Pampas del Yacuma

The Pampas del Yacuma Municipal Protected Area was created on July 8th 2007, through Municipal Ordinance 15/2007, with an area of 616,453 ha. It is located in the municipality of Santa Rosa del Yacuma, in the Department of Beni, and contains 9 communities (Mojon, San Cristóbal, San Bartolomé, Picaflores, Villa Fatima, Awaizal, El Triunfo, El Rosario and El Candado) and 172 cattle ranches, with an estimated population of 7,000 people (76.65% of the total population of the municipality).

It is a critical area for the conservation of the flooded savannas of the Moxos plains due to the scarce representation within the national protected areas of Bolivia. It also presents unique characteristics in terms of ecological dynamics associated with annual flooding which has determined the composition and distribution of a complex mosaic of vegetation: flooded savannas, wetlands, forest islands, gallery forests, grasses and sedges, aquatic plants, bromeliads, palm trees and emergent trees (fig, ambaibo, cedar, tajibo). It also has a great diversity of wildlife, especially three endemic and endangered species, the Beni and Olalla titi monkeys (Callicebus modestus and Callicebus olallae) and the blue-throated macaw (Ara glaucogularis). Other relevant wildlife species are the marsh deer (Blastocerus dichotomus), gray brocket deer (Mazama gouazoubira), red brocket deer (Mazama americana), jaguar (Panthera onca),maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), Bolivian river dolphin (Inia boliviensis), yellow-spotted river turtle (Podocnemis unifilis), black caiman (Melanosuchus niger) and the spectacled caiman (Caiman yacare).

One of the main objectives of the protected area is to reconcile biodiversity conservation with sustainable development. Ecotourism is one of the main economic activities in the municipality of Santa Rosa, being part of the Rurrenabaque and Madidi National Park circuit. Its main attractions are the plains surrounding the Yacuma River and the large lagoons in the Beni savannah. Annually 16 thousand tourists visit the Municipal Protected Area bringing significant income for the municipality and underlining the need to conserve the biodiversity of the area.