After a two-and-a-half-year expedition through the world’s most biodiverse protected area, the WCS-led Identidad Madidi expedition has concluded its epic quest, completing a massive biological survey of Madidi National Park and uncovering more than 120 potentially new species of plants, butterflies, and vertebrates.
“We have accomplished everything we hoped for and more on this journey of science and discovery,” said Dr. Robert Wallace, WCS’s Director of the Greater Madidi-Tambopata Landscape and leader of the Identidad Madidi expedition. “The massive amounts of images and data collected on the expedition will provide us with the baseline information needed to protect this natural wonder for future generations of Bolivians and the world.”
The team documented a whopping 124 new species previously unknown to science, including 84 plants, 5 butterflies, 19 fish, 8 amphibians, 4 reptiles, and 4 mammals.
In the course of completing its mission to confirm Madidi National Park’s status as the world’s most biologically diverse terrestrial protected area, Identidad Madidi accomplished another goal by forging a meaningful connection between the people of Bolivia and its natural heritage through an educational campaign, as well as traditional and social media. In coordination with the Ministry of Education, the explorers visited almost half the schools in La Paz and El Alto, as well as most of the schools near the Madidi protected area, to educate students on biodiversity, protected areas, and indigenous territories.