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Taricaya reinforces its status as a global biodiversity hotspot

Volunteer looking for bird species during her Conservation placement in Peru

With over a million study hours on platforms, trails, playbacks and mist nets, Taricaya Ecological Reserve in Peru has officially identified 478 species of bird in the reserve, with the final four species being added to their list in the last three weeks of July 2016. This represents more than one species of bird for every hectare in the reserve, which is only 476 hectares. Taricaya can now claim to protect close to 5% of all known bird species on the planet.

The beautiful amethyst woodstar hummingbird (Callifphlox amethystine) was the latest addition to the species list, and was seen twice on the farm plot. The continent’s highest canopy walkway and the first official bird banding station in Peru are all major developments which helped reach this success.

A canopy walkway in the trees of Peru

The continued presence of key species such as the black-faced cotinga (Conioptilon mcilhennyi) and harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja) suggest a healthy ecosystem. Taricaya currently has pairs of the harpy eagle, the world’s most powerful bird of prey and a top alpha predator, nesting in the reserve constantly. This means that the ecosystem is thriving and alive.

Preserving one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet and defending its wildlife has been a key objective for Taricaya since it was founded in 2001. The reserve’s persistent efforts have not only helped retain a vibrant environment but they have also helped decrease the domestic illegal wildlife-pet trade. This effort has resulted in the Elsevier Nature Conservation Journal rating Taricaya Ecological Reserve as the second best combined animal welfare and conservation organisation in Peru.

The harpy eagle seen in a tree at Taricaya Ecological Reserve

While other areas succumb to deforestation, Taricaya has become a welcome refuge with the unique nature of the habitats within the reserve and its ongoing protection. The reserve has become a sanctuary for resident species and those migrants looking for a safe haven on their way north or south.

Taricaya has their hard working volunteers (over 2500 in total), staff and visiting experts to thank for these amazing achievements. Without their contributions over the years, these feats would not have been possible.

A sloth being send back into the reserve

Take a look at our Conservation project in Peru to see how you can contribute.

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