Bolivia is located in the central zone of South America, extending from the Central Andes through part of the Gran Chaco as far as the Amazon. The geography of the country exhibits a great variety of terrains and climates. Bolivia has a high level of biodiversity, considered one of the greatest in the world, as well as several ecoregions with ecological sub-units such as the Altiplano, tropical rainforests (including the Amazon rainforest), dry valleys, and the Chiquitania, which is a tropical savanna. These areas feature enormous variations in altitude.

The main biomes in Bolivia are jungle, forest, savannah, tundra, steppe, desert and wetlands. There is a large amount of endemism found within the vertebrate species, with 16% of mammals, 22% of fish, 20% of reptiles and 42% of birds endemic to Bolivia. Its borders contain more than 14,000 higher plant species, 325 mammals, 186 amphibians, 260 reptiles, and 550 fish species, and 1,379 bird species.

Bolivia’s biomes are threatened through overgrazing, inadequate agricultural practices, tree felling and burning of forests, demographic pressures, inappropriate use of technology, and ecosystem use above their productive capacity and potential. 80% of forests are in the lowlands of Bolivia and these are in particular threatened by deforestation. The main driver is cattle ranching, which contributed 27% to deforestation in Bolivia between 1992 and 2004. From 2005 to 2010 the naturally regenerated and primary forest area decreased by nearly 3%.

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Last updated: 2014