A new park in the Bolivian Gran Chaco – an advance in tropical dry forest conservation and community-based management.
ORYX 31: 189-198. ISSN 0030-6053.
The Kaa-Iya del Gran Chaco National Park and Integrated Management Area was established in September 1995. At 3.44 million hectares it is one of South America's largest protected areas. The tropical dry forest of the Chaco, which this reserve protects, is Bolivia's most threatened major lowland habitat type. With the creation of this reserve the protected-area coverage of the Gran Chaco increased to 4.7 per cent. With at least 69 species of mammals (the Chiroptera have not yet been surveyed), it is one of the richest Neotropical sites for this taxonomic group. The Kaa-Iya park is being administered by the Izoceño-Guaraní Indian organization, the Capitanía del Alto y Bajo Izozog, and puts community-based conservation into practice. Threats to the park include encroachment by colonists, ranchers and farmers; the Bolivia–Brazil gas pipeline; and hunting.