Bolivia’s Boggling Biodiversity

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Keara valley Credit Omar Torrico/Wildlife Conservation Society

Whether or not the title is a rhetorical question does not matter; what does matter is our thanks to James Gorman, a science writer at large for The New York Times for this story about the work of Rob Wallace and colleagues at the Wildlife Conservation Society:

Is This the World’s Most Diverse National Park?

Bringing the numbers to life for the jewel in Bolivia’s conservation crown.

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Royal flycatcher Credit Rob Wallace/Wildlife Conservation Society

The credit to Mr. Wallace and colleagues for these photos alone would be worthy of a post, but the creation of such a park in Bolivia is no small wonder:

Madidi National Park in Bolivia goes from lowland to mountaintop, from 600 feet to almost 20,000 feet above sea level. It covers more than 7,000 square miles of wildly different habitats. It is, says Rob Wallace, an ecologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society in Bolivia, “a place where the Amazon meets the Andes.”

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Rob Wallace/Wildlife Conservation Society

“Madidi was put together on the hypothesis that it could be the world’s most biologically diverse protected area,” Dr. Wallace said. And, he said, it is — for mammals, birds, plants and butterflies. Continue reading

Sorry, Bolivia!

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NASA satellite images show Bolivia’s Lake Poopo filled with water in April 2013 (left), and almost dry in January 2016. PHOTO: NASA/AP

Drying rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Fancy a list? Here and here, you go. The world’s waters are rapidly running dry, threatening wild habitats and human civilization, exacerbating climate change. In turn, livelihoods, ecosystems, energy generation are all affected. Like in Bolivia, which just lost its second largest lake.

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