One of the cornerstones of ABC's work is collaboration with Latin American conservation organizations to protect habitat for some of the hemisphere's rarest birds. In 2015, our partners expanded several existing reserves, created new ones, and worked closely with communities to ensure the survival of these birds. Here's a sampling of some of this good work.
The government of Peru officially recognized the Siete Cataratas-Qanchis Paccha Private Conservation Area in August. It is the eighth such protected area that indigenous communities in the Cusco region of Peru have formed since 2009 in collaboration with ABC and our Peruvian partner ECOAN.
With this addition, local communities now protect and manage more than 18,000 acres in the Vilcanota Reserve Network. Situated in one of the most remote regions of South America, the new reserve's Polylepis forests provide habitat for endangered birds including the White-browed Tit-Spinetail and Ash-breasted Tit-tyrant (above).
These species are among the world's rarest birds, numbering fewer than 1,500 individuals.
The future looks a little brighter for the rare Honduran Emerald. The bird will benefit from the protection of 147 acres in Honduras' Agalta Valley thanks to Honduran organization La Asociación de Investigación para el Desarrollo Ecológico y Socio Económico (ASIDE), ABC, and other groups.
Officially designated as the El Ciruelo Wildlife Refuge, the property will preserve an expanse of the dry tropical forests required by the Honduran Emerald. This species went unrecorded for almost 40 years (until 1988) and is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
A conservation corridor in Colombia 10 years in the making is now providing important winter habitat for the Cerulean Warbler, a songbird whose numbers have fallen by 70 percent since 1966. Six miles long and a half-mile wide, the corridor is the result of a collaboration among ABC and Colombian partners Fundación ProAves and Fondo para la Acción Ambiental y la Niñez.
More than 150 species of birds benefit from this work. Among them are Golden-winged Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak, as well as Gorgeted Wood-Quail and Mountain Grackle. The latter two species are found only in Colombia and considered globally endangered.
Our Ecuadorian partner Fundación Jocotoco collaborated with ABC and Rainforest Trust to purchase 104 acres of land that will help ensure a future for one of the world's most endangered birds, the Pale-headed Brush-finch. This bird numbers between 200 and 250 individuals and is found only in south-central Ecuador. Even more specifically, the species is limited to arid areas between 5,250 and 6,890 feet in altitude.
The land purchase expands Jocotoco's Yunguilla Reserve, created in 1998 by Jocotoco and ABC. At that time, the brush-finch's total population was estimated at only 30 individuals.
Colombia's endangered Santa Marta Parakeet has more habitat thanks to the 2015 purchase of a key property by Fundación ProAves, with support from ABC. The 148-acre tract, known as the La Cumbre property, is situated in Colombia's Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The land purchase expands the El Dorado Reserve, created in 2006 by ProAves, ABC, and Conservation International.
The La Cumbre property links two forested areas. It will allow ProAves to create additional breeding and foraging habitat for the parakeet along a ridge that contains the largest known population of the species.
Editor's note: Explore our website to learn more about ABC's work in Latin America and the Caribbean, including bird reserves that safeguard biodiversity across nearly 1 million acres in 13 countries; habitat restoration to the tune of planting more than 3 million trees; and partnerships with communities that meet the needs of birds and people alike.