El Dorado Nature Reserve was established in January 2006 and currently protects a 1,729 acre block of the last remaining tropical forest on the northwest slope of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta massif on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. It is owned and managed by Fundación ProAves and forms part of the Santa Marta Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) site. Our goal is to increase the reserve size to 6,900 acres.
The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is an ancient and isolated massif that is separated from and pre-dates the Andes. Although smaller than U.S. the state of Connecticut, these mountains contain the single highest concentration of endemic birds found on the planet and more resident bird species than the continental USA. It is home to 19 bird species endemic to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, of which nine are endangered, and seven endangered species of amphibians including two Critically Endangered species, the Stubfoot Toad (Atelopus nahumae) and a species of harlequin frog (Atelopus laetissimus). Preliminary surveys recorded an extraordinarily 415 bird species in the reserve. The reserve is important for stopover and wintering Neotropical migratory birds, such as the Cerulean Warbler (Dendroica cerulea) (VU) and Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) (NT).
Fundación ProAves and American Bird Conservancy. Fundación ProAves is the leading organization for the protection of birds and their habitats in Colombia. ProAves works to prevent the extinction of birds through the protection of key habitats, working in close partnership with institutions, communities, and government agencies. ProAves promotes activities that work to improve conservation and to protect natural ecosystems. ProAves’ conservation programs have resulted in the creation of the largest private nature reserve system in Colombia, the establishment of the first Colombian conservation easement, and the establishment of three national, annual environmental campaigns.
ABC, ProAves, and GWC will conduct the following activities over one year:
• Expand El Dorado Reserve by purchasing the 161 acre La Cumbre II property.
• Reforest 146 acres with native trees.
The addition of the La Cumbre II property will improve connectivity between two sections of the reserve that are not currently adjoining and allow access to an area of the reserve with the most important nesting site for the Santa Marta Parakeet. Reforestation will expand available habitat for key bird and amphibian species.
© 2012 Global Wildlife Conservation