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  • Richard Conniff writes about behavior, in humans and other animals, on two, four, six, and eight legs, plus the occasional slither.

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Feast Your Eyes: Bolivia’s Madidi National Park

Posted by Richard Conniff on September 12, 2012

A little more than 20 years ago, a group of naturalists visited an area on the eastern slopes of the Andes in Bolivia and  helped bring international attention to an Amazonian region of incredible, and unsuspected, diversity.   (I wrote about two of them, birder Ted Parker and botanist Al Gentry in this article last year.)  As a result in 1995, Bolivia created the Madidi National Park, protecting 4.5 million acres, an area the size of New Jersey, and all the species within it.

Now the Wildlife Conservation Society has put together a report showing that Madidi National Park contains 11 percent of the world’s birds (just as Parker had predicted), more than 200 species of mammals, almost 300 types of fish, and 12,000 plant varieties.

WCS also put wildlife photographer Mileniusz Spanowicz on the scene, and I have nothing to say but feast your eyes

A juvenile harpy eagle, the most powerful bird of prey in the world. Photo: Mileniusz Spanowicz/WCS

The crested forest toad, one of an estimated 100+ species of amphibians in the Madidi park. Photo: Mileniusz Spanowicz/WCS

One of more than 1000 species of butterflies estimated for Madidi park. Photo: Mileniusz Spanowicz/WCS

A juvenile wattled jacana, one of more than 920 species birds so far registered for the Madidi park. Photo: Mileniusz Spanowicz/WCS


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