December 10, 2012
Thanks to your support, WLT-US supported our Bolivian partner, Asociación Armonia Bolivia, in establishing the 12,300-acre Barba Azul (Blue-throated Macaw) Nature Reserve protecting forest islands, tropical savanna, marshes, and a pristine freshwater ecosystem in northeastern Bolivia.
In November 2011 we reported the great news that researchers had documented a resurgence of wildlife in the former cattle ranch due to protection, controlling fires, and removal of 2,000 head of cattle.
For the first time, researchers picked up the presence of a Pampas Cat, adding another fantastic predator to the expanding list of mammals known to be present on the Barba Azul Nature Reserve. This elusive animal was captured using a network of digital camera traps. In the past, other big cats including Ocelot, Puma, Jaguar, and Margay have all been recorded on the reserve. The Pampas Cat occurs in a wide range of habitats such as the southwestern grasslands of South America in the countries of Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Argentina. The Pampas Cat is considered threatened due to habitat loss.
Researchers also were alerted during a forest night transect to the presence of Owl Monkeys by their distinctive alarm calls high up in the palms. The team did not see how many there were but judging from the racket, it was a large troop!
The team also caught its first glimpse of Marsh Deer, a species known to be present locally but had eluded camera traps for three years. The Marsh Deer has been reduced to small isolated populations in South America. Destruction of its habitat presents the major threat to Marsh Deer, causing it to be listed as a IUCN Vulnerable species.
These new records represent a great success for the monitoring program within the reserve and suggest that the protection and regeneration of this wonderful habitat is allowing its natural wildlife to return and flourish.
Learn more about saving the Beni Savannas of Bolivia and how WLT-US is working to save this habitat and protect species, like the Blue-throated Macaw, by clicking here.