The Asháninka Reserve is located in the central portion of the western slope of the Vilcabamba Mountain Range, in the Tambo River district of the Satipo province in the department of Junin. It covers 184,468.38 hectares. It’s latitude is 11°10 – 12 °35 South and longitude is 73°25 - 74°10 West (1).
Precipitation varies considerably according to the region and time of year. In the lowland areas near forested slopes, which are drier areas, precipitation is approximately 2,000 mm per year. In the high, moist tropical rainforest regions, annual precipitation is approximately 3,000 mm. Temperatures in the lower altitudes (below 1,000 m) is around 25° C. Between 1,000 and 2,000 m, the temperature drops to 22° C, and above 2,000 m, temperatures can drop to below 20° C (2).
The protected area is one of the most pristine places on the planet. The main basins forming its hydrology are those of the Tambo, Ene, and Apurimac Rivers (3). Numerous tributaries of the Ene River flow down from the peaks from east to west, penetrating the ground and creating an intricate topography (4). A series of creeks that flow down from Otishi National Park (the high regions of the Vilcabamba Mountain range) form the hydrology. These parallel creeks cross the reserve and flow into the Tambo and Ene Rivers.
The area is made up of a mix of igneous and sedimentary rocks, with a small amount of metamorphic rock. The sedimentary rock makes up the largest proportion of the region’s geological structure and consists primarily of limestone, sandstone, quartz, and clayish material (5).
Geomorphology and Relief
High Terraces: Generally located near second order rivers and streams. In some areas they are found in the highest parts forming something similar to a plateau. They have flat to slightly undulating topography, and their slopes are from 0% to 8%. They have no drainage problems, and consist of ancient alluvial materials (6).
Lowland Hills I: These are areas of small hills that are tectonic in origin, sloping up to 30%. These hills can reach a relative height of 40 m (7). Low Hills II: These are areas of tectonic origin, but have also been shaped by hydraulic erosion, accentuating their dramatic topography, presenting slopes with gradients of up to 70%. These hills can reach a relative height of 80 m.
High Hills I: These hills reach 120 m in relative height. Their slopes are very pronounced and can reach gradients of 100%. High Hills II: These hills are mostly distributed along the base of the Sub-Andean strip, forming a surface severely eroded by the abundant streams that effortlessly dissect the surface’s smooth lithography (8).
Mountain I: Topography in these areas varies between mildly rugged to rugged. They reach 800 m above the local base (relative height). Mountains II: These topographic zones are severely to extremely rugged. They also reach 800 m in relative height (9). Overall, the communal reserve primarily consists of uneven terrain of tectonic origin. These physiographic landscapes are appropriate for protection.