The Uraba moist rainforest in northwest Colombia contains two of the most threatened primates in the world, the Critically Endangered Cotton-top Tamarin and Critically Endangered Colombian Spider Monkey, as well as Jaguar, Endangered Baird's Tapir, and over 290 bird species including the Endangered Baudo Oropendola. A large part of this area is threatened by deforestation for timber and gold mining. Our project, in partnership with local partner ProAves and World Land Trust-US, is targeting a strategic acquisition of 4,218 acres of rainforest, which also blocks access to over 100,000 acres of uninhabited rainforest.
The species assemblage in the Uraba rainforest is remarkable, and includes the Critically Endangered Cotton-top Tamarin (Saguinus oedipus) and the Colombian Spider Monkey (Ateles fusciceps). Other mammal species include the Jaguar (Panthera onca) and Endangered Baird's Tapir (Tapirus bairdii).
The area also has exceptional diversity of rare and poorly known bird species, with over 272 bird species recorded in this area, including 21 range-restricted, three Endangered, five Vulnerable, and four Near Threatened. Most importantly, this site represents the global stronghold for the Baudo Oropendola (Psarocolius cassini). Other key species include the Baudo Guan (Penelope ortoni), Long-wattled Umbrellabirdbird (Cephalopterus penduliger), the Great Green Macaw (Ara ambiguus; the last major population in South America), the Recurve-billed Bushbird (Clytoctantes alixii), and the Great Curassow (Crax rubra).
A large majority of this rainforest wilderness has no human inhabitants and is presently largely inaccessible, miners and loggers are clearing forests on the northern flank of this wilderness and gaining access to the area's fragile natural resources. The most vulnerable area are four private properties totaling 4,218 acres that are owned by colonists intent on clearing the very forests these two primates and other species depend upon. Furthermore, these properties lie at the gateway to the 100,000 acre wilderness whereby rapid deforestation could pave a way into the heart of this area.
WLT-US and our Colombian partner, Fundación ProAves, have negotiated those private lands and are seeking to strategically acquire all four contiguous properties, which total 4,218 acres of rainforest at $100/acre.
A Cotton-top Tamarin Reserve will be created with a core of 4,218 acres of Uraba rainforest, with an additional area of over 100,000 acres strategically blocked for future deforestation.
© 2012 Global Wildlife Conservation