Country Profiles

Paraguay - Country Profile

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.

National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan

Major features of National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

The mission of the national strategy is to support the formulation, implementation and evaluation of the plans, programs and projects for the study, conservation and sustainable management of the country’s biodiversity, based on actions coordinated by the different actors (government, civil society, indigenous communities, private sector, educational institutions) and with consideration to the respect of traditional knowledge. There are 19 general strategic objectives, which are: development of energy resources; in situ and ex situ conservation of natural resources; threatened species conservation; taxonomy and species conservation; development of wild resources; sustainable forest management; development of agricultural resources; development of an information system; development of ecotourism; biotechnology and biosafety; urban and rural development; policies on atmospheric and aquatic resources; sustainable management of territories under the National Defense Ministry and Military Forces as well as those of indigenous communities; education, training and circulation of biodiversity information; studies of country’s biodiversity and its value; improvement of legal framework and institutional structure; and promotion of public and community participation in biodiversity related issues. Each of these strategic objectives are then examined in detail, looking at past trends, current status, objectives to be obtained in the next 5 years, activities to be implemented, indicators to be used and finally, expected results.