26 Jan 2008
From Wildlife Extra:
Conservation success in Bolivia
Blue-throated Macaw Reserve doubles in size with purchase of adjoining ranch
December 2013: The Barba Azul Reserve, which is located in the Bolivian Beni and protects the world’s remaining population of blue-throated macaws, has secured the purchase of 14,827 acres of natural savanna and forest habitat to more than double the size of the reserve to 27,180 acres.
The extension by Asociación Armonía is significant because it will protect a mosaic of tropical grasslands, as well as two large palm forest islands, a small central river, water-edge short-grass habitat, and more than 20 small isolated palm islands.
An extension of this size means that the Blue-throated Macaw Reserve can now adequately support landscape species that require large protected home ranges, such as jaguars, pumas and maned wolves.The extension of the reserve will improve its ability to protect the 27 species of medium and large mammals that depend on this protected habitat, including the ‘Vulnerable to Extinction’ giant anteater and marsh deer, as well as many of the threatened mammals such as maned molf, jaguar, puma, pampas deer, white-collared peccary and capybara.
The Omi River in the Blue-throated Macaw Reserve is the only year-round water source for a massive area, where many mammals depend on this clean water through the dry season.More than 250 bird species frequent the reserve; the most imperiled being the ‘Critically Endangered’ blue-throated macaw.
The additional protection of two large forest islands will ensure food resources for the flocks of macaws, while the smaller forest islands will protect remote roosting sites.The Beni tropical savanna is an area twice the size of Portugal and almost entirely ranched, with yearly massive burns to clear the way for cattle. It is a land of extreme contrasts with intensive flooding in the summer, and months of drought in the winter. The Beni savanna is considered an ‘Endangered Critical’ ecosystem yet the Blue-throated Macaw Reserve is the only protected area in this ecosystem without cattle impact and annual grassland burning.
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