The Annotated Ramsar List: Paraguay

20/10/2003

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The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance

PARAGUAY

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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Paraguay on 7 October 1995. Paraguay presently has 6 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 785,970 hectares.

site; date of designation; region, province, state; surface area; coordinates
site; date de désignation; région, province, état; superficie; coordonnées
sitios; fecha de designación; región, provincia, estado; área; coordenadas

Estero Milagro. 07/06/95; San Pedro; 25,000 ha; 23º34’S 057º22’W. National Park. The area is characterized by natural grasslands, low forests, wooded savannas and gallery forest, swamps, small marshes, and a great diversity of plant species. The aggregation of lagoons and marshes on calcareous soils, with characteristic plants, are the only formations of this kind in the country. The site provides important aquatic habitat for migratory birds and other animals associated with aquatic environments, as well as habitat for the survival of several rare species and threatened species of plants. The area is used by the local population for agriculture, ranching, exploitation of forest resources, subsistence hunting, and fishing. Ramsar site no. 731. Most recent RIS information: 1995.

Lago Ypoá. 07/06/95; Paraguari, Ñeembucú, Central; 100,000 ha; 26º30’S 057º33’W. National Park. An area of extensive, shallow, clustered lakes (esterales) with floating mats of vegetation, some supporting small trees and fauna. Esterales are interspersed with forested islands, savannah, rocky areas, and streams. This site provides excellent wildlife habitat and is one of the most important aquatic environments in Paraguay, important for several threatened species, migrating birds, and five species of threatened plants. Timber cutting and livestock rearing occur in the site, while extensive ranching occurs in the surrounding area. Ramsar site no. 728. Most recent RIS information: 1995.

Laguna Chaco Lodge. 20/10/2003; Presidente Hayes; 2,500 ha; 22º17'S, 059º18'W. Private reserve. The largest of the water bodies in the lake system of the Central Chaco. Chaco Lodge is a saltwater lake with sharp level fluctuations surrounded by xerophytic woods and shrubs and halophytic vegetation. The site is one of the few relatively undisturbed natural areas in the Chaco, hosting an impressive biodiversity, including the endangered Chacoan Peccary Catagonus wagneri and the Brazilian Tapir Tapirus terrestris. Several wintering shorebird species are abundant, with up to 25,000 Wilson's Phalaropes Phalaropus tricolor, 4,000 White Rumped Sandpipers Calidris fuscicollis, and 3,000 Pectoral Sandpipers Calidris melanotos, all of them figures above 1% threshold. The same is true for the Chilean Flamingos Phoenicopterus chilensis, which are regular on the site. Chaco Lodge is entirely devoted to conservation and small scale ecotourism, and hunting and cattle ranching pressures from the surrounding area are very limited. The greatest threat, however, comes from the intense drought affecting the region the past few years. The site designation was carried out with support of the NGO Fundación DeSdelChaco. Ramsar Site No. 1330. Most recent RIS information: 2003.

Laguna Teniente Rojas Silva. 14/07/04; Boquerón; 8,470 ha. 22º38’S, 059º03’W. Private reserve. Part of the watershed of the Riacho Yakaré Sur in the Paraguayan Chaco, this lake alternates between freshwater and brackish conditions. It supports colonies of Southern cattail Typha dominguensis, Tropical duck-weed Pistia stratiotes and West Indian marsh grass Hymenachne amplexicaulis, amidst a landscape of xerophytic forest, subhumid forest, seasonally flooded shrubs and forests and savannah. The site hosts several endangered and protected species such as the greater Rhea Rhea americana, the Coscoroba Swan Coscoroba coscoroba, the Chilean Flamingo Phoenicopterus chilensis, the Giant Brazilian Otter Pteronura brasiliensis and the Southern Three-Banded Armadillo Tolypeutes matacus. The indigenous shrub Lophocarpinia aculeatifolia and the Jacare Caiman yacare are other noteworthy species of the site. The area is part of a private estate whose owners are committed to wetland conservation. Small scaled agriculture and cattle ranching, as well as local hunting by indigenous people are the main human uses of the site, while its greatest threats are salinisation and desertification, which have already occurred in neighboring areas. The site designation was carried out with support of the NGO Fundación DeSdelChaco. Ramsar Site No. 1390. Most recent RIS information: 2004.

Río Negro. 07/06/95; Alto Paraguay; 370,000 ha; 19º52’S 058º34’W. A riverine system of meanders and oxbow lakes set in an ecotone arising from the confluence of three biogeographic provinces, with representative fauna from all. Considered a world centre of floral genetic diversity, numerous rare and threatened species of flora and fauna are supported. Some livestock rearing, timber extraction, and poaching take place. A border is shared with both Bolivia and Brazil. Ramsar site no. 729. Most recent RIS information: 1995.

Tinfunque. 07/06/95; Pte. Hayes; 280,000 ha; 24º15’S 059º30’W. National Park. An alluvial plain along the Pilcomayo River which is flooded much of the year and characterized by patches of forest, extensive, clustered lakes, and savannas of palm groves. Watercourses follow ancient riverbeds, with gallery forest growing alongside. Another sector is composed of vast, dry plains of grasses and shrubs. Located in the tropical deciduous dry forest biogeographical region, the site, in outstanding condition, is a good representative of biodiversity. Situated along the migration route, birds are abundant in species and number. Several threatened wildlife species (rhea, caiman, turtle, and jaguar) and fish species breed here. The site is important for Potamogeton striatus, a critically endangered plant, and supports a distinct mammalian fauna. Extensive ranching, extraction of forest products, and poaching occur. The site shares a border with Argentina. Ramsar site no. 730. Most recent RIS information: 1995.

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