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Endangered Species and Jaguars: Protection in Paraguay

Jul 15, 2015 12:28 PM EDT
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Part of Paraguay's San Rafael National Park, a home to jaguars and until now mainly privately managed, has been bought by the NGO Guyra Paraguay, according to a release.

The 1,235 acres of land have been donated to the Paraguayan government.
While the land officially was decreed a national park in 1992, it has until now had virtually no protection. as reported by Birdlife, the global partnership of conservation organizations regarding birds.

Scientists have recorded on the land 430 species of birds, 61 mammal species, 650 invertebrates, 52 fish, 35 amphibians, 47 reptiles and 322 vascular plants, Birdlife says.

Birds in the area are a mix of 70 species endemic to the Atlantic forest, which has been called "second only to the Amazon" in terms of South American forests. At least 13 species there are threatened, and 18 are near that, says Birdlife, noting important populations of Helmeted Woodpecker Dryocopus galeatus, Russet-winged Spadebill Platyrinchus leucoryphus, Cock-tailed Tyrant Alectrurus tricolor and Saffron-cowled Blackbird Xanthopsar flavus.

The area has been threatened by settlement, marijuana cultivation and illegal deforestation.

"The San Rafael range is the last piece of the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest. Its humid forests are a clear and defined endemic centre for many groups of plants and animals that are not found in other parts of the world." said Guyra CEO, Alberto Yanosky, said in the release.

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