Rainforest Trust provided technical help and support to complete the complex purchase of a 344-acre property that was owned by a family of 19 to expand the El Dorado Bird Reserve in Colombia.
El Dorado Bird Reserve, part of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range in northern Colombia, was expanded by 344 acres through a complex and protracted private land purchase conducted by Rainforest Trust partner Corporación Alianza por la Conservación. The property was owned by a family of 19, each with an individual right that had to be signed off and compensated to complete the transaction.
Rainforest Trust provided technical help and support to complete the purchase, and its local partner Fundación ProAves will incorporate management of the new area with the rest of the reserve. Isolated from other mountainous regions, many of the species found in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta evolved there and are not found anywhere else in the world. Boasting the highest rates of bird endemism in the world, the range is home to over 600 bird species, including more than 20 endemic species, such as the Endangered Santa Marta Parakeet and the Vulnerable Santa Marta Warbler. It also hosts a stunning diversity of rare and endemic amphibians species, including the Critically Endangered Harlequin Frog.
Following decades of uncontrolled colonization and agricultural expansion, only 15 percent of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta’s original vegetation remains unaltered. Principle threats include the expansion of farms, pasturelands and coffee plantations. In addition, the construction of new vacation homes poses a growing danger to forests.
“This was an extremely important property to acquire with one of the highest concentrations of endemic birds in the world.”
“Importantly, the property has a broad altitudinal range, which is very important in regard to climate change that will affect this region tremendously. We are very grateful to our partners whose patience and persistence in negotiating paid off, and we are pleased to expand key conservation protection within the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta,” said Rainforest Trust CEO Dr. Paul Salaman.
Since 2006, Rainforest Trust’s partners Fundación ProAves and Corporación Alianza por la Conservación have pursued a major conservation initiative to purchase and protect a dozen privately-owned properties to establish the 2,320-acre El Dorado Bird Reserve, making a vital contribution to the conservation of Colombia’s endemic fauna and flora.
Thank you to our many generous friends around the world and the SAVES Challenge, this project is a success. A special thank you to Global Wildlife Conservation, Luanne Lemmer and Eric Veach, The Marshall-Reynolds Foundation, The Biodiversity Consultancy, Regina Bauer Frankenberg Foundation, Conservation Alliance LLC, Keith and Janice Wiggers, and Ted and Kay Reissing for their leadership support.
For more information on how you can support Rainforest Trust, visit our Conservation Action Fund.