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Serranía de Chiribiquete becomes the world's largest tropical rainforest national park

Date: 16-Oct-18
Author: Liam Taylor

The Blue and Yellow Macaw is just one of the spectacular creatures found in the national park. Image: Unsplash © Andrew Pons

The Blue and Yellow Macaw is just one of the spectacular creatures found in the national park. Image: Unsplash

A Colombian national park with one of the highest rates of biodiversity in the northern Amazon has been enlarged, becoming the world’s largest park of its kind.  

In a move celebrated by conservationists and wildlife lovers around the world, former president Juan Manuel Santos passed the act to expand Serranía de Chiribiquete by over 15,000 square kilometres.

The park now spans an area of over 44,000 square kilometres and will continue to provide a home for thousands of species, including threatened jaguars, giant otters, giant anteaters, lowland tapirs, macaws, woolly monkeys and the endemic Chiribiquete emerald hummingbird.

It is the second official change in the spectacular park this year, with the area declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in July to acknowledge its environmental and cultural significance. A rich cultural history is evident in one of the oldest hieroglyphic complexes in the Americas as well as more than 70,000 indigenous paintings scattered throughout the mountains, some more than 20,000 years old.

Deforestation has rapidly progressed in the northern part of the Colombian Amazon in recent years, and conservationists hope the expanded area of the park can act as a protective barrier against further deforestation.

“This is a defining moment for the protection of key ecosystems in Colombia,” said Mary Lou Higgins, director of WWF-Colombia, which campaigned for many years to enlarge the park.

“This is also a very important milestone for the Amazon and for forest conservation globally."


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Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia. Joining the communications team at Planet Ark, he hopes to inspire positive environmental behaviour through effective and positive messaging.

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