Great Curassow Male photo by Andy Morffew
Status
Funded

Protect Colombia’s Middle Magdalena Valley

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Project Overview

The Middle Magdalena Valley is characterized by high levels of endemism and species diversity, and is a wintering ground for many migratory bird species from North America.

  • Species at Risk

    Blue-billed Curassow (CR), Magdalena River Turtle (CR), Variegated Spider Monkey (CR), Barbudo (CR), Silvery-brown Tamarin (EN), Varied White-fronted Capuchin (EN)

  • Carbon stored

    509,790 mT*

    *(metric tons of CO2 equivalents)
  • Partner

    Fundación Biodiversa

  • 5,565 Acres Conserved by

    Purchase

Project Cost: $1,738,666
Funding Raised: $1,738,666

Please note that your donation may not be immediately reflected in the funding thermometer above.

Colombia
Acres

5,565

Project Overview

The Middle Magdalena Valley is characterized by high levels of endemism and species diversity, and is a wintering ground for many migratory bird species from North America.

  • Species at Risk

    Blue-billed Curassow (CR), Magdalena River Turtle (CR), Variegated Spider Monkey (CR), Barbudo (CR), Silvery-brown Tamarin (EN), Varied White-fronted Capuchin (EN)

  • Carbon stored

    509,790 mT*

    *(metric tons of CO2 equivalents)
  • Partner

    Fundación Biodiversa

  • 5,565 Acres Conserved by

    Purchase

Project Cost: £1,307,267
Funding Raised: £1,307,267

Please note that your donation may not be immediately reflected in the funding thermometer above.

Colombia
Acres

5,565

OVER

28.5%

OR 1,236 ADDITIONAL ACRES HAVE BEEN PROTECTED!

Project Overview

The Middle Magdalena Valley (MMV), between the Central and Eastern Andes of Colombia, lies within the highly threatened Tumbes-Choco-Magdalena Biodiversity Hotspot and the Magdalena-Uraba moist forest ecoregion. These areas are characterized by high levels of endemism and species diversity, and are wintering grounds for many migratory bird species from North America. But this region has also been the center of development in Colombia. Extensive cattle farming has caused widespread deforestation and wetland degradation.

The Barbacoas wetlands and nearby forests, a stretch of habitat in the center of the valley, are one of the last remnants of the original ecosystem. Rainforest Trust and Fundación Biodiversa Colombia aim to expand  the Barbacoas Reserve by purchasing the Galilea and Rancho Verde properties, totaling 5,565 acres. The proposed expansion is part of a strategy to establish the largest core refuge in the region for threatened species including the Variegated Spider Monkey (CR) and Blue-billed Curassow (CR).

Explore Colombia

The Varied White-fronted Capuchin, photo by Santiago Rosado/Fundación Biodiversa
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The Varied White-fronted Capuchin, photo by Santiago Rosado/Fundación Biodiversa

Colombia's Blue-billed Curassow, by Wolfehr
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Colombia's Blue-billed Curassow, by Wolfehr

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Biodiversity

Colombia is the second-most biodiverse country in the world and the MMV is one of its most biodiverse regions, with more than 50 mammal, 630 bird, 120 reptile, 50 amphibian, 120 fish and 4,000 vascular plant species.

In addition to high levels of endemism and species diversity, the MMV is a wintering habitat for migratory bird species such as the Prothonotary Warbler (LC) which migrates from breeding grounds in Canada and the United States to Central America and South America. The area is also a Pleistocene refugium, meaning it hosts a variety of unique species that survived Ice Age glaciation. Fundación Biodiversa Colombia’s surveys show that, since 2010, the Barbacoas wetlands and rainforests still preserve most of the original MMV biodiversity, including Variegated Spider Monkey, Blue-billed Curassow, Magdalena River Turtles (CR), Barbudo (CR), Magdalena Striped Catfish (EN), Silvery-brown Tamarin (EN), Jaguar (NT), Lowland Tapir (VU), and Caribbean Manatee (EN), a subspecies of American Manatee

Challenges

The MMV has suffered extensive development from cattle ranching throughout Colombia’s history, and the Barbacoas area is one of the last remnants of the original ecosystem.

But many landowners still see forests and wetlands as future areas for cattle and have been clearing forest illegally, putting even these remaining habitat patches at risk. Forests on the Rancho Verde property, one of the properties for purchase, have been preserved due to goodwill, but the landowner is eager to sell. If this property is not secured for conservation, it will likely be purchased by cattle ranchers. This would put the forests and wetlands under imminent threat of destruction.

Solutions

Rainforest Trust and Fundación Biodiversa Colombia seek $1,738,667 to purchase 5,565 acres to expand the Barbacoas Reserve.

 The properties slated for purchase harbor some of the most well-preserved and extensive forest patches in the Barbacoas wetlands. These forests are critical to the ecological integrity of the Barbacoas, connecting the eastern and western forests and creating a link between four surrounding Key Biodiversity Areas: Serranía de San Lucas, Serranía de los Yariguíes, Serranía de las Quinchas and Cañon del Río Alicante. Once purchased, Fundación Biodiversa Colombia rangers will patrol the area, and staff will support the environmental authorities and build capacity in the community in restoration, plant nurseries, agro-ecology and ecotourism as economic alternatives.

100% of your money goes to our conservation efforts

Our board members and other supporters cover our operating costs, so you can give knowing your whole gift will protect rainforests.

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