Without a doubt the Amazon River Basin is the most biodiverse place in the world. The Amazon is roughly the size of the 48 states in the USA. With it housing so much biodiversity it was deemed to need protection from people who would do it wrong. Jaú National Park is located in Brazil, it is known as the largest national forest reserve in South America. The creation of the national park was to have protection on species within the ARB as well as helping those people financially that are located in those communities. But the biggest issue with the creation of these national parks is that it creates a market for income.
Originally animals would roam the Amazon unbothered by people, but since ecotourism has become a staple source of income now things have changed. Canoe tours are led up and down the Amazon river like toys on a factory conveyor belt. The Brazilian guides scout the area and plot out the perfect route depending on the season so that the tourist are able to see these species. Now I know what you may be thinking “what is the harm with a few tourists taking some pictures.” There is more to it then just that, tourist are coming in contact with species that would have never interacted with one another before now. The guest are said to be “at the tip of the conservation spear in the Amazon” putting a price tag on their originally invaluable wildlife.
On the other side ecotourism may be saving a particular species in the Amazon river. The pink river dolphin, also known as the boto, are being slaughtered in the Rio Solimoes. The rotted boto flesh is said to be the best tool to catch a species of catfish, the piracatinga, which is popular in Colombian dishes. In the Rio Negro there are a few areas offering tourist the chance to swim with the dolphins for a price. There are some that question whether it is right to allow people to swim with these dolphins but biologist see it as the best means to protect them. They want those that are fishing the boto to see that they are a more lucrative asset if they are left living and used for the tourist. Whether this is ethically right or not it does have potential to save a species. Ecotourism is a double edge sword and may have more bad than good or vice versa but we must admit that it has changed the ARB.