New Conservation Area in Peru Protects Rare Cat, Birds, and Disappearing Cloud Forests

Powerful Woodpecker by Kevin Heffernan
Powerful Woodpecker by Kevin Heffernan

(Washington, D.C., February 29, 2012)  A new conservation area established in central Peru will help protect the area’s shrinking cloud forest, as well as a rich biodiversity of wildlife that includes numerous endemic bird species and the endangered Andean cat.

The new, 1,977-acre Monte Potrero Municipal Conservation Area is located in the department of Huánuco, in the municipality of Umari in central Peru. The area is characterized by steep topography and moist cloud forests. The designation caps years of effort by Asociación Ecosistemas Andinos (ECOAN), American Bird Conservancy’s partner in Peru.

Endemic Peruvian bird species present in the area include the Fire-throated Metaltail, Baron’s Spinetail, and Tschudi’s Tapaculo. Other notable species include the Powerful Woodpecker, White-chinned Thistletail, White-browed Spinetail, Three-striped Hemispingus, and White-browed Conebill. There are also small pockets of appropriate habitat at Monte Potrero for the Bay-vented Cotinga and Rufous-browed Hemispingus, which are listed as globally vulnerable.

“This success is thanks to the insistence and persistence of the communities of Picahuay, Montehuasi, La Punta, and others near the Monte Potrero Forest, and the support of the Umari Municipality, which participated in the development of conservation strategies to protect this unique source of water for their entire valley,” said Louella Puelles Linares, ECOAN’s Strategic Relations Officer.

“This new protective designation is the most recent in a series of important bird conservation efforts that ABC has brought to closure in the Andes-Amazon region of Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia,” said Daniel Lebbin, ABC conservation biologist and a leader in several of the efforts.  Funding for these projects was provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

ABC has also collaborated with ECOAN to acquire and renovate a new park headquarters for Tingo Maria National Park, promote tourism along the Central Peru Birding Route, and establish the 2,400-acre San Marcos Private Conservation Area created in 2011.  

Additional efforts in Peru and Bolivia are described in the following materials:

New Protected Areas in Bolivia Offer Refuge for Rare Red-fronted Macaw

Two New Studies Find Winning Conservation Formula in Peru
New Video Features One of World’s Rarest Birds — Peru’s Long-whiskered Owlet
For First Time, Reclusive Bird Now Appearing on Cue at Peruvian Reserve
New Reserve in Peru Protects Birds, New Plant and Frog Species

Additional Photos by Louella Puelles Linares (ECOAN):

Miguel Estela, ex-Regent of the Umari Municipality overlooks Monte Potrero forest with ECOAN President Constantino Aucca.June 2009
Andean cat at Monte Potrero. March 2009
Undescribed species of Prismiatus frog. January 2010

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