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Satellite unearths ancient community in Amazon

Brazil: With the help of satellite imagery, Brazil’s indigenous foundation, Funai, claimed that they have pinpointed the location of an ancient community in one of the remotest corners of the Amazon rainforest.

Fabricio Amorim, a regional co-ordinator of Funai, said the indigenous community had been found after three small forest clearings. The community is likely to be home to about 200 people, probably from the Pano linguistic group which straddles the border between Brazil, Peru and Bolivia.

Amorim said the region — known as the Vale do Javari — contained “the greatest concentration of isolated groups in the Amazon and the world” but warned of growing threats to their survival.

“Among the main threats to the well-being of these groups are illegal fishing, hunting, logging, mining, cattle ranching, missionary actions and drug trafficking,” he said. Oil exploration over the border in Peru could also have a negative impact on indigenous tribes in region.

Officially, Funai recognises the existence of 14 uncontacted tribes in the Vale do Javari, making up a total of at least 2,000 people. But that number is likely to rise as expeditions to this region of the western Amazon continue.

Source: guardian.co.uk