Andes Amazon Fund is pleased to announce the creation of the Mururata Municipal Conservation Area in La Paz, Bolivia on December 12.
Located in the municipality of Yanacachi, the new protected area covers 43,014 acres and is part of the Madidi Corridor within the Tropical Andes Biodiversity Hotspot. Mururata extends from snow-covered Andean mountains to cloud forests, creating a corridor between the glaciers and the humid “Yungas” forest. It houses puna grasslands and páramos ecosystems as well, the latter of which is particularly critical in the face of climate change, as they can help prevent both droughts and floods.
The area’s full name translates to “the Mururata Mountain Range Reserve for the Protection of Water and Montane Forests” given that in addition to its rich biodiversity, it is also an important source of water for the municipal capital of Yanacachi and the 5 communities surrounding it. The area is considered in good standing for conservation given the abundant presence of species that are typically found in primary forests.
The protected area contains polylepis forests, a highly endangered ecosystem made up of a tree species in the rose family that only exists in the tropical Andes. Today, only 10% of Bolivia’s original polylepis forest remains, raising concern for the species that depend on this habitat, like the endangered endemic Royal cinclodes (Cinclodes aricomae) and the Ash-breasted tit-tyrant (Anairetes alpinus). Mururata is also home to the vulnerable Taruka deer (Hippocamelus antisensis) and the Andean Bear (Tremarctos ornatus).
The establishment of the Mururata Municipal Conservation was made possible through the work of AAF grantee Fundación Natura Bolivia in collaboration with the Yanacachi Autonomous Municipal Government.