The Chaco/Pantanal Project - saving Paraguayan wilderness. Paraguay is the meeting point for many different eco-regions, which create a rich and unique variety of wildlife habitats and the WLT is funding the protection of three distinct regions.
Paraguay is a relatively unknown, land-locked country in the heart of South America and hosts extremely threatened habitats including lowland rainforest, grassland, wetlands and dry and humid forests. The aim of this project is to raise funds for the purchase and protection of these critical habitats and ensure permanant protection.
Other projects in Paraguay:
Previously WLT has been very successful in supporting the purchase of three reserves in very different Paraguayan habitats; the grass and wetland habitat of the Chaco-Pantanal; the increasingly threatened Dry Chaco and the quickly diminishing Atlantic Forest of Paraguay. WLT continues to support these areas but is currently focusing fundraising efforts for Paraguay on the Keepers of the Wild Appeal.
WLT is focusing its support for Paraguay on Defending the Chaco through the Keepers of the Wild Appeal. In 2008, WLT joined in a management agreement with Guyra Paraguay and the Paraguayan Ministry of the Environment to help manage over 2.5 million acres in the Dry Chaco. Funds are needed to employ rangers who will help protect this large expanse of threatened habitat in northern Paraguay.
- Big cats such as jaguars (Panthera onca), pumas (Puma concolor), ocelots (Leopardis pardalis) and jaguarundis (Puma yagouaroundi).
- Five species of primates.
- 'The 3 Giants': Giant Anteater ( Myrmecophaga tridactyla), Giant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) and Giant Armadillo (Priodontes maximus).
- The Lowland Tapir (Tapirus terrestris), Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) a number of fox and deer species, and the world's highest diversity of armadillos.
- Its location in the centre of South America makes Paraguay an important stop-over for migratory birds.
- Parrot species: Endangered Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus).
- Birds of Prey: Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) and Endangered Crowned Solitary Eagle (Harpyhaliaetus coronatus).
The Atlantic Forest, in particular, is known for its high diversity of reptiles. Within the first year of biological monitoring, project partners Guyra Paraguay identified two new species of snake.
The growing demand for soya, biofuels and other industrial agriculture threatens these unique habitats, which, despite their importance to wildlife, have received little attention until recently.
- The once extensive Atlantic Forest is now reduced to a series of fragmented forest islands, meaning that the wildlife is increasingly threatened.
- The Chaco habitat is easily destroyed and large areas have already been cleared to make way for cattle ranching.
- The Chaco-Pantanal transition zone is under the threat of being drained, polluted and also lost through the spread of agriculture.
WLT supports three reserves covering very different habitats and supports the management of three further protected areas covering over 2.5 million acres in Northern Paraguay. Find out more about each reserve area on our reserves pages.
- The Chaco/Pantanal Reserve: Chaco-Pantanal transition zone
- Campo Iris: Dry Chaco
- Guyra Reta: Atlantic Rainforest
- Defensores del Chaco NP, Cerro Chovoreca NM, Río Negro NP