Fossil Creek Wildlife Preserve
Fossil Creek Communal Wildlife Reserve was created in May of 2016 ,it consists of the tribal lands of two native communities, Nuevo Union de Boyador and Roca Eterna. The communities realize their resources need to be managed, noting the scarcity of good forest products during low water season. Local authorities also recognize the importance of tourism for the sustainable development of their district. They have committed to be good stewards of their land and great hosts to international visitors in a deal designed to impulse the sustainable development of their villages and surrounding areas of the lower Amazon River region of Iquitos, Peru.
This reserve sits on the edge of the lowermost Varzea floodplain of the Napo River and extends north east into the terra firme forest. The hills of terra firme belong to a disputed "Pleistocene Glacial Refuge" meaning there has been environmental stability even through worldwide glacial events that would be catastrophic to lesser fortunate fragile ecosystems.
This is an opportunity for an extreme wildlife adventure. Hike and trek through our trail systems, camp deep in the reserve close to enchanted waterfalls. Sit tight in a blind with your local guide like hunters waiting for the wildlife to pass in your field of view. Soak in the sunrise and sunset from the ridge overlooking the Varzea forest and the Amazon River. Go where very few have ever gone for the experience of a lifetime! Enjoy the solitude of this remote wildlife reserve with the company of one of the most trusted Eco-Tour company in the Peruvian Amazon.
Reserve Area Info
Area: 1063 hectares total
Roca: 204 hectares
Boyador: 859 hectares
- 5 miles of maintained, bridged trails
- 2 houses, 1 screened in hut for overnight stays
- Network of trails in the reserve to reach Fossil Creek waterfalls and headwater pond in terra firma
- Lookout tower on the hills overlooking the forest
- Wildlife observation blinds
- Reforest adjacent areas with fruiting trees with high caloric value (Brazil nut, aguaje palm)
- Ten miles of maintained, bridged trails
- Local museum for natural history in Oran or Roca Eterna
A Geomorphic Wonder
Fossil Creek itself is a geomorphic wonder, carved out of a plateau formed by the colliding Nasca and S.A. Tectonic plates <10 million years ago. Slowly the torrential rains made their channels which turned into valleys leaving the heaviest sediments to be tumbled downstream. The heavier sediments include a fossil record of up to 10 million years! The fossils we find represent the Miocene epoch when the entire Amazon river basin was more similar to flooded forests we have today. Rich marshlands and endless aquatic niches created a great diversity of reptilian and mammal populations such as Sarcosuchus and Megatherium (giant crocodile and giant ground sloth).
Aside from its rich paleontological history, there is a great archeological history too. We often find pottery shards and most recently, a pair of fossilized megatherium claws that was used as a tool. Other tools such as a stone club was recently encountered. It seems Fossil Creek once dumped directly into the Amazon or Napo River some 500- 1000 years ago. Which means the skirt of the hills was once the shore of a major river, quite possibly written about in the time when the first Spanish explorers floated down the Napo River from Ecuador.
From OtoEx to Fossil Creek
We use motion sensing camera traps to inventory the wildlife and catch poachers. We commonly obtain images of mammals such as puma, ocelot, giant anteater, giant armadillo, wild boars of two species, paca, agouti, coatimundi, tayra, monkeys, and tapir. We also get images of threatened birds like the trumpeter and guan. In time we hope to make this reserve famous for its wildlife watching opportunities.
During our high water season February-May we have the opportunity to float through the flooded forest for several miles to reach the edge of Fossil Creek Reserve. Otherwise, during our dry season, (July- Jan) there is a circuit of trails that takes roughly two hours to reach our first camp in the reserve. To reach the reserve in low water, you must be in moderate physical shape to proceed 6km trail to the first house.
The southern edge of the reserve is bordered by aguaje palm swamp forest and a small black water lake aptly named, "Chontilla" ( understory palm blanketed with spines). The wildlife is everywhere, the tracks and trails of tapir or other large mammals abound. There is so much animal activity here, some trails seem like wildlife highways! The valleys bottleneck traffic through the easiest direction so multiple species use the same trails.