The state of Bahia has just received two new protected areas in the Caatinga ecosystem: the Environmental Protection Area (APA) of Boqueirão da Onça with 505 thousand hectares and the National Park (PARNA) of Boqueirão da Onça with 349 thousand hectares, totaling 854 thousand hectares for the National System of Conservation Units. Both areas are continuous and cover five cities in the semi-arid region of the state of Bahia.
The region call as Boqueirão da Onça is one of the last continuous remnants of the Caatinga. It is a region formed by hills and narrow valleys covered by the vegetation that only exists in Brazil. A research conducted in 2006 by the Center for the Recovery of Degraded Areas (CRAD) of the University of the São Francisco Valley (Univasf) showed the importance of Boqueirão with its endemic species, rare and some threatened. Superficially, the region has more than 900 plants species, 380 exclusive of the region. In addition to plant species, other species also need protection, such as the three banded armadillo (symbol of the 2014 World Cup), Lear’s macaws, jaguarundis (a.k.a. Eyra cat), the tiger cat (a.k.a. oncilla) and jaguars. According to Cláudia Campos, coordinator of the Programa Amigos da Onça, Instituto Pró-Carnívoros, it is estimated that 30 ounces and 200 browns circulate around the Boqueirão.
More than 15 years of waiting, negotiations and concessions, what would a large park become a mosaic, with areas of full protection, PARNA, and areas of sustainable use, APA, which allows private ownership and economic exploitation within its delimitations(e.g. in the area there are already companies producing wind power due to the abundance of winds throughout the year). The next step, told the Secretary of Biodiversity of the Ministry of the Environment, José Pedro, is to prepare management plans for the units and start managing the new protected areas in the Caatinga.
Links for two decree:
Nacional Park of Boqueirão da Onça
Environmental Protection Area of Boqueirão da Onça