Madidi National Park

General Information

Legal Framework The Madidi National Park was founded through Supreme Decree Nº 24.123
Category National Park and Natural Area of Integrated Management
Date founded 21 September 1995
Geographical Location 67º30′ – 69º51′ 12º30′ – 14º44′
Extension The Park covers 1,895,750 hectares (18,957 km²), of which 1,271,500 hectares are National Park and 624,250 hectares are Natural Area of Integrated Management
Population The pattern of human settlement in the Madidi National Park is complex due to its large area and diversity of regions. The park is home to around 670 families (some 3,500 inhabitants) spread out among 33 communities. The most important urban centers on the borders of the Park are Apolo to the southeast (1,628 inhabitants), San Buenaventura (1,670 inhabitants), Rurrenabaque (4,959 inhabitants) to the east and Ixiamas to the north (1,256 inhabitants)

 

The Madidi National Park is home to some of the greatest riches of Bolivia and is also one of the world’s priorities for conservation as it is one of the most extraordinary reservoirs of genetic material on the planet. The park is characterized by its exceptional wealth of biological riches and variety of ecosystems. Madidi is home to over 4,739 species of plants, 1,370 species of vertebrates and 867 tropical birds and endemic plants, making it a priority for conservation. This protected area has the highest number of bird species in the world and it is thought that future studies will register over 1,100 species. The Madidi National Park is made up of snow-capped mountains, glaciers, high Andean lagoons, deep valleys and canyons, cliffs, torrid rivers and waterfalls. All of these landscapes add up to create some of the most stunning scenery you will ever see.

There are numerous Inca and Mollo archaeological sites and pre-Columbian paths in the upper regions of the Park. These regions are also home to many different ethnic groups both in the lowlands and highlands. The park´s altitude ranges between 200 and 6,000 meters above sea level from the Amazon plains of River Heath to the Apolobamba mountain range. The climates found include: Montane, Moist to Perhumid Evergreen Forest, Seasonally Moist Lowland Tropical Forest, Palm Savannas, Puna and Dry Inter-Andean Valleys.

Flora

Because of the wide range of altitudes found in the Madidi National Park there is a huge diversity of ecoregions in which it is estimated that there exist between 5,000 and 6,000 plants. Notable species include Queñua (Polylepis racemosa triacontranda), and a newly identified species, huaycha (Weinmannia microphylla), Weinmannia boliviensis and W. crassifolia, walnut (Juglans boliviana), Miconia theaezans, pines (Podocarpus spp.), wild coconut (Eugenia sp.), alder (Alnus acuminata), chachacoma (Escallonia myrtilloides), Hesperomeles ferruginea and H. lanuginosa, Myrica pubescens, myrtle (Randia boliviana), Myrsine coriacea, elm (Sambucus peruviana), laurel trees (Ocotea spp. and Nectandra spp.), Byrsonima indorum, Tetragastris altissima, Anadenanthera colubrina, bibosi (Ficus spp.), Didymopanax morototoni and Miconia multiflora. There are also numerous hardwood trees including mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), cedar (Cedrela odorata), Santa Maria (Calophyllum brasiliense) and the sand-box tree (Hura crepitans). The park is also home to a great diversity of palms: Ceroxylon pityrophyllum (which is extremely rare), Geonoma megalospatha, G. lindeniana and G. deversa, Socratea exorrhiza, Iriartea deltoidea, Scheelea princes, Astrocaryum spp., Phytelephas macrocarpa, Dictyocaryum lamarckianum, Euterpe precatoria and the royal palm Mauritia flexuosa.

Fauna

There are 733 species of fauna recorded in the Park, which includes almost all taxonomic groups of mammals, birds, reptiles and fishes. Among the mammals, are found the spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus), the Andean cat (Felis jacobita), the Andean deer (Hippocamelus antisensis), the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), the puma (Felis concolor), the jaguar (Panthera onca), Felis pardalis, the white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari albirostris), Odocoileus dichotomus, Pteronura brasiliensis, the spider monkey (Ateles paniscus), the red howler monkey (Alouatta seniculus), various members of the Callitrichidae family. A new primate species of the Callicebus genus has been found, whose species name (aureipalatii) was recently established through an international online auction to benefit the protected area. 620 species of birds have been recorded although 1,100 species are exstimated to exist in the Park – around 90% of the birds found in Bolivia. The Park is home to such species as Anairetes alpinus the crested eagle (Oroaetus isidori), the cock of the rock (Rupicola peruviana), the harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja), the endemic humming birds (Oreotrochilus adela and Aglaeactis pamela), as well as endangered species such as Grallaria erythrotis which is endemic to the region, Lepthastenura yanacensis, Asthenes urubambensis, Tangara ruficervix and Hemispingus trifasciatus.

Source: Servicio Nacional de Areas Protegidas (SERNAP), www.sernap.gob.bo