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Barba Azul Nature Reserve

Site Facts

Country, State, Province/Region:

Bolivia, Beni

Relative Location:

In the heart of the Beni Savanna in northwest Bolivia


13.72°S 66.08°W



Basis for Designation:

More than 1% of the flyway population for Buff-breasted Sandpiper (Tryngites subruficollis).


10,926 hectares (27,000 acres)


September 2015

Site Owner/Steward:

Asociación Armonía

Site Partners:

Asociación Armonía


Bennett Hennessey
Executive Director
Asociación Armonía

About Us

Barba Azul Nature Reserve is located in the heart of the Beni Savanna in northwest Bolivia (Santa Ana de Yacuma Municipality, Yacuma Province, Beni Department), on former ranch land. Although the reserve was originally created in 2008 to protect one of the largest remaining populations of the critically endangered Blue-throated Macaw (known locally as “Barba Azul”), its grassland habitats also are vital to migratory shorebirds—especially Buff-breasted Sandpiper (Tryngites subruficollis). More than 1% of this species’ global population rests and “refuels” at the reserve on southbound migration during the boreal fall.

The 10,930-hectare (27,000-acre) reserve is owned and managed by Asociación Armonía, a nongovernmental, conservation organization in Bolivia. The reserve’s tropical grassland habitats, including Motacu palm islands, have been recovering rapidly from prior over-grazing and yearly burning. Asociación Armonía has made maintaining quality grasslands for shorebirds, particularly Buff-breasted Sandpipers, a high management priority within Barba Azul Nature Reserve,”

Barba Azul Nature Reserve is part of the “Oeste de Rio Mamore” Important Bird Area and lies within the nearly 7-million-hectare “Bolivian Llanos de Moxos” Ramsar site.

In the News

Bolivia's Barba Azul Nature Reserve Doubles in Size Jan 8, 2014

Unexpected Dividends: Migratory Sandpipers in a Bolivian Reserve Apr 18, 2014


Ecology & Conservation



Bennett Hennessey
Executive Director
Asociación Armonía
Beni, Bolivia