Status and Trends of Biodiversity
One of the geologically unique features of Paraguay is the asymmetry it presents as it is found on 2 different geological formations: the Brazilian shield and the Andean depression. There are two main identified habitats, which are: the warm, temperate, humid forests and the warm, temperate dry forests. Paraguay does not have a complete inventory of the flora and fauna found in its territory therefore most records are estimates. There are about 13,000 plant species found in Paraguay, of which 69% are regionally endemic species. There are about 1,233 to 1,336 vertebrate species of which we find: 250 fish species; 76 amphibians; 135 reptiles; between 645-685 bird species; and 167 mammal species. There are a total of 279 threatened plant species as well as 8 reptile, 86 bird and 38 mammal species at risk. Some of the major threats to biodiversity include: changes in land use, deforestation, exploitation of wood, urban expansion, illegal hunting and capture of wildlife, indiscriminate fishing practices, development of infrastructure and invasive alien species.
Number and Extent of Protected Areas
The national territory under protection has increased from 2.79% in 1993 to 5.98% in 2003. There are now a total of 38 protected areas with an increase of the protected areas system of 64.7%. There is also one Biosphere Reserve and 4 Ramsar sites. In addition, it is likely that two areas will be identified as future Biosphere Reserves.