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Amboro-Carrasco National ParksPIP 2000

Rising from 951 to 14,899 feet, the neighboring Amboró and Carrasco National Parks lie at the crook of the “Andes Elbow” where the Andes mountains meet the Amazon and form deep canyons. Amboró-Carrasco is a “natural island” in the midst of human activity: the parks lie between Andean settlements in the south, expanding agricultural lands to the north, and close to two million people between the cities of Cochabamba in the east and Santa Cruz in the west.

did you know?

The rare blue-horned curassow, or unicorn bird, once though to be extinct, was "rediscovered" by scientists in Amboró-Carrasco along the upper Saguayo River.

Emborozu River

Emborozu River © Ivan Arnold

site profile

total area protected:
3 million acres
map of site

ecoregion:
Andean Yungas, Southwest Amazon, Humid Puna

partner organization:
Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza (FAN)

Ecological Importance

In this land of abundant rainfall, which receives thirteen to sixteen feet annually, Amboró-Carrasco is so rich in plant species that scientists are still identifying new ones. Of the 3,000 plant species, 600 are ferns, giving it the title, “fern capital of the world.” Each park has at least 300 orchid species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. Jaguar, spider monkeys, spectacled bear, and deer roam throughout the forest refuge. Horned curassows, tiger herons, and harpy eagles are some of the 830 bird species recorded in Amboró, along with 127 mammal, 109 fish, 105 reptile, 102 amphibian and 322 insect species. While scientists are still researching Carrasco, 382 animal and 245 bird species have already been found.

Threats

Although people are prohibited from living within the park, over 18,000 people live in 97 communities within the buffer zones. Unsustainable hunting and fishing, slash and burn agriculture, logging, oil exploration, and uncontrolled tourism pose significant threats to the biological riches of the region. Unemployed and landless migrants have settled in the area in hopes of starting small-scale farms and illegal coca cultivation outside of the park continues to infringe on its boundaries.

A Strategy of Success

Parks in Peril (PiP) is partnering with Fundación de la Naturaleza (FAN) and Centro Integrado para la Defensa Ecológica (CIDEDER) to work with local communities on land tenure issues and sustainable development. Park staff are implementing Conservation Area Planning (CAP) with the hope of consolidating the parks by 2007.

Tour companies and local communities are working together to develop ecotourism activities within Amboró National Park. Ecotourism workshops have been attended by people from 20 communities as well as tour operators and local government officials. Amboró has also formed the first management committee in Bolivia to focus on critical conservation issues, concentrating on tourism, natural resources, and other local concerns.

In a region where land tenure is often highly complex--several land titles have been known to claim the same piece of land--PiP is working with lawyers to support the consolidation and promotion of legal land titling in critical areas of Amboró-Carrasco. Local leaders as well as journalists, policy makers, and university directors have been invited to Carrasco for environmental and conservation education activities to promote the importance of the area locally, regionally, and globally.

A forestry management plan has been completed by 48 Yuqui families to limit logging of hardwoods and restrict fires that are often used to clear lands. The same indigenous group has also called on PiP to jointly create a plan that will protect their lagoons and rivers for the future.

Read more about Amboró-Carrasco...

Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza (FAN)
The Nature Conservancy in Amboro-Carrasco 
Online Field Guide to Amboro-Carrasco

Read more about projects in Bolivia...

Tariquía Flora and Fauna Reserve
Eduardo Avaroa National Parks
Noel Kempff Mercado National Park

Bolivian Partner Organizations

The Nature Conservancy in Bolivia