|Blue-throated Macaws © E. Gustavo Sánchez Avila|
|Maned Wolf © Valter Kruk|
|Collard Anteater © E. Gustavo Sánchez Avila|
On December 30, 2013, our Bolivian partner secured the purchase of
14,827 acres of natural savanna and forest habitat that will more than double the size of the Blue-throated Macaw Reserve to 27,180 acres.
The extension by Asociación Armonía is significant because it will protect a mosaic of tropical grasslands, including the addition of two large palm forest islands, a small central river, water edge short grass habitat, and over 20 small isolated palm islands. An extension of this size means that the Blue-throated Macaw Reserve can now adequately support landscape species which require large protected home ranges, such as Jaguars, Pumas, and Maned Wolves.
The extension of the Blue-throated Macaw Reserve improves 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 Wolf, 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.
Over 250 bird species frequent the Blue-throated Macaw 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 Blue-throated 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. The Beni has undergone hundreds of years of logging, hunting and cattle ranching. Overgrazing, annual burning and the planting of exotic grass species have greatly altered the ecosystem.
Asociación Armonía is developing tourism to sustainably manage the Blue-throated Macaw Reserve in the future.
Supporters with Rainforest Trust included World Land Trust, GreaterGood/The Rainforest Site, American Bird Conservancy, International Conservation Fund of Canada, IUCN Netherlands, and Loro Parque Fundación.