Research Station Bolivia

Ecological Research Station Chiquitos

(Hacienda San Sebastián, Cantón de Concepción, Bolivia, South America)

Coordinates: 16.35971°S 62.00013°W

Investigator: Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung (SGN), Biodiversität und Klima Forschungszentrum (BiK-F), Goethe-Universität, Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt/ Main, Germany

Background: The filed station San Sebastián covers approximately 3.265 hectares, of which more than 1.800 are set aside as a private nature reserve (RPPN) established to protect the endemic dry Chiquitano forest. Open savanna of the Cerrado, with a variety of wetland habitats, can be found adjacent to the Chiquitano forest. These types of landscapes are highly endangered and do not exist anymore outside protected areas. Furthermore, a patch is covered by anthropogenic secondary forest (cattle breeding) adjacent to the station area and small-scale agricultural activities are operated.

Research Objectives: The Ecological Research Station Chiquitos is dedicated to the research and conservation of endemic and highly endangered animal and plant species, focusing on aspects of biodiversity, ecology, evolutionary genetics, behavioral biology, population biology and agroforestry. Furthermore we analyze the impact of human-induced environmental change on the biodiversity. A new emphasis is also placed on analyzing the impact of climate change on organisms that cause or transmit diseases, or host pathogenic germs.

Facilities: The field station includes one large local-style building for living (including bathroom, sporadic internet access and phone), sleeping and cooking. Furthermore, one laboratory room with 6 desks for working are available. A small library with identification literature for mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects and plants are established. Energy is supplied by solar panels; a weather station is available.