|Town/Region||Llanos de Moxos|
|Continent||Central and Latin America|
|Date||21 Sep 2015|
The Bolivian river dolphin (bufeo), Bolivia’s only cetacean species, is threatened by human activities including deliberate killing. Bufeo conservation activities will focus in two protected areas (PAs) in the Beni rainforest region; Ibare-Mamore, Municipality of Trinidad and Pampas-del-Yacuma, Municipality of Santa-Rosa. The latter is new project site where local authorities have requested assistance. I will continue to develop schools and communities education programme and collaborate with authorities to promote good practice bufeo-watching ecotourism as a conservation tool and income generator. Bufeos are worth more alive than dead and this is a strong motivator in gaining local support for protecting dolphins. Therefore, the project outcomes will directly support ‘National Bolivian River Dolphin Conservation Plan’s objectives.
-Mitigating the increasing conflicts between local people and bufeos will achieve a long-lasting positive effect on Beni’s unique wildlife and flooded forest environment, halting somehow resources overexploitation.
- Improved understanding among river users, particularly fishermen, about bufeos’ role in keeping fish stocks healthy and maintaining ecosystem balance will reduce hostility and ignorance towards the dolphins.
People living Trinidad and Santa-Rosa towns will be more aware of:
- the value and conservation needs of bufeos and associated local wildlife;
- the link between healthy rivers and lakes, thriving bufeo populations and opportunities to improve people’s livelihoods.
1) They will recognize responsible wildlife tourism as an alternative way of generating long-term income and increasing visitor numbers. We will continue to help the Municipality of Trinidad develop an interpretation centre, to help promote a culture for conservation within the PA’s communities.
2) Improvement of tourist wildlife trips through high-quality educational content and guide knowledge. Improved boat handling skills and promotion of our good practice code-of-conduct for boat operators.
3) Education for local children generates short- and long-term conservation outcomes. Children are the fishermen, boat operators and decision-makers of tomorrow. Reconnecting children with their natural heritage will create a commitment to protect bufeos and the flooded forest both now and as adults.
4) The Vice Minister of the Environment has agreed to print and help distribute the educational bufeo booklet I have written for children.
5) Encouraging local people to help us monitor the bufeos in the PAs will help identify areas of concern which need to be addressed and result in informed recommendations to the authorities.
6) Regional collaboration with organizations such as Natutama, Omacha and Solinia and strategic support from WDC will create a more coordinated approach to conservation across Amazonia.
Read about Enzo's previous project http://www.rufford.org/projects/enzo_aliaga_rossel or for more information contact: