One of the first protected areas to be established in Bolivia, the Beni Biosphere Reserve is located at the convergence of three biogeographical zones: the Amazon, the Chaco and the Cerrado. The reserve comprises diverse forest formations and is home to important indigenous Amazonian groups.
The Beni Biosphere Reserve is located in the Department of Beni, Bolivia at the convergence of three biogeographical zones: the Amazon, the Chaco and the Cerrado. It covers some 1,350 sq km (520 sq mi) of savanna and rain forest and was one of the first protected areas to be established in Bolivia.
The reserve comprises diverse forest formations: gallery forests forest islands of deciduous trees, lowland dense forest and open middle-height forest with tajibo and matorral formations including tuzeque, as well as seasonally flooded savannas.
The reserve is exceptionally biodiverse, More than 100 species of mammals, 500 species of birds, and more than 2,000 species of vascular plants have been reported, some of which are endangered.
Due, not only to its rich biota, but also to the presence of important indigenous Amazonian groups, it was designated a Biosphere Reserve with the purpose of promoting conservation in a context of balance between people and nature. 215,000 inhabitants (1988) live in the biosphere reserve, engaged in extensive cattle raising and increasing timber extraction activities, affecting natural forests ecosystems.
The Chimane ethnolingusitic group lives in the southeast part of the Beni Department in the tropical humid forest and plains and is engaged in transhumant activities such as sustainable hunting, fishing, plants collection and traditional agriculture.
The main goals of the Biosphere Reserve are to protect endangered species, promote the sustainable use of natural resources and safeguard traditional techniques and knowledge in the area.