Juan Lázaro Toro (Director of Conservation Strategies, ProAves); Neiver Obando Mosquera (Deputy Director of Protected Areas, CODECHOCO); Vanessa Paredes Zúñiga ( Director of CORPOURABÁ); Arnold Alexander Rincón López (Director of CODECHOCÓ); Sara Inés Lara (Women for Conservation & ProAves Executive Director); Paloma Carrillo (Director of Operations, ProAves); Alexander Monsalve (Director of Protected Areas, ProAves).
We are excited to announce that Las Tangaras ProAves Reserve will be officially recognized as a Colombian Regional Park! With the mission of protecting Colombia’s key ecosystems and biodiversity, ProAves and CODECHOCÓ signed the Cooperation Agreement 001 of 2020 – officially joining forces for the generation of knowledge, conservation, and sustainable use of ecosystems in Chocó Cloud Forest region.
In addition to this new government-protected status, the reserve will also expand its area by 3,500 hectares (8,649 acres). This represents an incredible conservation achievement for cloud forests in Western Andean Mountains, containing a high diversity of endemic amphibians, birds, and plants, which are currently threatened by agricultural development and deforestation. Our new federal status will make Las Tangaras Reserve part of the National System of Protected Areas of Colombia (SINAP), and provide us with additional resources to uphold their strict conservation requirements.
This new expansion will protect Choco’s cloud forests, as well as the headwaters of several tributary streams of the Atrato River. ProAves and Women for Conservation have been supporting community conservation initiatives in communities around the reserve since its creation in 2009. As sister organizations, ProAves manages habitat protection and facilitated this new federal park status, while Women for Conservation partners with local women to promote grass-roots community conservation initiatives.
The alliances we have formed with local leaders have allowed us to have incredible community support and involvement, which has solidified our status as a leading authority for protecting endangered and endemic wildlife in the region. Community support with identifying and registering wildlife in the region has been key to our conservation success, and has given us the comprehensive data we needed to receive this federal park status.
The Tangaras Reserve was established by ProAves in 2009 to protect two endemic bird species in danger of extinction: the Gold-ringed Tanager (Bangsia aureocincta) and the Black-and-gold Tanager (Bangsia melanochlamys), both categorized as Vulnerable according to the IUCN Red List. It is also home to 28 vertebrate species of conservation interest, 20 of which are endemic to Colombia, and 10 of which are under some category of threat, including some at risk of extinction as is the case of the Spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus).
This process of federal recognition and expansion will be financed by the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) through the Conserve Birds Fund, Territory of Life Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, and the Latin American Reserve Stewardship Initiative Fund (LARSI), in collaboration with the March Conservation Fund (MCF).
While Las Tangaras is our first ProAves Reserve to receive federal park status, we are in the process of organizing these protections for two more reserves for critically endangered wildlife. We look forward to sharing more successes with you as we continue to realize our dream of protecting endangered species in the Choco cloud forest Region and across Colombia.