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Colombia expands Amazon protection

Press release from World Wildlife Fund | April 02, 2007


The new national park is home to Andean bears and other threatened species.

The creation of a new national park in Colombia adds to the protection of endangered flora and fauna in the Amazon basin.

The Complejo Volcanico Doña Juana-Casacabel National Natural Park, located in the country's south-west in the Amazon piedmont, covers 65,858 hectares of diverse forests and is home to such threatened species as the Andean bear and mountain tapir.

Four new plants have recently been recorded in the area, and 471 bird species, representing 27 per cent of the Colombia's birdlife, are found there.

The water sources originating in the Doña Juana-Cascabel feeds several major tributaries of the Amazon River, providing drinking water for 11 municipalities in the region.

"The declaration of the park represents a highly valuable conservation opportunity for the ecosystems which connect the south-east Colombian Andes with the Amazon," said Luis German Naranjo, WWF Colombia's Ecoregional Conservation Director.

"It is now important that we help ensure that the management plan for the park is implemented. We are developing a model to assess ecosystems in order to select conservation targets and prioritize collective actions within the watershed."

WWF has been active in the creation of the national park, sharing technical information on the region's biodiversity and carrying out environmental education and public awareness projects.

"The successful management of the park will only be possible through continued cooperation between governmental and non-governmental organizations, and the local communities living nearby," Naranjo added.

editors note * The Complejo Volcanico Doña Juana-Casacabel Natural Park is Colombia's 52nd national park, adding to the more than 11 million hectares of protected areas throughout the country.

* Some US$200,000 has been invested in the creation of the park through the Colombian Macizo Páramos and Forest Conservation Project (BIOMACIZO), financed by Global Environmental Facility. Institutional support comes from local authorities, regional environmental authorities, civil organizations such as Corpo Doña Juana, the Red de Voces Vivas, a local radio stations network, and WWF Colombia (through additional support from the British Department for International Development, the MacArthur Foundation, the EU and WWF-UK).

For further information:
Maria Ximena Galeano, Press Officer
WWF Colombia

Article has been adapted from a news release issued by World Wildlife Fund.

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