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Pilón Lajas Biosphere Reserve, Bolivia

Pilón - Lajas Biosphere Reserve is located on the far eastern spur of the Andes. It comprises mixed mountain and highland systems, low hills and Amazonian plains, covered with tropical humid forests, sub-tropical and tropical forest, forests in ancient alluvial terraces, and mountain and valley forests.

Designation date: 1977


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

Ecosystem-based network:



    Surface : 400,000 ha

    • Core area(s): 143,382.89 ha 
    • Buffer zone(s): 179,966.32
    • Transition zone(s): 62,501.38 ha

    Location: 15°00'S to 67°20'W

    Administrative Authorities

    Félix Gonzales Bernal
    Servicio Nacional de Áreas Protegidas (SERNAP)
    Calle Francisco Bedregal N° 2904 final Av. Víctor Sanjinés
    Sopocachi - La Paz 

    Tel.: (591) 2426272

    Email: N/A

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    Ecological Characteristics

    The variety of ecosystems, geomorphology and types of vegetation make Pilon Lajas home to a variety of species. Some 70 mammal species have been reported including tapir (Tapirus terrestris), ring-tailed coati (Nasua nasua), spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus), and jaguar (Panthera onca), and 338 species of birds (from the genus Ara, Aratinga, Pyrrhura, Brotegris). 

    Recent studies have reported a great floristic diversity in the region. 




    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    Over 160,000 inhabitants live in the Pilón-Lajas region of which 12,000 are Mosetenes, Tacanas and Chimane indigenous people groups who live in settlements inside the Biosphere Reserve, near the rivers and in colonization areas. Mixed populations work in agriculture (rice monoculture), mining, cattle grazing and timber and mostly live in urban centres. Forest timber and unproductive agricultural systems give poor returns and the land is often turned into pasture, a process which threatens sustainable cultures and practices of the indigenous people. The main management goals are to guarantee territorial rights to indigenous people (Chimane and Mosetén) and promote their participation in the decision making processes in order to implement sustainable practices of natural resources.


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    Last updated: March 2019