A new nature reserve in Paraguay will protect some of the world's rarest mammals, such as the 'three giants'; the Giant Otter, Giant Anteater and Giant Armadillo. The reserve will be one of the most important in the world for conserving armadillos and, in addition to the massive Giant Armadillo (the size of a Shetland pony), it provides a home for the small Hairy Armadillo as well as at least five other armadillo species.
The reserve will also protect a healthy numbers of jaguars, which feed mostly on capybaras (a giant aquatic relative of the Guinea Pig) and caiman (South American crocodiles). In addition to the mammals there is a huge array of birds, including the spectacular Hyacinth Macaw. However, one of the attractions of the area is that there remain many exciting discoveries to be made, as the reserve is situated in a little studied, remote part of Paraguay, close to the border of Brazil and Bolivia.
The acquisition is funded by Suffolk-based conservation organisation World Land Trust (WLT) and the reserve will be owned and managed by Guyra Paraguay, a non-government organisation working in partnership with WLT. WLT received a legacy in memory of Sid Templer, a businessman based in the town of Halesworth in north east Suffolk where the WLT has its headquarters. Over 10,000 acres will form the initial purchase, and it is hoped that within a year or two there will be facilities for visitors to the reserve.*
* Note since this press release was issued, the actual size of the Sid Templer Reserve has been confirmed as 8,650 acres (3,600 hectares)