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Beni Biosphere Reserve, Bolivia

The Beni Biosphere Reserve is located in the Department of Beni, at the convergence of three biogeographical zones: the Amazon, the Chaco and the Cerrado. It comprises diverse forest formations: gallery forests forest islands of deciduous trees, lowland dense forest and open middle-height forest with tajibo (Tabebuia sp.) and matorral formations including tuzeque (Machaerium sp.), and seasonally flooded savannas. 

Designation date: 1986


Regional network:  Red de Comités y Reservas de Biosfera de Iberoamérica y el Caribe (IberoMAB) 

Ecosystem-based network:




    Surface : 135,000 ha

    • Core area(s): N/A 
    • Buffer zone(s): N/A
    • Transition zone(s): N/A

    Location: 14°38'S to 66°18'W

    Administrative Authorities

    Estacion Biologica del Beni

    Tel.: (591)72825487


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    Ecological Characteristics

    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, such as turtles (Podocnemis unifilis). 

    Tropical forest characterized by cohoo (Hura crepitans), mara (Swietenia macrophylla) and motacu (Attalea princeps); gallery forest; forest islands of deciduous trees; lowland dense forest characterized by palo maria (Calophyllum sp.), guayabochi (Calycophyllum spruceanum), chonta (Acrocomia sp.) etc.; open middle-height forest with tajibo (Tabebuia sp.), mapajo (Curatella americana), Pseudobombax marginatum. etc.; matorral formations including tuzeque (Machaerium sp.); savannas; agroecosystems



    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    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. Disperse and cheap labour force engagements contribute to inequitable productive social relations. The social difficulties are expressed in low incomes, lack of minimal public services and low levels of subsistence. The Chimane ethnolingusitic group lives in the south-east 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. Through inter-institutional coordination with national and foreign environmental entities, the Biosphere Reserve’s system of planning and follow-up activities strengthen its scientific role as well as its relations with the local population. 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.

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    Last updated: March 2019