Critical New Protected Area Established In Colombia For Endangered Species

Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Gold-ringed Tanager
Gold-ringed Tanager
- photo by Peter Morris

American Bird Conservancy (ABC), World Land Trust (WLT), and their Colombian partner Fundación ProAves, have inaugurated a new reserve to protect one of the last strongholds for the endangered Gold-ringed Tanager. Worldwide, the bird is known to inhabit only five locations, all along 150 miles of ridge top on the Pacific slope of the western Andes of Colombia.

Following field surveys in 2008 and 2009, Fundación ProAves determined there were as few as 500 Gold-ringed Tanagers remaining, with a critical population of up to 50 pairs identified 50 miles southwest of Medellin, Colombia’s second largest city. This location became the target area for creating a new reserve. Four properties in the area were immediately acquired, followed by the purchase of twelve more properties soon after to create the 7,076 acre Tanagers Reserve.

“We are thrilled that such a vital piece of habitat will be protected in the future,” said Dr. George Fenwick, president of ABC.

“This new reserve will likely also safeguard many as-yet undiscovered biodiversity gems. In addition to the Gold-ringed Tanager, a newly discovered and as-yet undescribed black toad with ruby-red eyes, is also protected by the reserve. Look for even more new discoveries coming soon.”

The reserve, owned and operated by Fundación ProAves, is expected to be a major attraction to visiting birdwatchers, ornithologists, and nature tourists. The area boasts remarkable opportunities for birding (over 250 species documented at the reserve so far) in a country that is home to more avian species than any other on the planet. A spacious, eight-bedroom lodge, a house for staff, and a restaurant featuring a balcony overlooking the nearby river were recently constructed.

"Visitors will be astounded how easy it is to see an incredible diversity of rare and little-known biodiversity, including a dozen endemic bird species. We hope people will come from all over to visit and appreciate what Colombia has to offer, be they from nearby Medellin or from Washington or London,” said Lina Daza, executive director of ProAves.

Other important species found in the reserve include the endangered Choco Vireo, Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer, and Yellow-eared Parrot, and the vulnerable Black-and-Gold Tanager and Toucan Barbet.

The Chocó area of western Colombia is renowned for its boundless, lush, humid forests. Unfortunately, more people are colonizing the area and logging huge swaths of land. The reserve is located alongside the main thoroughfare to Medellin from the coast, which is scheduled to be paved. Road development projects such as this inevitably lead to greater colonization and development.

“We are supporting our partner to strategically acquire and protect a critical area of privately held rainforest in order to create a buffer zone against colonization and strengthen the protection of adjacent indigenous communities that are besieged by gold-miners and ranchers,” said Dr. Paul Salaman, of WLT, a champion of conservation action in the megadiverse Choco Hotspot.



Watts Bar “Bee-Team” Saves Swarming Hive

Comment Period Open On 2020-22 Fishing Regulation Proposals

Poster Contest's 30th Year Highlights Unique Bog Habitats In Georgia


When Mark Porter, TVA Nuclear online scheduler, saw a swarm of 25,000 bees outside the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant maintenance building, he was uniquely equipped to not panic. “As a beekeeper, ... (click for more)

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Fisheries Division presented its proposed 2020-22 fishing regulation proposals during the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission’s August meeting held ... (click for more)

Teachers and students across the state are invited to explore Georgia’s wildlife and students’ artistic interests through the 30th annual Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest. The goal ... (click for more)


Outdoors

Watts Bar “Bee-Team” Saves Swarming Hive

When Mark Porter, TVA Nuclear online scheduler, saw a swarm of 25,000 bees outside the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant maintenance building, he was uniquely equipped to not panic. “As a beekeeper, I knew the swarm was a queen and half her colony split off to find a new home,” Porter said. “Most people’s first instinct is to spray them dead, but these pollinators are crucial to our food ... (click for more)

Comment Period Open On 2020-22 Fishing Regulation Proposals

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Fisheries Division presented its proposed 2020-22 fishing regulation proposals during the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission’s August meeting held in Greeneville. The public is invited to provide comments on the proposals. The deadline for sport fishing comments is Sept. 12. To provide comments, email TWRA at fishingreg.comments@tn.gov ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Chattanooga Police Officer Struck While Working Head-On Crash On Highway 153 At U.S. 27

A Chattanooga Police officer was struck while working a head-on collision on Highway 153 early Sunday morning. The incident happened around 2:15 a.m. near the intersection with U.S. 27. The officer was hit by a white pickup truck. He was taken to the hospital, but his condition was not immediately known. There were injuries in the head-on crash. After the incident, ... (click for more)

City Treasurer Set To Collect Business Improvement District Assessments After County Commission Balks

The City Treasurer is now set to collect the first-year assessments for the downtown Business Improvement District (BID) after the County Commission decided not to let Trustee Bill Hullander do it. The City Council is set to consider a resolution on Sept. 3 authorizing the treasurer to do the collections. The resolution is sponsored by Chairman Erskine Oglesby, a staunch supporter ... (click for more)

Opinion

Are There Too Many Hamilton County Schools? - And Response

Two recent articles reveal a great deal about the present state of local public education. Mixing and matching information and reading between the lines reveals even more. First, there is that loooonnnngg list of Top Hamilton County Schools Salaries 2019. That nearly incredible list covers only salaries from $70,000 and up, and includes 290 different individuals -- approaching ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why We Must Read

One of the greatest scenes in all of moviedom is at that moment in the movie “Patton” where only George C. Scott could provide the harsh cackle. Starring in the role of the famed World War II general, Scott stands in the turret of his command vehicle and yells in the wind, “Rommel, you magnificent bastard … I read your book!” What too few of those who caused the 1970 film to ... (click for more)