Ecoregion: Yungas Forest
Key Species: Jaguar, Ocelot, Lowland Tapir, Puma, Black Solitary Eagle
El Pantanoso Reserve is located within the northern Argentine Yungas forest, and covers around 10,900 acres (4,400 hectares). The reserve is strategically important because it forms a corridor between Calilegua National Park on its southern border and Estancia Urundel, a large tract of contiguous sustainably managed forest.
The Southern Andean Yungas ecoregion of Bolivia and Argentina covers 23,600 square miles (61,100 square kilometres). It lies along the eastern slopes of the Andes at an altitude of between 800 and 3,000 metres above sea level.
World Land Trust (WLT) staff helped negotiate the purchase agreement with the owner of El Pantanoso, working in partnership with Fundación Biodiversidad-Argentina (FBA). In late 2014, WLT highlighted the importance of the property and raised funds during the Big Cat Appeal. Since 2015, WLT has been raising funds for El Pantanoso through Buy an Acre, and in May 2016 FBA secured ownership of the property.
The Yungas urgently needs protection. The forest is home to a wealth of threatened species, but it is at serious risk. Agriculture is the main cause of deforestation in the Yungas – particularly for the production of soya beans and sugarcane.
In Argentina, more than 90 per cent of the Yungas foothills have been cleared for agriculture. FBA is working with Calilegua National Park to secure additional ranger patrols.
El Pantanoso forms part of the largest area of contiguous habitat for Jaguar (Panthera onca) in Argentina. It is also an important ecological corridor for Puma (Puma concolor), Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) and other threatened species including Lowland Tapir (Tapirus terrestris), Black Solitary Eagle (Buteogallus solitaries) and two species of peccary.
Biodiversity studies in El Pantanoso have identified more than 120 species of tree, 140 species of butterfly, 350 species of bird and 120 species of mammal.
FBA is planning a conservation programme both to ensure income for the long term protection of the property and also to engage the local community. The programme will encourage small scale enterprise and job creation in research, ecotourism and eco volunteering.