Expansion of Colombian Bird Reserve Aids Eight Globally Threatened Species Plus Hundreds More Birds

For Immediate Release Contact:

, 202-234-7181 ext. 212

White-mantled Barbet. Photo: Fundacion ProAves

White-mantled Barbet. Photo: Fundacion ProAves

(Washington, D.C., January 10, 2010) Thanks to action by American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and Fundación ProAves, approximately 1,480 additional acres of forest and reforested land in central Colombia will now be protected as part of the El Paujil Bird Reserve. The Reserve is home to five globally threatened bird species – the Blue-billed Curassow, Cerulean Warbler, White-mantled Barbet, Antioquia Bristle-Tyrant, and Turquoise Dacnis – three threatened mammals – the Magdalena spider monkey, spectacled bear, and Colombian tapir – and more than 300 additional species of birds.

Created by ProAves with assistance from ABC in November 2003, the El Paujil Reserve provides habitat for 334 species of birds and now totals 14,830 acres in Colombia’s unique Magdalena Valley, an area where lowland tropical rainforest is being rapidly cleared for agriculture at the expense of native biodiversity.

“El Paujil is a perfect example of how international conservation partnerships can protect rare species when the resources are available. American Bird Conservancy and ProAves have worked together since 2002, and we look forward to even more successes in the coming years,” said Sara Lara, International Programs Director for ABC, the leading bird conservation organization in the United States.

“We are facing a huge challenge and there is no time to lose in our race towards preventing species extinctions. Successes such as this are crucial for the conservation of the species,” said David Caro, Executive Director of Fundación ProAves, Colombia’s premier conservation group.

“The main threats in the Magdalena Valley are predominantly cattle and deforestation. We must take immediate conservation action in the coming years, otherwise the Serrania de las Quinchas [a large, important tropical forest in Colombia] will be severely affected.”

In addition to ABC and ProAves, other key partners and funders in this recent effort include: The World Land Trust-U.S., the U.S. Fish and Wildlilfe Service, Wildlife without Borders (Critically Endangered Species Fund), Robert Wilson,Ted Reissing, Paul Bristow, Bart Brown, Earth’s Birthday, the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory's Tropical Forest Forever Fund, and the Global Conservation Fund.

The Reserve is part of the Latin American Bird Reserve Network created by ABC and its international partners. The network includes 44 reserves protecting 750,000 acres in 12 countries, many of which are featured on the website Conservation Birding – www.conservationbirding.org – which encourages tourists to visit these unique places to see the birds of a lifetime, including the Blue-billed Curassow at El Paujil, while supporting their conservation.

The El Paujil Reserve and surrounding habitat form the last remaining home for the Blue-billed Curassow, which is considered critically endangered under IUCN-World Conservation Union Criteria. As such, the area is recognized by the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) as one of 587 worldwide where conservation is critical to preventing species extinctions. AZE is comprised of 68 organizations from 18 countries that seek to prevent extinctions by identifying and safeguarding key sites worldwide where species are in imminent danger of disappearing. Because of its extremely high levels of endemism, Colombia has the second highest number of AZE sites (46) after Mexico (68).


American Bird Conservancy conserves native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas by safeguarding the rarest species, protecting and restoring habitats, and reducing threats while building capacity of the bird conservation movement. For more information, visit, www.abcbirds.org


ProAves strives to protect wild birds and their habitats in Colombia through investigation, directed conservation actions and rapprochement with communities. ProAves is a registered non-profit organization with free membership, open to all who share their vision to prevent the extinction of threatened species and protect key sites.


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