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Paraguay | Lax enforcement, bungled bureaucarcy leaves biodiverse forest an NP in name only

San Rafael National Park/Proposed National Reserve sits in eastern Paraguay, quietly encompassing a remnant of the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest, a unique biome that stretches between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay and provides habitat to some 260 species of mammals and 940 species of birds. More than half of its plant species and 90% of its amphibians are endemic, meaning they’re found nowhere else in the world.

San Rafael’s portion alone boasts more than 435 bird species – 70 of which are endemic – along with 61 mammal, 82 reptile and amphibian and 52 fish species, according to Rebecca Smith, a primatologist and country director at Fundación Para La Tierra, who added that a lack of study of the area “means there is probably much more.”

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