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A one-stop location for information on big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla, Meliaceae)

INTERACTIVE MAPS

A map of our five field sites in the Brazilian Amazon.
Pastures
A map of our five field sites in the Brazilian Amazon.

Three sites were chosen for field studies during a reconnaissance tour of southeastern Pará in June–July 1995: Marajoara, Agua Azul, and Pinkaití. The Corral Redondo site was added to the project in 1996, and the Sena Madureira site in Acre was added in 2001. Of these, the principal site is the Marajoara Management Project, where a camp presence was established in October 1995. This page provides a brief description of each site and interactive maps displaying site infrastructure and the location of mahogany trees. More detailed descriptions and photos are included in the other Field Sites pages.

Click for a map:

  • Marajoara
  • Corral Redondo
  • Agua Azul
  • Pinkaití
  • Sena Madureira / Acre
  • Marajoara

    We began research at Marajoara in October 1995. Marajoara is a 4100-hectare tract of forest located at 7°50' S, 50°16' W, 34 km northwest of Redenção. It was designated a management area for selective extraction of mahogany by the Serraria Marajoara Ltda (SEMASA) logging company. The original management plan called for annual extraction in successive divisions beginning in 1992, with mahogany seed trees designated for retention prior to extraction, but the entire site was logged during 1992–1994. Research activities were restricted to divisions one to six on the north end of the project grid. Logging records show that, with 175 seed trees retained in the first six divisions, a total of 815 pre-harvest trees > 20 cm diameter grew in 2040 ha. In fact, actual densities proved higher due to trees missed by company mateiros (woodsmen) during the first round of exploration. Click here for a larger version of the map.



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    Corral Redondo

    Corral Redondo is a selectively logged area located 15 km northeast of Marajoara, privately held by Sr. Honorato Babinski, owner of the SEMASA logging company. The forest there abuts low slopes of three steep inselbergs rising 50–150 m above seasonal streams draining the larger catchment. Closed forest that is compositionally similar to Marajoara grades into shorter, scrubbier, more open formations moving up inselberg slopes, with composition shifting towards drought tolerant species. Here as elsewhere across the region, mahogany grows at low densities to the inselberg summits. Groundfires have burned through these forests repeatedly we began work there in 1996, spotting in from surrounding pastures that burn most years. Research objectives at Corral Redondo focus on annual diameter growth, fruit production, and reproductive phenology. Click here for a larger version of the map.



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    Agua Azul

    The Peracchi Management Project (henceforth ‘Agua Azul’) is an industry-owned reforestation and management project located 9 km southwest of Agua Azul, a small agricultural community midway between Xinguara and Tucumã on unpaved state highway PA-279, approximately 115 km northwest of Marajoara. Topographic relief in this region is more pronounced than at Marajoara, with extensive hilly areas where steeper slopes rise 20–40 m across 200- to 1000-meter distances. Equally extensive areas at Agua Azul are quite flat, however, with pale to dark gray sandy soils drained by meandering first- and second-order seasonal streams, and it is in these areas where mahogany is (or was, before extraction) found at commercial densities. Mahogany occurs within steeper areas, but at far lower, non-commercial densities. Similar to Corral Redondo, research objectives at Agua Azul focused on annual diameter growth, fruit production, and reproductive phenology. Click here for a larger version of the map.



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    Pinkaití

    Pinkaití is a research forest administered by the Kayapó Indigenous People from the village of Aúkre, with technical assistance from Conservation International—Brasil. Aúkre is located at 7°41’15” S, 51°52’25” W, 185 km west of Marajoara. The research forest covers roughly 2500 hectares. The site is an island of unlogged forest containing mahogany at variable densities surrounded by a vast forested area from which merchantable mahogany has been extracted since the mid-1980s. Landscape at Pinkaití is similar to that at Marajoara, with gently undulating low ground punctuated by steep inselbergs rising 50–150 m. The forest here is structurally more diverse if compositionally less so. A handful of widely scattered emergent species, mahogany and Brazilnut (Bertholettia excelsa, Lecythidaceae) most prominent among them, tower above a low, irregular canopy. This is classic Xingu Basin liana forest. The Pinkaití mahogany sample includes trees of all size classes up to 180 cm diameter in a core area covering ~600 hectares. Most are found on low ground as at Marajoara, at highest densities in boggy flats where canopies are lowest and most open. Click here for a larger version of the map.



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    Sena Madureira/Acre

    The Acre field site was established in October 2001 within an 8000-hectare privately owned tract of primary forest 45 km south of Sena Madureira and 125 km northwest of Rio Branco. The site was part of the ‘Sustainable Forest Management of Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla): a pilot initiative by the State Government of Acre’ project, which aimed to test and design management protocols for the sustained-yield production of mahogany and associated high-value timber species. The project had basic research, applied, and technical training components. Research objectives were to improve biological understanding of mahogany and associated species in a region where relatively little was known about forest and species ecology. Applied objectives were to develop and implement sustainable logging practices for these species, especially promoting seedling regeneration to provide future harvests. Technical training objectives included training local logging crews in reduced-impact logging and silvicultural practices necessary to ensure sustainable production. Click here for a larger version of the map.



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