Noel Kempff Mercado National Park is one of the largest and most intact parks in the Amazon Basin and is the site of a rich mosaic of habitat types from Cerrado savannah and forest to upland evergreen Amazonian forests. The park boasts an evolutionary history dating back over a billion years to the Precambrian period.
Noel Kempff Mercado National Park is one of the largest (1,523,000 ha or 3,700,000 acres), most intact parks in the Amazon Basin and is located at a transition zone on the southern fringe of the vast Amazonian drainage. The park boasts an evolutionary history dating back over a billion years to the Precambrian and contains unique ecological associations on complex lithologies.
With altitudinal diversity stretching from 200 m (650 ft) to nearly 1000 m (3,280 ft), it is the site of a rich mosaic of habitat types including evergreen rain forests, palm forests, cerrado, swamps, savannahs, gallery forests, and semi-deciduous dry forests. The cerrado habitats found on the Huanchaca Meseta have been isolated for millions of years providing an ideal living laboratory for the study of the evolution of these ecosystems.
The site also contains a high diversity of plant and animal species, including viable populations of many globally threatened large vertebrates. While biological exploration is still in its infancy, over 2700 species of plants have already been recorded including 26 plants new to science; total floristic diversity is estimated at 4,000 species; while over six hundred species of birds, approximately 125 of mammals, 127 of reptiles and amphibians and 246 species of fish have already been recorded.
Viable populations exist of many globally endangered or threatened large vertebrates including the giant otter, giant anteater, hyacinth macaw, giant armadillo, pink river dolphin, maned wolf, marsh and pampas deer.