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Niceforo’s Wren Reserve Created

– Just 50 Birds Remain

Future Looks Brighter for One of World’s Most Threatened Birds

American Bird Conservancy, its Colombian partner Fundación ProAves, and World Land Trust–US have taken a significant step forward in their efforts to protect the Niceforo’s Wren, a Critically Endangered bird restricted to the last remnants of dry forest in the Chicamocha Valley of the eastern Andes of Colombia. The purchase of over 3,200 acres of some of the highest quality forest of this type remaining in the region has resulted in the creation of a new reserve to protect the wren, as well as several other endemic species, including the endangered Chestnut-bellied Hummingbird, and the Apical Flycatcher.Surveys have established that Niceforo’s Wren is one of the most imperiled bird species in the world, with a global population of fewer than 25 pairs, and a tiny range centered on the reserve. With a core population of just 14 pairs at imminent risk of extinction from man-made fires and intensive goat grazing, American Bird Conservancy, World Land Trust-US, and ProAves acted decisively to acquire the private properties containing the core population and remove over 500 goats and 50 cattle.“To be able to give a species that is so close to extinction another chance at survival is a thrilling opportunity, and we are tremendously indebted to the supporters who have made this a reality,” said George Wallace, American Bird Conservancy’s Vice President for International Programs. “Now begins the work of protecting the habitat on the ground as well as on paper, and we are working with ProAves to ensure the success of the project.”The Chestnut-bellied Hummingbird’s population is estimated to be between 1,000 and 2,500 individuals, the largest portion of which is also found at the reserve. The species is under severe threat due to wide-scale habitat loss and degradation.“This is another example of how international cooperation is making a tangible difference to the most threatened birds in the Americas,” said Sara Lara, Executive Director of ProAves. “For the first time we can say that tomorrow holds a brighter outlook for the Niceforo’s Wren and many other threatened and endemic animals and plants that share its unique habitat.”

The new reserve, located near the town of Zapatoca, is one-hour from Bucaramanga and open to visitors and students who can learn about this important and spectacular ecosystem. The Corporación Autónoma de Santander (CAS) is a valued collaborator in the project.

4th July 2014