PNANMI Madidi

WCS contributed to increase available biodiversity knowledge for Madidi through vegetation and wildlife surveys, particularly birds and mammals. The program increased bird records from 590 species in 1998 to 917 in 2008. Studies in different areas of Madidi have demonstrated the distribution, diversity and abundance of medium and large mammals, confirming the importance of the area for the conservation of endangered species at a continental level:

  • Documentation of significant densities of jaguar populations in the forests of the rivers Tuichi-Hondo (2.91 ind./100km2), Quendeque (3.66 ind./100km2), Alto Madidi (5.08 ind./100km2) and heath (2.08 ind./100km2).
  • High population densities of white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari), especially in the areas of influence of the Hondo River (10.74 ind./ km2).
  • Giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) relative abundance on the Madidi River (1.8 ind./10km) indicating good populations of the species in the area.
  • In the montane forests of the upper Tuichi, Asariamas and Pata, groups of woolly monkeys (Lagothrix cf. cana tschudii) were observed, representing the first Bolivian records of this genus.
  • Description of a new primate species for science, Callicebus aureipalatii, known locally as lucachi, in the piedmont humid forests of Hondo River, within Madidi.
In order to contribute to the financial sustainability of the management of Madidi, in 2005 an international auction for the designation of the scientific name of the luchachi (Callicebus aureipalatii) was undertaken through an interagency agreement signed between SERNAP, FUNDESNAP and WCS. It raised the sum of $us. 650,000.00 and established a trust fund for Madidi. With the annual interest generated by this fund, SERNAP has hired park rangers and strengthened surveillance work.

Under SERNAP & WCS technical coordination the management plan of the area was developed between 2002 and 2003 to generate a strategic and programmatic land management instrument to guide the integral management of the area and ensure long-term conservation. This plan increased the visibility of scientific knowledge of Madidi, and identified species and priority conservation areas especially the montane forests, the Pampas del Heath, the tropical rainforest of Alto Madidi, the dry forest of the Tuichi valley, the sub Andean Serranias and the altitudinal corridor that extends from the summits of Pelechuco to the Heath plains.

In the planning process, 45 indigenous and peasant communities participated in conducting Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRA), communal land use maps and community plans. Similarly, communities participated in the definition of management programs and zoning processes to reconcile different land uses, for example, integrating the zoning of Madidi and the TCO Takana I which already had the zoning of their territory, and develop zoning proposals for the other indigenous territories that overlap with the area. On this basis, in 2009 the Leco of Apolo People Indigenous Council (CIPLA) completed the integrated zoning of the TCO Leco of Apolo, included in their Life Plan.

To support the development of productive alternatives, WCS promoted studies on the incense harvested in the montane forests in the Apolo area, obtaining information on incense forest structure, tree density, production, systems and incense extraction techniques and threats to their conservation, as well as supporting researchers from the National Herbarium of Bolivia in the documentation of a new species to science of incense tree: Clusia pachamamae, which is traditionally harvested by the communities of the area. Sustainable use communal plans were also developed for the communities of Virgen del Rosario, Pata and Santa Cruz del Valle Ameno, with some incense forest repopulation activities (with insufficient regeneration), by transplanting seedlings.

In addition, WCS worked with SERNAP in the design of the tourism program for Madidi National Park and its implementation from 2004 to 2007, including the identification of tourism values, the training of tourism guides and the development of the first tourism regulation in a protected area in Bolivia, achieving order in the access and development of legal activities of ecotourism companies within the protected area. An important activity was to assist in the development of ecotourism in the San Miguel del Bala community (situated within the TCO Tacana and within and around Madidi). Through communal mapping of ecotourism areas as well as self-monitoring of subsistence hunting, both activities were successfully designated to exclusive areas increasing the the value of the tourism interpretation of tourism trails.

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