This charismatic mammal is the first carnivore species to be discovered in America for the last 35 years and is protected on two ProAves Reserves.
The newly described mammal species known as the Olinguito (Bassaricyon neblina) is protected for perpetuity on two ProAves Reserves, one of which is the Colibrí del Sol Bird Reserve. This reserve has an area of 731 hectares of forest and high Andean páramo between 2,800 and 4,060 meters and is located in the department of Antioquia on the eastern slopes of the Cordillera Occidental. This species was recorded in the same area by P. Hershkovitz, in April 1951 and now, after 30 years, this species has been recategorized as a carnivore, making it the first species of this group discovered in America in recent times.
Additionally, this charismatic animal was recorded on the eastern slopes and the western slope of the Andes, in the town of El Tambo, Cauca, at the top of the PNN Munchique in a tropical Mist forest ecosystem that protects the Mirabilis Swarovski Bird Reserve, with an area of 1,378 hectares between 1,500 and 3,020 meters of altitude.
ProAves Bird Reserves are protected areas designed or the long term conservation objectives of endemic bird species or threatened species and their habitats. With the discovery of this new species of mammal, the Colibrí del Sol and Mirabilis Swarovski Bird Reserves have a new conservation objective and in turn, the Olinguito has two protected high Andean forest areas in excellent condition.
The reserves’ rangers have recorded the Olinguito several times; this new species will be monitored and researched by the ProAves team.
Source and Photo: Smithsonian Institution