San Matias Natural Area, Santa Cruz
The area is located to the east of the Department of Santa Cruz. The municipalities involved are: San Matias, San Rafael, San Jose de Chiquitos, Robore and Puerto Suarez. It is the second largest Protected Area of Bolivia, representing the most extensive and less deteriorated wetland of the world that harbors a great biodiversity of fauna and flora. Its surface is of 2.918.500 hectares (29,185 km2).
The Area is crossed by numerous rivers and fractions that feed the sub-basin of the river Paraguay in the basin of the river La Plata. A total of 20 types of vegetation were identified, of which two are of free water and one of entropic modification. 14 types of vegetation have been described, of which 874 species of flora were collected. The most representative species are the morado, cuchi, oak tree, thicket, white, yellow and pink tajibos, alcornoque, cedar, jichituriqui, chaaco, curupau, Moorish, cuta, white cuta, tacuara, caraguata, lapako, trompillo, and great extenses of the royal palm, motacu, totai victorias.
Among the representative fauna are the yaracare, londra, land tortoises, sicuri, boye, bell of chonono, swamp deer, prairie deer, manechi, peccary and the taitetu. The presence of tigers or jaguars has been reported. Other species include the borochi, ocelot, anta, huaso, urina, violet jochi, painted jochi, pejichi, tatu, pio, blue paraba, bato, mutun turkey, harpy eagle, kingfisher, cardinal and the black eagle.
Some 6,000 people live in the interior of the Area, the majority are of Chiquitano and Ayoreo origin.
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