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Tim Twins with Tinajones

International collaboration helps Peru`s new wetland reserve

Tinajones Reservoir in coastal northern Peru is to be twinned with Rutland Water in the UK, the largest man-made lake in western Europe and a vital wetland for wildlife. As a result of the twinning, the regional government of Lambayeque is in the process of declaring the whole of Tinajones a nature reserve, covering some 2,500 hectares. Tinajones will form part of the Gran Chaparri conservation corridor in Lambayeque, and should also become a key site on the northern Peru birding circuit.

The announcement came at this year`s British Bird Watching Fair held at Rutland Water, which raised money for bird conservation work in the dry forests of Peru ? a project chosen and managed by BirdLife International. Like Rutland Water, Tinajones Reservoir was built in the 1970s. It supplies water for approximately one million people and 80,000 hectares of irrigated land. As part of the construction work, wetlands were drained to create farmland.

In partnership with the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, Anglian Water has created an internationally important conservation site at Rutland, attracting up to one million visitors a year. The reservoir has also become the hub of England`s Osprey reintroduction programme. A series of lagoons, modelled on those at Rutland, will be created at Tinajones, providing 24 hectares of reedbeds, wader scrapes and open water pools for waterfowl. Work on the lagoons is funded by a grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, under the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act.We hope this will become a model for wetland restoration that will be replicated in other areas on the Pacific Flyway, where much of the natural wetland has been lost. Said Heinz Plenge, Chaparri reserve director

The new wetland will provide various forms of livelihood, including sustainable management of native fish, reeds for fishermen to build their traditional boats, and ecotourism. A visitors` centre and series of hides will be built. Asociaci?n Naymlap, a local NGO that helps with the management of the adjacent local community-owned Chaparri Private Conservation Area, is collaborating with the regional government, water company and local people to create and manage the wetland. Chaparri reserve director Heinz Plenge says the association with Rutland Water will give valuable technical support in the creation of the new reserve, and help promote and draw attention to the initiative. Construction of dykes will start in October, and the new lagoons should be flooded in February.

4th July 2014