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American Bird Conservancy help buy…

Prized Wildlife Area in Amazon Headwaters

(Washington, D.C., August 26, 2010) American Bird Conservancy (ABC), the nation’s leading bird conservation organization, in cooperation with the Amazon Conservation Association (ACA), has helped finance the purchase 7,427 acres of world-class bird and wildlife habitat in southern Peru that may contain the highest bird diversity for a single site in the world.

The area is within the spectacular 4.7 million-acre Manu Biosphere Reserve, which is one of the most pristine areas of remaining rainforest in the Amazon.

“We are thrilled to help finance the acquisition of this breathtaking area for conservation. For generations to come, people from all over the world will be able to visit and experience the diverse bird community and other wildlife the site affords,” said Daniel Lebbin, of ABC.

"Hacienda Villa Carmen is sited in an area of extraordinary biological richness, as it lies at the junction of the eastern Andean slope and the Amazonian lowlands. It is one of the least explored life zones of the western Amazon; birds new to science, and new trees are still being found in the area. We believe it has the highest single location bird diversity on the planet where more than 650 bird species can be seen on the property,” says Dr. Adrian Forsyth, President and Founder of the Amazon Conservation Association.This large property, called Villa Carmen, is situated at the confluence of three rivers, with frontage on two: the Pini Pini and the Tono. The property also has numerous streams and waterfalls, an all-weather road, and a small airstrip. The land ranges from about 1,500 to 3,500 feet in elevation, and contains roughly 90 percent old-growth rainforest, with about five percent diversified agriculture and five percent secondary forest.

The property is adjacent to Amazonia Lodge, a popular birding destination along the Manu road with a bird list of over 600 species including several globally threatened species, such as the Black Tinamou, Military Macaw, Blue-headed Macaw, Wattled Guan and Solitary Eagle. The area also supports wintering habitat for a number of neotropical migrant songbirds. Wintering U.S. WatchList species of conservation concern include the Olive-sided Flycatcher, Cerulean Warbler, and Canada Warbler.

The area joins a growing list of protected areas within the ABC Latin American Bird Reserve Network that currently numbers 36 reserves spanning 700,000 acres in 12 countries. Plans for the new reserve include cooperative efforts with local communities in the area to help preserve the greater Manu ecosystem, stimulating a local conservation economy with demonstration projects in sustainable agro-forestry and aquaculture, and hosting environmental education programs, while providing lodging for visiting birders. ABC has also helped protect land elsewhere in Peru through land purchases and concessions at Abra Patricia for the Ochre-fronted Antpitta, an easement at Huembo for the Marvelous Spatuletail, and helping communities establish their own reserves in Vilcanota for the Royal Cinclodes and other birds of Polylepis forests. Many of these efforts are being carried out cooperatively with ABC partner ECOAN – a leading Peruvian conservation organization. Traveling birders interested in visiting Abra Patricia or other reserves should visit http://www.conservationbirding.org

4th July 2014