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Colombia doubles size of Amazon reserve

August 21, 2013

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombia is doubling the size of a nature reserve in its Amazon region, barring exploration for oil or minerals in a region home to threatened species.

Environment minister Juan Gabriel Uribe said the Chiribiquete park will be expanded to 10,800 square miles (2.8 million hectares) from the current 4,600 (1.2 million).

The jungle in southern Colombia is overwhelmingly preserved in part because it is so remote and partly because the presence of armed groups has discouraged farming. It has at least eight species of primates and five of felines.

About 42 percent of Colombia is considered to be part of the Amazon region.

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