Bahuaja-Sonene National Park of Peru is part of the largest multinational tropical protected area in the world. It protects an area comprised of tropical rainforest, savanna, flooded grasslands, hills and mountains; harboring some of the wildest and least-impacted habitats in the world.
Bahuaja-Sonene National Park
Bahuaja-Sonene National Park is a protected area of Peru, located in the departments of Madre de Dios and Puno. Declared in 1996, the National Park covers 1,091,416 ha (2,696,947 acres). The area harbors some of the wildest and least-impacted habitats in the world.
The National Park protects an area comprised of tropical rainforest, savanna and intermittently flooded grasslands similar to the Pantanal of Brazil, as well as hills and mountains with elevations ranging from 500 m (1,640 ft) to 2,450 m (8,038 ft).
The main rivers in the area include the Heath, the Tambopata and the Candamo. Bahuaja-Sonene National Park gets its name from the Ese-Eja native Amazonian words for "Tambopata" (Bahuaja) and "Heath" (Sonene).
Bahuaja-Sonene National Park shares borders with Tambopata National Reserve in the north and Madidi National Park in Bolivia to the east. Originally, as an earlier form of protection, the area that includes Bahuaja Sonene National Park and the present-day Tambopata National Reserve was known as the "Tambopata-Candamo Reserved Zone."
Pampas del Heath National Sanctuary, a tropical savanna nested in the lowland Amazon Rainforest, is shared by Peru and Bolivia and lies to the northeast of the two parks. These are part of a chain of protected areas in southern Peru and south-central Bolivia, constituting the largest multinational tropical protected area in the world.
The area of Bahuaja-Sonene is the ancestral land of the Ese'eja indigenous group. Living in small communities, they cultivated manioc (yuca), foraged for wild fruits and plants in the forest and hunted for wild animals such as tapirs, deer and game birds. Their descendants still reside here.
Species of flora found inside the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park include Virola sebifera, Cedrela odorata, Spondias mombin, Celtis schippii, Bertholletia excelsa, Ficus insipida, Hevea guianensis, Cedrelinga cateniformis, Iriartea deltoidea, Calycophyllum spruceanum, Guadua weberbaueri, Theobroma cacao, Miconia spp., Annona ambotay, Swietenia macrophylla, Myroxylon balsamum, Astrocaryum murumuru, Enterolobium cyclocarpum, Mauritia flexuosa, etc.
Avifauna found inside the park include the white-tailed golden throat, the Neotropic cormorant, the blue-and-yellow macaw, the harpy eagle, the white-throated toucan, the horned curassow, the great egret, the scarlet macaw, the bat falcon, the jabiru, the swallow-tailed hummingbird, etc.
The fauna found in the park includes the giant otter, the Giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), the South American tapir, the marsh deer, the jaguar, the maned wolf, the puma, the bush dog, etc.