|El Oro Parakeet|
Thanks to help from Rainforest Trust, our Ecuadorian partner, Jocotoco, has purchased 600 acres to expand its Buenaventura Reserve. The expansion, which will increase the reserve to a total of 4,600 acres, contains 400 acres of pristine cloud forest and will provide habitat for a multitude of threatened wildlife.
Among the 15 endangered bird species found in the reserve are the El Oro Parakeet and the Ecuadorian Tapaculo. The few dozen surviving Ecuadorian Tapaculos depend on the reserve for their survival. Likewise, nearly two-thirds of the world’s last 800 El Oro Parakeets take refuge in Buenaventura.
“We are encouraged that this reserve is now protecting a substantial portion of the global population of the El Oro Parakeet,” said Rocío Merino, Executive Director of Jocotoco. “We must now ensure the protection of surrounding landscapes that are frequently used by bird species from a unique combination of Chocó, Tumbes, and western Andean regions within the reserve. Working with surrounding communities of El Placer and Moromoro, including private landowners and municipalities, will be key to our long-term success.”
The reserve protects one of the largest tracts of cloud forest remaining in southwestern Ecuador, and has gained renown as the premier birding site in the region.
Many species, found nowhere else in Ecuador’s protected area system, live in the reserve. Over 330 bird species – including 31 hummingbirds – have been recorded at Buenaventura; 34 species are endemic to the area.
“Expanding the Buenaventura Reserve is an urgent conservation priority as the future of the El Oro Parakeet and the Ecuadorian Tapaculo depend tremendously upon the existence of the reserve and the forests it protects,” said Paul Salaman, CEO of Rainforest Trust. “This significant expansion of the reserve is a great conservation victory that’s going to result in a stronger, more effective sanctuary for wildlife in Ecuador.”
Since its creation in 1999, the reserve has steadily grown in size. Rainforest Trust has supported the purchase of 4,025 acres.
This project was made possible with support from the American Bird Conservancy, Dansk Ornitologisk Forening, and the International Conservation Fund of Canada.
Update: Rainforest Trust President, Dr. Robert Ridgely, and CEO, Dr. Paul Salaman, will be leading a conservation tour to Ecuador in 2014 that will visit the Buenaventura Reserve. To learn more about the tour, which will take place March 12-22, and include visits to the Tapichalaca and Jorupe reserves, please contact us.