Tarapoto Lake: Colombia’s first protected wetland in the Amazon

(Image: Fernando Trujillo)

The Tarapoto Lake in the most southern tip of Colombia is home to a staggering 900 animal and plant species. It is now a protected Ramsar site for wetlands.

The inclusion of the wetland to the Ramsar List was announced on Wednesday after national, regional and indigenous authorities agreed to protect the wetlands in the Amazonas department.

The Tarapoto Lake and its surroundings belong to one of the Amazonian ecosystems located close to the borders with Peru and Brazil.

Authorities said Wednesday that some 170 square miles around the lake will receive special protected status.

The decision is supported by the three indigenous nations location in the area.

The Tarapoto lake is the natural habitat of pink dolphins, the gigantic pirarucu fish, which can grow to 14 feet, and the black caiman that can grow to 16 feet.

Colombia has designated nine wetlands as Ramsar sites so far. The Tarapoto lake is the first wetland in the Amazon region to receive the highest protection status.

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