Fundación ProAves – por las aves y su hábitat en Colombia

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Record of pheasant cuckoo in the El Jaguar ProAves Reserve

25 July, 2020

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The monitoring of wild fauna is an activity of great relevance in the ProAves Reserve, since it allows not only knowing the species that inhabit each of them, but also knowing aspects of their ecology and reproduction; likewise, it allows knowing the changes over time of the communities especially birds, due to the arrival and departure of both continental and local migratory species, as well as the change in the populations of the species of interest, this being an indication of the recovery or decrease in populations, knowledge necessary to develop supervision and conservation measures. 

The monitoring is done directly with sighting tours, for which ProAves trained the ranges in the identification of the region species, using fauna guides and managing applications to register the sighting information. As well ranger have received equipment and needed element such as binoculars, fauna guides, smartphones, digital cameras and lists of the reserve species where they work.

The fauna monitoring through sighting tours is done, at least, one day a week in each of the ProAves Reserves, having it defined that it is carried out systematically on Friday in the morning hours in all the Reserves. Monitoring is especially focused on birds, which in general is the easiest group of vertebrates to observe in ecosystems; this is done using binoculars and digital cameras and is registered in the e-Bird application developed by the Laboratory of Ornithology from Cornell University.

This work begins to show results, since each time there are more and better records in each Reserve; In addition, rangers, who are people from each region, are being qualified in the identification and registration of species. This is how, one of the rangers of the El Jaguar ProAves Reserve, located in the Mapiripán municipality in the Meta department, made a first record of the pheasant cuckoo (Dromococcyx phasianellus) in this Reserve. This was a species that he had never observed; In addition, he managed to photograph an individual. When verifying his identification and realizing that it was not included in the Reserve´s list of birds, he made a note to the Fundación ProAves. 

This record becomes not only an addition to the Reserve`s bird species, but also a significant extension of the range of distribution of this species. The pheasant cuckoo is a forest species, in general, difficult to observe because it is an inhabitant of the ground and rarely climbs trees as it flees to the presence of man. In the country this species is distributed in several regions, including the foothills of the Cordillera Oriental in the Llanos Orientales (see map), but there were no records for a region east of the Orinoquía where the El Jaguar ProAves Reserve is located.

The pheasant cuckoo, although it is not listed as a species threatened with extinction, is of great value to birdwatching, because it is a species of great beauty and difficult to observe, making its search and sighting for photographers and observers almost challenging.

For ProAves it is a great fortune to be able to conserve this and many more species of the country´s birds in the ProAves Reserve El Jaguar, where ecosystems are protected from the transition between the Orinoco plains and the Amazon jungle.

Fundación ProAves is grateful for Permian Global support and contribution to preserve these habitats of great importance in Colombia.