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Protecting key habitat for the Fuertes Parrot

By PIEditor

A news release from ProAves announces ongoing protection for the key habitat of the Fuertes Parrot.

The Municipality of Génova, Department of Quindío, and ProAves have recently celebrated an agreement to continue a further five years’ protection and management for the El Mirador Municipality Reserve - vital for the survival of the Critically Endangered Fuertes Parrot.

“The signing of this agreement allows us to continue the activities carried out there with the Threatened Parrots of Central Cordillera project supported by Fundación Loro Parque”, said Lina Eugenia Daza, legal advisor of ProAves. “The renewed agreement for a further five years is in recognition of the good management implemented by ProAves at the site.”

ProAves has conducted an extensive environmental education, conservation and research program in the reserve as well as in its regional headquarters in Génova, and is extremely grateful to the Mayor of Génova for the renewal of this agreement, and for the support of Fundación Loro Parque.

Managing the municipality land has presented ProAves with some challenges, one of which was the relocation of over 150 head of cattle to allow for reforestation. Despite tensions with the cattle owners who depended on this land, ProAves has worked closely with the community, and now over 1000 acres of pasturelands are being recovered to critical cloud forest habitat.

The near-mythical Fuertes Parrot was long thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered by ProAves in 2002 in the high altitudes of Colombia, before which time it had not been sighted in over 100 years. Only 60 of these strikingly beautiful birds were in existence when it was rediscovered in the Municipality of Génova - restricted to an unprotected montane cloud forest in the Central Andes. Much of its habitat has been lost, but ProAves rushed to protect its beautiful high elevation habitat and after four years of conservation, including a highly successful nest-box campaign, the Fuertes Parrot population has climbed to 150 individuals.

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