Area Covered 625,000 hectares
Date Established 2017
Location Upper Takatu-Upper Essequibo Region

Kanashen is Guyana’s newest and largest protected area, covering about 3% of the country’s land area. It is home to the Wai Wai people, and is the only indigenous-owned territory in the protected area system. Located at the southern tip of Guyana, this remote landscape is dominated by Amazonian forests and an interesting mix of animals, including giant bird-eating tarantulas the size of dinner plates, grunting tiger-striped catfishes and almost 350 species of birds. The community’s role as owners and managers of the area represents a new and innovative approach to conservation in Guyana. 

Found in Kanashen Amerindian Protected Area

Photo Credit © Andrew Snyder

Harpy Eagle

The Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja), also known as Yaymo in Wai-Wai, is the most powerful bird of prey in the world with claws strong enough to pull monkeys out of trees. This eagle has broad wings, a long tail, and a distinct black chest band on its white underbody. The eagle preys on monkeys, sloths, other mammals, large birds, and snakes. Harpy Eagles build large stick nests and usually lay only 1–2 eggs per year. This bird is rare because its habitat is in large uncut forests which are becoming increasingly difficult for eagles to find because of human activities, such as logging, which destroy intact forests. Kanashen is one of the last places left in the world with large uncut forests where Harpy Eagles can live. The Kanuku Mountains are also an important habitat for these majestic birds.