Declaration of a Regional Protected Area in Barbacoas (2014)
The Barbacoas wetlands and surrounding forest are strategically important for the conservation of the West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus). The habitat of this species includes wetlands along the middle and low Magdalena river valley, which have deteriorated in the last decades. Current threats to the species in Barbacoas include increase accidental killings due to inadequate fishing arts and further deterioration of its habitat due to extensive and regular deforestation, increase water buffalo ranching, intensive use of pesticides and herbicides, and overfishing.
Fundacion Biodiversa Colombia is providing technical support for the establishment of a regional protected area (Integrated Natural Resources Management District –DMI) to ensure the conservation of West Indian Manatee in the middle Magdalena River valley. This project is also assessing the natural resource management of local fisheries in order to design a management plan in line with the purpose of the DMI. Lastly, this project includes a pilot restoration of 4 Ha of wetland borders by combining silvicultural range management, and active and passive riparian restoration. With the establishment of a DMI in the region, we want to ensure the preservation of the fragile remnants of high quality wetlands in Barbacoas and with this, the persistence of Manatee populations in the region. This project is conducted in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy and the Corantioquia.