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Biosphere / Park Research and Investigations - Pilon Lajas

Biosphere and Indigenous Community Land of Pilon Lajas

Biosphere of Pilon Lajas                                                                                                        Madidi National Park

This section pertains to information leading to Special Expeditions

What is the Reserva de la Biosfera y Tierra Communitaria de Origen?

The biosphere of Pilon Lajas was created by the  Supreme Court Decision # 23-110 in April 1992.  The biosphere and reserve were declared a UNESCO site in 1997.

Management category:  Protected area and indigenous community land.  The Biosphere is part of 22 protected area in Bolivia operating under the direction of "Servicio National de Area Protegida" (SERNAP) or National Service of Protected Areas.  The management plan is a key component in the future and planning of the biosphere and its communities.

Area:  The area is a total of 400.000 hectares.

Bio-physic data:  The altitude range is from 2,000 meters to 250 meters above sea level with an average annual rainfall precipitation of 1,500 to 3,000 millimetres.  The average temperature is 26 Celsius.

Mosetene woman weaving

Geographic location:  The Reserve of the Biosphere and Indigenous Community Land of Pilon Lajas is located in the north of Bolivia between the province of Ballivan in the department of Beni and the provinces of South Yungas and Franz Tamayo in the department of La Paz.  Pilon Lajas is across the Beni river from Madidi National Park.  Both area offer tremendous richness to discover.  The biosphere is home to abrupt and gentle landscape - the Chepite and Muchanes mountain range, jungle, savannas and wild rivers.  The rivers are part of the important river system of the Amazon Basin and most specifically part of the river system of the Beni and Mamore river.  The four major affluent are, the Beni, Mamore, Yacuma and Maniqui river.  Pilon Lajas is bio-diversity offering 4 different levels of eco-systems.  

The area protects more than 624 different species of plants, 162 different species of trees, 20 different species of palm trees, 85 different species of mammals, 72 different species of reptiles, 491 different species of birds of which 73 are extremely rare, 170 different species of fish and 72 different species of amphibians and more species have yet to be discover, identified and given scientific names.

The biosphere is home to 22 indigenous villages Mosetenes / Tsinames of which 8 are accessible only by water via the Quiquibey river.  They are represented by the "Consejo Regional Mosetenes / Tsinames" or Regional Counsel Mosetenes / Tsinames located in Rurrenabaque, department of Beni  and are part of the "Gran Consejo Regional Mosetenes / Tsinames" or Grand Regional Counsel Mosetenes / Tsinames located in San Borja, department of Beni.  It is also home to the indigenous eco-tourism project of Albergue Mapajo which benefits 6 communities of the Quiquibey river.  The reserve is staffed / managed by a group of park warden made up of different ethnicity:   local Bolivians, and indigenous community members.

Indigenous fishing near San Luis Chico

The biosphere is part of the conservation corridor Vilcabamba - Amboro (Bolivia / Peru), in total 16 protected areas, 6 in Bolivia and 10 in Peru.  The areas vary in altitude from 200 meters above sea level to 6,000 meters above sea level.  It is also home to various archaeological site including more than 41 alone in the biosphere of Pilon Lajas.


Biosphere, Reserve and Indigenous Land of Pilon Lajas Photo Album

13 photos

Management plan of the Biosphere (In Spanish)

Courtesy Juan Carlos Miranda, Director of Reserva de la Biosfera y Tierra de Origen Pilon Lajas


The offices of the biosphere are located in the municipality of Rurrenabaque, department of Beni.

Reserva de la Biosfera y Tierra Communitaria de Origen Pilon Lajas

Calle Campero, esquina Bush


Department of Beni


Tel.  591-3-892-2245

For more information contact our staff and

(Under construction, pending funding)


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