The Nature Conservancy - Parks in Peril
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Defensores del Chaco

Mbaracayu Nature Reserve

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Paraguay's 157,047 square miles are divided into two geographical regions by the Paraguay River. The east side covers more than one third of the land, but supports 98% of the 6.2 million residents which have contributed to the huge disappearance in forests. The western region, or Chaco, is about half forested with seasonal flooding in its wetlands.

Ache man

Ache man, Mbaracayú Nature Reserve © Raul Gauto

did you know

More than 650 bird species have been reliably recorded in Paraguay — roughly the number that breeds in all of North America.

Paraguay Partner Organizations

Most protected land were located in the Chaco until 1994, when a proposal was approved by the Congress of Paraguay and 25 new conservation sites were created, increasing the percentage of total protected land from 4.5% to 9.8%. Recently, 11 million more acres were added for protection, with the creation of the Northern Chaco Biosphere Reserve and contributing 7.8 million acres are three new national parks that border Bolivia. This international conservation area, which is roughly the size of West Virginia, is the largest protected dry forest in South America and is protecting endangered species such as the jaguar, giant anteater, giant armadillo, greater rhea, chacoan guanaco and peccary, several amphibians and reptiles, unique plant species, and several fresh water sources for the area. This area also will protect the last important remnants of forest for the last Ayoreos and Guarani Nhandeva indigenous groups.


Defensores del Chaco National Park

PIP provided technical and financial assistance to support the first comprehensive biological inventory of the 2 million acre (720,000 hectare) Defensores del Chaco National Park. Learn more...

Mbaracayú Nature Reserve 

In 1991, PIP helped Fundación Moisés Bertoni establish the Mbaracayú Forest Nature Reserve, which today protects more than 160,000 acres (nearly 65,000 hectares) of Interior Atlantic Forest. Learn more...