Madidi National Park

Madidi National Park



Location: Beni Department Map

Area: 18,957.5 km²


Description of Madidi National Park

Madidi National Park is located in Beni Department of Western Central Bolivia. This national park covers an area of 18,957.5 km² and protects unique biosphere of the upper basin of Amazon river. It is mostly covered by dense rainforest, open savannah and Amazon river along with its many tributaries. It is inhabited by several species of monkeys, jaguar, puma, Cayman crocodile and over 1000 species of birds. Unfortunately the ecosystem in the region of Madidi National Park faces new dangers. On one hand there have been plans to erect a dam near Rurrenabaque near Bala Gorge. It would significantly affect the biosphere and many species that live here. Additionally new geologic exploration discovered oil in the region. It is possible that subsequent interventions by human development might affect nature even further.


Area: The National Park has an area of ​​1,895,740 ha (18,957.40 km²) of which 1,291,819 ha correspond to the category of National Park and 603,921 ha to the category of Natural Area of ​​Integrated Management, is one of the largest protected areas in Bolivia. Its limits are between 12º30 'and 14º44' south latitude and between 67º30 'and 69º51' west longitude.
Altitude range: from the Altuncama mountain range to the pampas between the Heath and Madidi rivers. The area covers an altitudinal range that ranges from 5,760 to 180 meters above sea level. Its geomorphology is essentially mountainous, with steep reliefs and deep canyons, forms a great diversity of ecological floors.
Hydrography: it is characterized by having a large number of hydrological basins, especially headwaters, located in areas of high rainfall and high fragility of soils due to steep slopes. It is made up of the Tuichi, Madidi and Quendeque rivers of the Beni basin and the Heath river basin of the Madre de Díos river, having defined six main sub-basins: Heath river, Beni, Madidi, Tuichi, Enapurera and Tumupasa-Beni.
The river of greatest activity in the plain is the Madidi, whose sediment drag from an important mountainous surface has constituted an extensive alluvial fan, which reaches an average of about 400 meters above sea level.
Climate: the climate is diverse, varying from the cold in the Andes, temperate in the intermediate lands, to warm in the northern lowlands. In the seasonal plain it reaches intermediate values ​​of 1,800 mm per year and in the sub-Andean rain mountains, as in the Alto Madidi area, in which extraordinary levels of rainfall of more than 5,000 mm per year are observed. The average temperature is 25 ° C, ranging between 33 ° C between October and January and 10 to 20 ° C between March and June.
Access: the entry points in the Park are Pelechuco and Apollo to the south, Rurrenabaque to the east, Tumupasa to the northeast and the Madre de Dios river to the north. There are two weekly TAM flights and three daily Amaszonas flights between Rurrenabaque and La Paz.
Characteristics of the area
The park is characterized mainly by being the protected area with the greatest biodiversity both in flora and fauna of the world, 1 as well as in ecological floors since it goes from perpetual snows to the Amazonian plain and housing community ethnic groups in its territory. It was declared by the National Geographic magazine as one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet and one of the 20 places with the greatest tourist interest worldwide. Because of its enormous environmental quality, it generates significant economic benefits to its region through conservation and ecotourism (Fleck et al., 2006a; Malki et al., 2007).


Due to the wide altitudinal range (200 to 6,000 meters above sea level), the Madidi has several altitudinal floors, associated with a wide variety of ecosystems. We find snowy areas and periglacial environments, Yungueño Moorland, Ceja Cloud Forest, Wet to Perhumid Forest of Yungas, Sub-Andean Rain Forest, Deciduous Dry Forest of San Juan del Asariamas, Very Wet Pedemontane Forest, Basal Seasonal Wetland, Savanna Floodplates and Palmares Marsh of royal palm (Mauritia flexuosa and Mauritiella aculeata). 5,000 to 6,000 species of higher plants are estimated throughout the Area. These include: queñua (Polylepis racemosa triacontranda), including a new species for science, huaycha (Weinmannia microphylla), iotavio (Weinmannia boliviensis and W. crassifolia), walnut (Juglans boliviana), yuraj huaycha (Miconia theaezans), mountain pines (Podocarpus spp.), wild coca (Eugenia sp.), alder (Alnus acuminata), chachacoma (Escallonia myrtilloides), yarumas (Hesperomeles ferruginea and H. lanuginosa), the red alder (Myrica pubescens), the myrtle (Randia boliviana), the limachu (Myrsine coriacea), the elder (Sambucus peruviana), the laurels (Ocotea spp. And Nectandra spp.), The coloradillo del monte (Byrsonima indorum), the quina ( Cinchona officinalis), isigo (Tetragastris altissima), bilka (Anadenanthera colubrina), bibosi (Ficus spp.), Guitarist (Didymopanax morototoni) and biscuit (Miconia multiflora). There are also numerous timber species such as mara or mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), cedar (Cedrela odorata), Maria stick (Calophyllum brasiliense) and Echo (Hura crepitans). In addition, the Area has a great diversity of palms, among which we can mention: Ceroxylon pityrophyllum (as very rare), jatatas (Geonoma megalospatha, G. lindeniana and G. deversa), pachiuva (Socratea exorrhiza), the cup (Iriartea deltoidea), motacú (Scheelea princeps), several chontas (Astrocaryum spp.), Ivory palm (Phytelephas macrocarpa), icho (Dictyocaryum lamarckianum), asaí (Euterpe precatoria) and royal palm (Mauritia flexuosa).

The fauna of the park responds with similar diversity patterns to this extraordinary variety of habitats.

Vertebrates: 2,000 vertebrate species have been recorded, representing 66% of the vertebrates of Bolivia and 3.7% of the world.
Mammals: among the 270 species of mammals reported, jucumari, Andean cat, puma, jaguar, tiger, Taruca or Andean deer, troop pig, swamp deer, London, and a variety of monkeys stand out: marimono, manechi, Whistling monkey, squirrel monkey. In addition to those, an endemic species has been identified for the country, the rodent Akodon dayi and a new species of primate of the genus Callicebus, the Callicebus aureipalatii whose name was recently established by means of an international auction in favor of the protected area Being the reserve with greater number of species of mammals on the planet.
Birds: it has the presence of red paraba and eight species of Macaws of the 14 that live in Bolivian territory, tyranido, crested eagle, tunqui, harpy, and several species of endangered birds such as Grallaria erythrotis endemic to the region Being able to observe flocks of different species of Macaws and parrots of more than 700 individuals (Group of a single species but when they join with groups of other species their number becomes impossible to enumerate arriving at estimates of more than 2500 individuals, being able to gather up to 8 Macaw species and countless flocks of parrots and other birds of other species in clay ravines to feed) and even more in roosts and feeding points Being the place with the largest number of bird species on the planet. The area contains more than 1,250 different species, which represents 83% of the country's poultry fauna.
Amphibians: (reserve with the largest number of amphibian species on the planet) 213 species, the Madidi is home to 85% of the country's amphibians. It is considered that there are more than 30 endemic species.
Reptiles: (reserve with the largest number of Reptile species on the planet) a total of 204, that is 70% of the country's reptiles. Many of the larger species such as boas, anacondas, snakes, large sauriums and aquatic and land turtles are threatened by hunting for subsistence, obtaining hides or use as a pet.
Fish: (reserve with the largest number of fish species on the planet) a total of 496, which corresponds to 51% of the country's fauna.
The park is home to more than 120,000 different species of Insects, so it occupies the 1st place in diversity and number of species on the planet.