Projects

PURCHASED: Preserving the Maned Wolf and Blue-throated Macaw, Bolivia

Maned wolf

PROJECT SNAPSHOT

LOCATION:  Beni Savannas, Beni Department, Bolivia

SIZE:  14,827 acres

KEY SPECIES:  Blue-throated Macaw, Maned wolf, Giant Anteater, Sharp-tailed Grass-tyrant, Cock-tailed Tyrant, Black-masked Finch, Greater Rhea, White-winged Nightjar

HABITAT:  Grasslands, palm forest islands, and tropical gallery forest

THREATS:  Cattle ranching, yearly burning of grassland, introduced exotic grass species, farming, hunting, logging, and trapping for the illegal cage bird trade.

ACTION: Double the reserve’s size with purchase of the 14,827 acre Santa Anita ranch that would bring the reserve’s total size to 27,266 acres.

LOCAL PARTNER:  Asociación Armonía

$430,000DONATIONS TO DATE
$430,000OUR GOAL
Blue throated Macaw
Isolated Forest Islands, Santa Anita by Bennett Hennessey
Maned wolf
 Donate Now to save the Maned wolf!

Thanks to generous support from our donors, the Barba Azul Nature Reserve has been successfully expanded.

Project at a glance:

Bennett Hennessey, Executive Director of Asociación Armonía, is delighted that Rainforest Trust will be raising funds for Bolivia in 2013. “It is important to stress this area in the Beni Savannas is an anomaly–this area of around 10 ranches holds the only known groups of Blue-throated Macaws in the world, suggesting a relic of populations of this Critically Endangered bird before the illegal pet trade decimated populations. The area, with its year-round fresh water source, is highly attractive for many mammals in the area, threatened bird species, and even an important stop-over site for the Buff-breasted Sandpiper during its fall migration. The recent Pampas Cat record on the reserve is the first record for Bolivia.

Many threatened species are highly reduced throughout the Beni savannas. The Blue-throated Macaw,  Black Caiman, Maned Wolf- species,almost extinct from Bolivia as a whole, continue to thrive in this special area. Mammals depend on the year-round abundant water source, and many Beni savanna specialties have strong numbers in this area.

Critical Action

•    Acquisition of the Santa Anita Ranch, which contains large foraging palm forest islands, many isolated palm islands for breeding birds as well as key habitat for the Macaw and other species.
•    Recuperate natural grassland ecosystem and natural regeneration of forest islands.
•    Improve reserve’s potential for sustainability.

Today we need your help raising $430,00 to purchase this property for consolidation in the reserve.

Project Summary

The Critically Endangered Blue-throated Macaw is found in only one place on earth: the Beni Savannas of Bolivia. This complex ecosystem of grasslands, marshes, forest islands and gallery forest is largely in the hands of cattle ranchers and every year untold habitat is lost to intentional burning for pastureland. Today, less than 400 Blue-throated Macaws remain.

In July 2008 Rainforest Trust, in conjunction with American Bird Conservancy and our local partner Asociación Armonía Bolivia, helped create the Barba Azul Nature Reserve in the Santa Ana District of the Beni, the first and only protected area for the Critically Endangered Blue-throated Macaw. The 12,353 acre Barba Azul Nature Reserve protects several threatened bird species and the neglected Beni Bolivian grassland habitat.

Now we need your help expanding the reserve to ensure the survival of this stunning macaw, and to provide greater protection for the Beni’s threatened wildlife.

The Beni Savannah is one of only two endemic ecosystems in Bolivia with five distinctive habitat types: savannah, treed savannah (Cerrado), forest islands, gallery forest and marsh wetlands. It is considered an Endangered Critical ecosystem yet the habitat is not nationally protected. The area has undergone hundreds of years of logging and cattle ranching disturbing, the grasslands with overgrazing, yearly burning and replanting with exotic grassland species. The habitat is also threatened by the impending expansion of mechanized farming for biofuels in the near future.

The Barba Azul Nature Reserve protects the IUCN red listed Maned Wolf as well as high concentrations of Giant Anteater, Pampas deer (both Near threatened), Southern Tamandua, Black Howler Monkey, Jaguar, Puma, Capybara. Many of these are landscape species which require large expanses of protected areas to maintain viable populations.

Four years of field work searching for the birds has revealed that the Santa Ana district is the only site in the world with gregarious groups of Blue-throated Macaws. The highest census count recorded over 109 Blue-throated Macaws wintering in the Barba Azul Nature Reserve. All other areas of the macaw’s range consist of isolated pairs or pairs with chicks. Before the discovery of the Santa Ana district area, flocks of Blue-throated Macaw had never been seen. Given the global importance of this single site, it is a priority for the conservation of the species to protect as much of the area as possible.

Action

The Santa Anita ranch is a 14,827 acre titled property that falls adjacent to the eastern border of the Barba Azul Nature Reserve. It protects four large palm forest islands important for foraging macaws in the area, as well as over 20 small palm forest islands which are potential breeding areas for the macaw and as roosting sites. The large trees have been removed from these forest islands in the last century, but Armonía will establish nesting box cavities to attracting breeding macaw pairs. The savanna rests beside the tall grasslands of the Barba Azul Nature Reserve.

Today we need your help raising the remaining funds to purchase this property for consolidation in the reserve.

With proper management the Santa Anita ranch can offer an extension to tall grass threatened bird species that are presently increasing in population on the reserve. The extension of the Santa Anita ranch will also offer more protected area for the landscape species that require large expansions of habitat including the threatened Maned Wolf, Jaguar, and Puma.

Outcome

The addition of the Santa Anita ranch to the existing Barba Azul Nature Reserve would expand the protected area to 27,180 acres. The important Santa Anita ranch would increase the ability to protect the Blue-throated Macaw, threatened tall grass birds and large mammals in the area. Protection and management practices in place on the reserve could easily be extended to the Santa Anita Beni grasslands and palm forest islands.

Increasing the size of the reserve will improve the protected range for many of the landscape species that require large protected areas to maintain viable populations, such as jaguars, pumas, Maned wolves, and pampas deer. A larger reserve will also allow Armonía to conduct better land management to improve breeding of the Critically Endangered Blue-throated Macaw as well as the other threatened bird species found in the area.

Thank you for your critical support.

Other Species at Risk

The ranch is also home to several threatened bird species, and is an important stop-over site for the Buff-breasted Sandpiper during its fall migration. Most importantly, The Beni savanna holds the only known groups of Blue-throated Macaws in the world. Today, less than 400 Blue-throated Macaws remain on planet.

The Blue-throated Macaw Critical Action

•    Acquisition of the Santa Anita Ranch, which contains large foraging palm forest islands, many isolated palm islands for breeding birds as well as key habitat for the Macaw and other species.
•    Recuperate natural grassland ecosystem and natural regeneration of forest islands.
•    Improve reserve’s potential for sustainability.

Outcome

Increasing the size of the reserve will improve the protected range for many of the landscape species that require large protected areas to maintain viable populations, such as jaguars, pumas, maned wolves, and pampas deer. Additionally it will protect the Blue-throated Macaw and threatened tall grass birds. Protection and management practices in place on the reserve could easily be extended to the Santa Anita Beni grasslands and palm forest islands. A larger reserve will also allow Armonía to conduct better land management to improve breeding of the Critically Endangered Blue-throated Macaw as well as the other threatened bird species found in the area.

Map of the Project Area


View Rainforest Trust 2013 conservation projects in a larger map