Instituto Juruá believes that the integration between scientific research, traditional knowledge and local leadership is fundamental to ensure a more sustainable and fair future for the Amazon. Our research program has primarily focused on the conservation and sustainable management of natural resources for hunting, fishing and forest products within riverines communities.

We apply multidisciplinary research techniques to assess the value of conservation, as well as the socioeconomic and cultural benefits generated by community-based management, sustainable use protected areas, and indigenous land. 

Our goal is to produce high-quality scientific studies that support the initiatives led by traditional communities in biodiversity conservation, food sovereignty, income generation, and enhance quality of life.

Members of Instituto Juruá have been conducting basic and applied research for over 30 years in the Amazon. Understanding the ecology of the world’s  largest tropical forest is of great interest to researchers at Instituto Juruá. Through collaborations, we have develop research within our research groups that encompass various thematic areas described below.

Thematic lines of our scientific research

Scientific Outreach Program

The gap between scientific production and society can lead to misinformation, distorted concepts, and even a complete lack of interest in science. A significant part of this gap lies in language. That is why our scientific outreach program aims to bridge the gap between the science produced at Instituto Juruá and the interested public as well as the residents of the communities involved.

In addition to scientific concepts, we also disseminate the history of struggle and actions of the social movement in the Mid-Juruá territory, which is a key ally to all scientific production at Instituto Juruá.

Among our scientific dissemination tools are:


Understanding the interactions between animals and the environment they inhabit is essential for biodiversity conservation and the proper management of ecosystems. Instituto Juruá investigates ecological patterns and processes that affect the distribution, abundance, behavior, and adaptations of animals. 

Our research cover a wide range of topics, including population ecology, which studies the dynamic of animal populations; community ecology, which explores interactions among different species in an ecosystem; as well as the study of species interactions, such as animal diet, reproductive strategies, migration patterns, predator-prey interactions, the influence of  abiotic factors on behavior, and species distributions, among others.  

To this end, we count on the support of traditional communities and apply a variety of research methods, including direct observation, capture and tagging animals, GPS tracking techniques, and genetic data analysis. 

Some ongoing research being conducted in the Mid-Juruá includes:

  • Patterns of distribution and habitat use; 
  • Migration patterns of fish, mammals, birds and reptiles;
  • Trophic ecology of fish;
  • Co-occurrence of competing species;
  • Genetic variability of fish, mammals and birds;
  • Ecological function of key species;
  • Ecology and conservation of terrestrial and arboreal vertebrates;
  • Ecology and conservation of aquatic megafauna.


Just as investigating fauna relationships is a key piece for ecosystem conservation, understanding the functioning of forests is also fundamental for biodiversity management. Instituto Juruá  investigates the ecological dynamics of the diverse forests that make up the Amazon: Upland forests, flooded forests, and floodplain forests.

Our research in this thematic area integrates ecological data with information about traditional forest use ensuring conservation associated with the sustainable use of natural resources, promoting harmonious coexistence between human activities and nature.

Some of the current research being developed in the Mid-Juruá region includes:

  • Distribution patterns of plant species.
  • Population ecology of key species.
  • Carbon storage capacity of different plant species and forest types.
  • Population dynamics of economically important species.
  • Functional diversity of different forest types.
  • Anthropogenic impacts on forest composition.
  • Network of plant-animal interactions.
  • Patterns of algae diversity using environmental DNA.


Instituto Juruá is an organization focused on applied science; therefore, most of the research is centered around important aspects of biodiversity conservation and traditional ways of life.

One of the flagship initiatives of Instituto Juruá is the development of a watershed-scale conservation model that encompasses the entire Juruá River, integrating rural communities located within protected areas and indigenous lands, as well as communities outside these areas. Among the topics addressed, the following stand out: 

  • Impacts of protected areas on biodiversity and traditional ways of life. 
  • Impact of community management on biodiversity conservation and local well-being. 
  • Cascading effects of hunting-induced defaunation on forest regeneration. 
  • Collaborative management of natural resources.
  • Ecology and conservation of aquatic environments.
  • Environmental epidemiology across an urban-rural gradient. 
  • Remote sensing of floodplain and upland forest areas.



Understanding the interaction between environmental and human factors that shape the complex interplay between social and ecological systems, and seeking solutions for socio-environmental challenges, is one of the interests of Instituto Juruá.

Socioecology focuses on how social and ecological systems interact and how these interactions impact human well-being and the environment. This includes the study of topics such as the relationship between the extractive systems and the ecosystems, the influence of natural resource management on biodiversity, the dynamics of human and wildlife populations, the management and conservation of natural resources, gender equity and nature conservation, territorial governance and environmental protection, among others. It is an approach that recognizes human societies as integral parts of the environment and acknowledges that how people interact with the environment affects and is affected by ecological conditions.

Within this context, we develop the following research topics:

  • Governance and sustainability in protected and non-protected areas. 
  • Gender, value chains, and biodiversity conservation. 
  • Models of territorial governance and environmental protection.
  • Status of implementation of protected areas.


Bioeconomy is a term that has been widely used in the Amazon and around the world, and due to its various concepts, it leads to different interpretations. For us, most existing concepts do not adequately encompass the social and cultural complexity of the Amazon. Therefore, we prefer to use the term Amazon Socio-Bioeconomy. We understand Amazon Socio-Bioeconomy as a set of natural capital exploitation practices that ensure:

  1. Social rights for indigenous and non-indigenous people, and traditional communities;
  2. Integration between traditional and scientific-technological knowledge.
  3. Effective and participatory engagement of local communities and leaders in decision-making;
  4. Ecological sustainability of exploited resources;
  5. Wealth generation through standing forests and equitable sharing of benefits from activities; and,
  6. Commitment to social transformation towards an environmentally sustainable and socially just Amazon.


In the value chains of the Amazon Socio-Bioeconomy, traditional populations often provide a range of environmental services that are unpaid and frequently go unrecognized by society, the public sector, and even academia. Therefore, in this research line, we aim to identify and value the ecosystem services provided by traditional communities engaged in value chains, so that they are recognized by society and fairly compensated through mechanisms such as payments for environmental services (PES).Topics covered include: 

  • Management, conservation, and use of natural resources. 
  • Rural economy.
  • Fishing economy.
  • Ecosystem services. 
  • Payment for environmental services.