Nature pictures from Bolivia

These images are from the tropical lowlands of eastern Bolivia, including the Chaco forest and San Miguelito ranch. The photos were taken in 2019 by Mongabay founder Rhett A. Butler.

The images are organized into galleries, the most popular of which are presented below.

The bottom of this page includes recent conservation news from Bolivia.

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What is a white-lipped peccary? Candid Animal Cam is in South America (01 Dec 2020 02:30:10 +0000)
- Every Tuesday, Mongabay brings you a new episode of Candid Animal Cam, our show featuring animals caught on camera traps around the world and hosted by Romi Castagnino, our writer and conservation scientist.


A million hectares ablaze as forest fires sweep through Bolivia (20 Nov 2020 10:36:26 +0000)
- Forest fires have led the departments of Santa Cruz and Chuquisaca to declare a state of disaster.
- The Chiquitania and Chaco ecosystems have been the most affected by the fires, while Indigenous peoples are threatened by a prolonged drought.
- Experts say only rain can mitigate the burning, but there’s little to no precipitation forecast soon amid the drought.


Wildlife emergency in Bolivia as fires threaten animal sanctuaries (16 Oct 2020 17:05:09 +0000)
- More than 120 major fires have been detected in Bolivia’s Amazon rainforest and dry forests of Chiquitano since March, according to the nonprofit Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP).
- One of these fires is now threatening an animal sanctuary in Guarayos, Bolivia outside the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra.
- The Ambue Ari Sanctuary of Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY) is being choked by haze as it is flooded with animals in need of rescue from fast-moving fires in the region.


In Bolivia, more than 25% of major fires this year burned in protected areas (12 Oct 2020 15:11:37 +0000)
- More than 120 major fires have been detected in Bolivia since March, more than a quarter of them in protected areas, including Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Copaibo Municipal Protected Area, where an area of forest half the size of New York City has burned this year.
- Most of this year’s major blazes, 54%, were detected in savanna in the department of Beni, while more than 38% burned in forests, both in the Amazon rainforest and the dry forests of Chiquitano, according to the nonprofit MAAP.
- This year, there have been more fires detected but they have burned less area compared to last year’s devastating blazes. Nevertheless, the fires have been severe enough for Bolivia’s interim president to declare a state of emergency in mid-September.
- “We have some weeks (maybe more) when more fires might occur and it is difficult to predict the final impact for this year,” researchers from Bolivian nonprofit ACEAA say.


Mining covers more than 20% of Indigenous territory in the Amazon (09 Oct 2020 11:43:20 +0000)
- A new report from the World Resources Institute and the Amazon Geo-Referenced Socio-Environmental Information Network reveals that mining has impacted more than 20% of the Amazon’s Indigenous territory.
- The analysis shows that deforestation rates are as much as three times higher on Indigenous lands with mining compared to those without.
- The study’s authors suggest that improved law enforcement, greater investment in Indigenous communities and stricter environmental protections are necessary to combat the surge of mining in the Amazon.


For the Pantanal’s jaguars, fires bring ‘death by a thousand needle wounds’ (24 Sep 2020 10:38:57 +0000)
- The Pantanal, the world’s largest wetland region, is experiencing catastrophic fires, with current estimates stating that approximately 3.3 million hectares (8.1 million acres), or 22% of the region, have gone up in flames.
- There are approximately 2,000 jaguars living in the Pantanal’s jaguar corridor, and conservationists estimate that about 600 jaguars have had their habitat impacted by the fires, as well as many injured or killed.
- Jaguars are having trouble escaping the situation due to the fires burning underground, which makes them difficult to visually detect.
- While it’s not entirely clear how the fires will affect jaguar populations into the future, the fires could lead to food insecurity issues and genetic instability, according to experts.


Bolivia’s jaguar seizures down as suspicions rise over new mafia (15 Sep 2020 04:31:57 +0000)
- Since January 2019 there have been no seizures of jaguar parts in Bolivia. What could be behind the trend and how is the country responding?


Why the health of the Amazon River matters to us all: An interview with Michael Goulding (09 Sep 2020 10:42:17 +0000)
- Like the rainforest which takes its name, the Amazon is the largest and most biodiverse river on the planet. The river and its tributaries are a critical thoroughfare for an area the size of the continental United States and function as a key source of food and livelihoods for millions of people. Yet despite its vastness and importance, the mighty Amazon is looking increasingly vulnerable due to human activities.
- Few people understand more about the Amazon’s ecology and the wider role it plays across the South American continent than Michael Goulding, an aquatic ecologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) who has worked in the region since the 1970s studying issues ranging from the impact of hydroelectric dams to the epic migration of goliath catfishes. Goulding has written and co-authored some of the most definitive books and papers on the river, its resident species, and its ecological function.
- In recognition of his lifetime of advancing conservation efforts in the Amazon, the Field Museum today honored Goulding with the Parker/Gentry Award. The Award — named after ornithologist Theodore A. Parker III and botanist Alwyn Gentry who were killed in a plane crash during an aerial survey of an Ecuadorian cloud forest in 1993 — is given each year to “an outstanding individual, team or organization in the field of conservation biology whose efforts have had a significant impact on preserving the world’s natural heritage and whose actions and approach can serve as a model to others.”
- In a September 2020 interview ahead of the prize ceremony, Goulding spoke with Mongabay about his research and the current state of the Amazon.


More than 260 major, mostly illegal Amazon fires detected since late May (13 Aug 2020 15:20:13 +0000)
- The Amazon fire season is building momentum, with 227 fires covering nearly 128,000 hectares, reported between May 28 and August 10. By today, that number rose to 266 fires.
- More than 220 of the May 28 to June 10 fires occurred in Brazil, with just six in Bolivia, and one in Peru. 95% of the Brazilian fires were illegal and in violation of the nation’s 120-day ban on fires. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has called the 2020 reports of deforestation and fires a “lie.”
- Most Amazon blazes are set, with land grabbers, ranchers and farmers using fire as a deforestation tool, and as a means of converting rainforest to pasture and croplands.
- Fourteen of the Brazilian fires were within protected areas. The most heavily impacted of these were Jamanxim and Altamira national forests in Pará state — areas long notorious for criminal land grabbing.


Pioneer study maps regions of Amazon tree flora and may help in future efforts at species conservation (13 Aug 2020 12:01:00 +0000)
- More than 5,000 plants from different stretches of Amazon Forest were analyzed by two Brazilian biologists.
- It was the first spatial division of flora based on species composition. The researchers compiled data on 301 plant communities distributed all over the Amazon.
- The work also indicates the major potential impact of climate change on Amazonian vegetation.
- Knowing the spatial distribution of flora is essential to protect the Amazon, since the subregions allow targeting conservation efforts.


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