Carrasco National Park

Carrasco National Park



Location: Cochabamba Department    Map

Area: 6,226 km2 (622,600 ha)

Altitude: 300 m to 4,700 m


Description of Carrasco National Park

Carrasco National Park is located in Cochabamba Department in Bolivia. Carrasco National Park covers an area of 6,226 km2 (622,600 ha). Carrasco National Park was created in 1991 to conserve biological diversity in the region including humid cloud forests known as Yungas. The altitudes of this national park range from 300 meters above sea level to 4700 meters. Be aware that altitude sickness if fairly common and very painful at times. Take any precaution to minimize its effect or avoid high altitudes altogether. Also be aware that higher altitudes are much colder and windier than the jungles that cover the lowlands. Take some extra clothes if you plan to visit higher areas of this Bolivian national park.


The PNC was created under the name of Carrasco-Ichilo National Park on December 9, 1988 with an original area of ​​180,000 ha. On October 11, 1991, through Supreme Decree No. 22,940l, the Protected Area was established as a Carrasco National Park and reduced to an area of ​​622,600 hectares in order to reduce the environmental impact of the Chimoré-Yapacaní highway and attach the Wildlife Sanctuary “Cavernas del Repechón” created by Ministerial Resolution 157-86 of May 22, 1986.

The park management began in 1993, the Forest Development Center (CDF) was in charge of its administration. The management was focused on the protection of biodiversity, environmental education and management of natural resources. The administration of the area is transferred to the National Directorate of Biodiversity Conservation (DNCB, now the National Protected Areas Service) at the end of 1993, maintained to date. This transfer was made due to the poor management of the CDF and the enactment of the Environment Law and the creation of the National Secretary of Environment (SENMA).

One of the main problems of the area is related to the boundaries of the area and its category as a national park. Previously, the possible change of its category to the National Park and the Carrasco Integrated Management Natural Area has been considered, similar to the case of the Amboró PN-ANMI. As well as the possibility of creating a Natural Area of ​​Integrated Management to the north of the area and the area designated as a red line for being a degraded region with a high population density and the presence of legal coca plantations.

The management of the area includes a policy of community participation, within that framework, park rangers and administrators born in the communities around the park have been integrated. The integration of personnel has allowed improving relations between communities and state agencies as well as the assistance of communities in monitoring compliance with the regulations of the area. Additionally, a commission made up of the management committee (coordinating body with municipal governments) and representatives of the communities and institutions (NGOs and OG) that work has been organized to redefine the park's boundaries.

Land tenure
One of the main social conflicts in the area is land tenure. Many of the inhabitants of the communities settled before the creation of the protected area do not have a title deed on the land. Limiting factor in the control and regulation of coca crops and new settlements. As well as defining the area to enable for crops, generating a deforestation in deforestation.

Conservation International and CIDEDER are supporting land sanitation in the southern area of ​​influence of the park, an area where communities have great insecurity about the ownership of their lands and fear for the illegal sale of them to entrepreneurs in the region.

The area does not have a Management Plan, and the process of its preparation has not yet begun since an improvement in relations between communities and the government is expected. However, preliminary zoning is concluded by identifying threats, conservation priorities and objectives of the area. In recent years, the relationship between communities and the government has been damaged by restrictions on coca cultivation, making it difficult to include local participation in management as well as the formation of the management committee.


The climate of the region is seasonal with a wet and dry season. The only reliable weather station is in the wettest region of the area, in the town of Villa Tunari (more than 10 years of weather records). This region has an average annual rainfall of 5676 mm per year. Most rains are concentrated in the wet season (between November and April). Although the precipitation decreases considerably during the dry season (May and July), less than 1000 mm, the relative humidity remains high generating a perhumid climate.

There are no climatic seasons in the highest regions. However, due to rugged topography, humidity is maintained in a thin belt, keeping humidity at levels higher than the Amazon. Additionally, the condensation of the mist contributes to the ambient humidity, especially in the area of ​​cloud condensation between 1600 and 3600 masl.

The average temperature in Villa Tunari is 24.6 ° C and between 12-15 ° C in Sehuencas, with a variation close to 5 ° C throughout the year. Frosts are frequent at around 200 meters above sea level, especially during the arrival of polar winds from the south in the dry season.

In the Carrasco National Park there are approximately 3000-5000 species. In the area you will find important timber species such as cedar (Cedrela odorata), mara (Swietenia macrophylla), alder (Alnus acuminata), and walnut (Bolivian Juglans). Like species considered in pelibro such as the mountain pine (Podocarpus perlatorei and Podocarpus rusbyi), the red pine (Prumnopitis exigua) and the majo palm (Oenocarpus bataua).

Due to the rugged topography and slopes in the area, landslides are common and with great power comes a large proportion of the vegetation consists of various stages of vegetation in succession. The ravines are rarely affected by landslides, housing floristically different communities, such as ravines dominated by the mountain pine between 2600 and 3300 meters above sea level. About 3400 meters above sea level, the vegetation is dominated by forests of Keñua, Polylepis racemosa (3400-3800 meters above sea level) and Polylepis pepei (3,800-4,200 meters above sea level).

The Ceja de Monte region is dominated by mixed mist forests where several species of walnut (Juglans spp.), Copal, palms such as majo (Oenocarpus bataua), giant ferns (Cyathea spp.) And Huaycha (Weinmannia spp. ) in the Ceja de Monte subregion with mixed mist forests. In the highest areas, such as the Puna and the Yungueño Páramo, evergreen and pajonal scrublands dominate.

More than 800 vertebrate species have been registered in the Protected Area, of which 125 are large mammals. Among the most representative mammal species are the spectacled bear, or jucumari (Tremarctos ornatus), the Andean Taruca or deer (Hippocamelus antisensis), the jaguar (Panthera onca), the Andean cat (Felis jacobita) and the tapir (Tapirus terrestris). On the other hand, the area is characterized by housing a great diversity of birds, bird records reach approximately 850 species. Approximately 30% of all bird species registered in Bolivia. The park is considered one of the priority protected areas for bird conservation in Bolivia since it covers endemic bird areas: the lower and upper Yungas and the Andes. The guácharo (Steatornis caripensis) is one of the birds of special tourist attraction for the area due to its nocturnal habits and its relation to its trophic relationship with palm trees. Among the endangered and / or endemic species are: Asthenes heterura, Terenura sharpei, Morphus guianensis, Tangara ruficervix, Simoxenops striatus, Grallaria erythrotis, Myrrmotherula gray, Oreotrochilus adela.