to promote the preservation and research of aquatic mammals. The main focus of the center is on amazon manatees (Peixe-boi), they have projects on rehabilitation of orphan or injured animals, reintroduction into natural habitat as well as education programs.
The Center is located near Presidente Figueiredo, land of the waterfalls (A terra das cachoeiras), as they say in their town brochure. During our day trip we also visited one of the many waterfalls on the area, Cachoeira Pedra Furada. It was very nice to go for a swim there.