A new national park, baptized ‘Yaigojé’, in south-east Colombia was created following the initiative of indigenous groups in the area.
All 1,060,603 hectares of the Yaigojé National Park is a nature lover’s delight. A preliminary inventory found 1,683 species of plants (33 of these endemic to Colombia), 362 species of birds, 81 species of reptiles, 73 species of anphibians, 201 species of fish and 443 species within the boundaries of the park. Giant anteaters, monkeys, squirrels, ocelots, jaguars, pumas and dolphins also abound.
The Ministry of the Environment, Housing and Territorial Development along with the Moore Foundation and the Gaia Amazonas Foundation funded the project. However it was indigenous groups in the area that proposed the initiative.
“This area has a rich cultural tradition that includes a series of shamanistic practices and rituals which grant human beings the knowledge necessary to live and protect their world,” Environment Minister Carlos Costa told El Espectador.
The park was created not just to conserve the area’s biological diversity but also to protect sacred indigenous sites.
Colombia’s 55th national park was named Yaigojé – an indigenous word meaning ‘Tiger Pool’. The tiger is an important symbol in local indigenous spirituality and is said to represent wisdom of culture and nature.