A coalition of conservation groups, including Rainforest Trust, Global Wildlife Conservation, Amphibian Survival Alliance and local partners ProAves, has established the Chamicero de Perijá Nature Reserve, the first protected area in northern Colombia’s Serranía de Perijá mountain range.
In response to the looming threat of losing prime habitat for birds and amphibians – only five percent of rainforest is left on the Colombian side of the Serranía de Perijá mountain range – ProAves swiftly acquired 11 properties to establish the new 1,850-acre Reserve. The reserve protects a pristine cloud forest environment that includes critical habitat for threatened wildlife. “Without this reserve, the chances are high that within a few years nothing would be left of the spectacular forests that once covered Colombia’s Serranía de Perijá,” said Dr. Paul Salaman, CEO of Rainforest Trust.
Due to a history of difficulties conducting research in the area, the Serranía de Perijá remains one of the least-known natural environments in the Northern Andes. Field research by ProAves has confirmed its importance as a stronghold for many endemic and rapidly declining species, including three endangered and endemic species of birds “The new reserve is globally important, as it is recognized as an Alliance for Zero Extinction site. The incredible fauna and flora include many species found nowhere else in the world,” said Dr. Wes Sechrest, Chief Scientist and CEO of Global Wildlife Conservation.
The Chamicero de Perijá Nature Reserve will protect one of the best-preserved tracts of forest remaining in Colombia’s Serranía de Perijá. It also protects two watersheds that are vital for the city of Valledupar and several towns in the otherwise arid Cesar Department. “This reserve is a win for everyone. Not only is it going to be a permanent lifeline for the region’s many endemic species that have nowhere else to go, but it is also a major victory for nearby cities and towns that will benefit for years from the water it provides,” said Dr. Salaman.
Perijá Thistletail, Perijá Metaltail, Perijá Brush-finch and Perijá Antpitta.
Colombia, South America