The Tambopata National Reserve in the Amazon Basin of Peru was designated in 1990 to protect the rich ecosystem surrounding the Heath and Tambopata rivers. The reserve is nearly 1.5 million hectares (more than 3.5 million acres) in size, which makes protecting the area a daunting prospect. Much of the land has been denuded of trees by illegal miners, who remove the topsoil sifting for gold, leaving behind a toxic mess of mercury-laden ground.
Peru Scrambles to Drive Out Illegal Gold Mining and Save Precious Land
By Suzanne Daley
The New York Times
July 26, 2016