31 Jul 2012

State of Paraguay’s birds is published

By Tris Allinson

Guyra Paraguay has launched the first major report on the status of bird populations in Paraguay. The report, entitled State of Paraguay’s birds, outlines in detail the current status of the country’s birds, the threats they face and the urgent actions needed to secure their future.

Despite its small size, Paraguay has a rich biodiversity that includes over 700 bird species. It is situated at the convergence of six major ecoregions: Pantanal, Atlantic Forest, Cerrado, Southern Cone Grasslands, Dry Chaco and Humid Chaco. To date, 57 Important Bird Area (IBAs) have been identified for endemic, threatened and congregatory bird species, these also hold considerable other biodiversity.

The report identifies that 17% of Paraguay’s bird species are now at risk of disappearing from the country altogether. The status of IBAs is similar, 58% of them has suffered land changed use, especially those with forest habitat, as well as southern IBAs at the Mesopotamian grasslands that has suffered the expansion of rice plantation in 10 years. The main threats that are influencing the status of birds and its habitats are the deforestation that affects principally Atlantic Forest (that has lost over 86% of its original coverage) and the Chaco that has a deforestation rate of 1000 hectares per day. Other pressures as economic growth and climate change has been identified for have enormous effect on the biodiversity status.

Over 15 years of Guyra Paraguay working, conservations actions has been identified and put in place in order to improve the status of biodiversity. Response has political will, protection and management of IBAs, economic incentives in the form of payments for environmental services, new policies to safeguard other habitats such wetlands and natural grasslands, and more important create consensus for the change: renew our relationship with nature, policies along cannot do it, it needed the attitude changes.

Story submitted by Leticia López, Guyra Paraguay.

This is the latest national report produced in collaboration with BirdLife’s State of the world’s birds programme. To download the report (available in Spanish or English) and access other State of the nation’s birds reports from around the world please click here

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This work was generously supported by the Aage V. Jensen Charity Foundation and the Darwin Initiative.