The Pando region of northern Bolivia is blanketed with the southwestern limit of Amazonian rainforest. Its diverse vegetation harbors abundant wildlife. The newly established Puerto Rico Municipal Conservation Area, declared in November 2020, conserves 513,408 acres of this incredible forest, expanding a huge ecological corridor running through Pando. The Puerto Rico area connects the Santa Rosa del Abuná Municipal Conservation Area (also established with AAF/ACEAA support), with the Manuripi-Heath National Amazonian Wildlife Reserve and the Multiethnic Indigenous Territory (TIM II).
Puerto Rico Municipal Conservation Area is home to 20 communities, many of them members of the Tacana people, who rely on these forests for their livelihoods. Local empowerment and sustainable management by local communities were prioritized when developing the plans to establish this area.
Among the significant species found in Puerto Rico Municipal Conservation Area are giant armadillo (Priodonters maximus), giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), jaguar (Panthera onca), crested eagle (Morphnus guianensis), the endangered Goeldi’s monkey (Callimico goeldii) and South American tapir (Tapirus terrestris). Traditionally managed trees include Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa), açai (Euterpe precatoria),andpataua palms (Oenocarpus bataua), as well as important populations of wild cocoa (Theobroma cacao)and mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla).
We congratulate our grantee Conservación Amazonica (ACEAA) for their work supporting the creation of Puerto Rico Municipal Conservation Area in coordination with the Municipality of Puerto Rico and the local communities. This is a significant achievement towards protecting the natural resources and biodiversity present in Pando for present and future generations.