APPEALS have been made to leave alone the members of one of Brazil's last uncontacted Indian tribes, spotted in the Amazon jungle near the Peruvian border.

The Indians were sighted and photographed from an aircraft or helicopter during flights over the rainforest in remote Acre state, said Brazil's National Indian Foundation, known as Funai.

Funai said it photographed "strong and healthy" warriors, six huts and a large planted area.

The photographs show red-painted tribe members brandishing bows and arrows.

Funai said it was not known to which tribe they belonged.

"Four distinct isolated peoples exist in this region, whom we have accompanied for 20 years," Funai expert Jose Carlos Meirelles Junior said.

"We did the overflight to show their houses, to show they are there, to show they exist," he said.

"This is very important because there are some who doubt their existence."

The tribe spotted recently is one of the last not to be contacted by officials.

Funai does not make contact with such tribes and prevents invasions of their land to ensure their autonomy, the foundation said.

Survival International said the Indians were in danger from illegal logging in Peru, which is driving uncontacted tribes over the border and could lead to conflict with the estimated 500 uncontacted Indians now living on the Brazilian side.

There are more than 100 uncontacted tribes worldwide, most of them in Brazil and Peru, the group said.

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