Inspiring things are happening in Peru: communities and landowners working together to create a more secure future for people, forests, and birds found nowhere else on Earth, including the tiny Long-whiskered Owlet and Ochre-fronted Antpitta.
The Abra Patricia Reserve is located in the Peruvian Yungas forest along the eastern slope of the Andes in northern Peru. Here, the bird diversity is among the highest on Earth.
The site is identified by the Alliance for Zero Extinction as a priority site for protection for the critically endangered Ochre-fronted Antpitta and Long-whiskered Owlet. Abra Patricia is also home to the Critically Endangered yellow-tailed woolly monkey and an important site for wintering migrants, including Swainson’s Thrush.
To protect this area of incredible biodiversity, our Peruvian partner Asociación Ecosistemas Andinos (ECOAN) established the Abra Patricia Reserve in 2005 with support from ABC. Since then, ECOAN and ABC have worked together to expand Abra Patricia and create another protected reserve called Huembo, home to the Marvelous Spatuletail, by acquiring lands and establishing a 40-year conservation concession on government property.
Abra Patricia now protects more than 25,000 acres, and Huembo more than 113 acres.
ABC supports ECOAN’s work with neighboring communities around Abra Patricia and Huembo to establish native tree nurseries and conduct reforestation efforts. To date, almost a million trees and coffee bushes have been planted to restore degraded lands.
ECOAN is also working with surrounding communities to establish new protected areas that will benefit their forests and protect their watersheds.
These protected areas do much more than save land for birds: By improving the infrastructure at Huembo and Abra Patricia, ECOAN is helping to attract an increasing number of ecotourists to the region to see the Marvelous Spatuletail, providing new economic opportunities for local people—and providing more resources to be put back into the reserve.
Other groups and individuals are now following ECOAN’s lead by developing additional protected areas, managing land for conservation, and promoting tourism for bird-watchers.
(Read “Culture of Conservation is Spreading” by ABC’s Daniel Lebbin.)
Abra Patricia is one of the premier birding destinations in Peru, itself one of the premier countries for birding in the world. ECOAN’s Owlet Lodge at Abra Patricia is the perfect home base for several days of birding locally and to other regional birding spots, such as Waqanki, Huembo, and Gotas de Agua.
Conservation of Abra Patricia continues to face challenges. Nearly 60 percent of the Peruvian Yungas in the region has already been lost to illegal woodcutting and burning for agriculture. ECOAN’s guard presence is essential to maintain the reserve.
Reserve management is supported by tourism profits, grants, and donations from supporters. By making a donation to ECOAN through ABC, you are helping us, and ECOAN, protect this special place! Donate.
ECOAN works to involve local communities in the preservation of biodiversity by promoting the sustainable use of natural resources and thus conserving flora, fauna, and natural ecosystems in Peru.