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"We wake in the morning to the growling howls of monkeys. Deep and distant, their voices carry over the rain forest canopy, through treetops scented vanilla with orchids, past branches clothed in bromeliads, and over water the color of tea and creamed coffee, waters that nourish the Peruvian Amazon."

"In motorized aluminum canoe, we cruise up the black water Rio Tahauyo to the Quebrada Blanco, a white-water seasonal stream. As the water narrows, the forest seems to quicken. Strangler figs flow over their hosts like melting candles, trees hang heavy with the nests of ants, wasps, termites, and birds. Orange-crested birds call hoatzins, whose young sport clawed wings like the prehistoric archaeopteryx, hiss down from swamp-drowned trees. Pink freshwater dolphins surface near to the canoe, open the tops of their heads and gasp."

To be released in March, 2000: "Encantado: Pink Dolphin of the Amazon." Written by Sy Montgomery. Published by Simon and Schuster. This book is about the tales and folk lores of the pink dolphin and was researched while at the Amazonia Expeditions lodge.

Scientists know the far western lowland forests of the Amazon basin, found in Peru, as the "green paradise" of the Amazon. Here we can find the greatest diversity of flora and fauna known on the planet. Within this region there exist some areas of such exceptional diversity that the Government has conferred "reserve" status. The Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Reserve, in Peru's Department of Loreto, is a magnificent example. The reserve was organized in 1991 to protect breeding range of the rare red uakari monkey. Subsequent scientific research, much of it done by scientists of the University of Florida, has established the reserve as having one of the world's richest diversity of life. Michael Valqui has found that the region has the greatest mammal diversity of any region so studied in all of the Amazon. Why are some regions of the Amazon blessed with such megadiversity? Scientists note three factors that may play a role in the Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo. Studies suggest that this region is a pleistocene refugia. That is, during the last ice age, when most of the Amazon became a dry savannah, this region remained forested. The river dynamics here also serve to form island like effects, isolating some populations. And finally, the reserve contains a diverse range of Amazon ecosystems, within relatively close proximity of each other.