The cloud forests and páramo grasslands of the high Andes mountains are remote and mysterious places, exceptionally biodiverse, but little known.
Find out how World Land Trust is helping conserve these mountain landscapes.
WLT’s goal in Peru is to help conserve Andean cloud forests and paramó grasslands by supporting local communities to form private conservation areas in common ownership.
WLT is focusing its efforts on protecting an area of the Peruvian Andes that connects Tabaconas Namballe National Sanctuary in Peru with Yacuri National Park in Ecuador.
Much of the land in the Tabaconas Namballe - Yacuri corridor belongs to rural communities. Members of these communities are working together to create private conservation areas to save the biodiversity of the region. WLT is supporting this process because communities that form these private conservation areas are taking responsibility for protecting their surrounding environment.
Naturaleza y Cultura Peru (NCPeru)
How WLT is helping
WLT is funding NCPeru to complete the recognition process for three private community areas in the same area of Peru.
This includes funding equipment and expenses for the biodiversity studies, land tenure/ legal analysis and meetings with communities and government officials.
Additionally, WLT is supporting training and capacity building for the communities through knowledge exchanges and training workshops in sustainable farming, for example. This will ensure that, once the conservation area is established, the community has the capacity to sustainably manage it.
As the conservation area is large, NCPeru is helping create conservation sub-groups at village level for activities such as patrolling and monitoring activities.
NCP is also looking at ways that the project can generate income from protecting the water supply of Huancabamba and Samaniego Rivers.
Urgent funding needed
WLT’s corporate supporters Puro and TapirApps have funded the establishing of the first protected area, Chicuate Chinguelas in Segunda y Cajas. This is an encouraging start but more funds are needed to support the development of other conservation areas.
You can support this work by donating to WLT’s Action Fund, and specifying in the comments box that the donation is for Peru.
(Specify “Peru” in the comments box to earmark your donation for this project)
The conservation areas protect cloud forest on the eastern slopes of the Andes, where there is a mix of flora and fauna from both the high Andes and the upper Amazon basin.
The cloud forests and páramo in Piura are among the best preserved in the entire region and protect important water supplies.
In biological terms, the Segunda y Cajas area is almost unknown, but adjacent areas in Peru and Ecuador have high levels of endemic and threatened species.
In 2014 a biodiversity survey was carried out in the Huachumo sector in the central part of the proposed area. Peruvian scientists, field assistants and community members surveyed flora, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Preliminary results are noted below. Full survey results will be published in due course.
44 mammal species including 3 endemic to northern Peru and 11 threatened species.
Flagship species include the endangered Spectacled Bear (Tremarctos ornatus), Mountain Tapir (Tapirus pinchaque), Red Howler Monkeys have recently been reported near this area at slightly lower elevations and there are indications of a possible new species of night monkey (Aotus genus).
More than 160 bird species including 13 endemic to the extreme south Ecuador and Northern Peru, including Black-chested Mountain-Tanager (Cnemathraupis eximia) and Neblina Metaltail (Metallura odomae). Flagship species include Golden-plumed Parakeet (Leptosittaca branickiiand) and Red-Faced Parrot (Hapalopsittaca pyrrhops). Both these two species are classified as Vulnerable by IUCN because the populations are very small, severely fragmented and declining, probably rapidly.
More than 487 species of flora including 17 endemic to the area and threatened species.
Protecting the biodiversity of this area is a high priority because:
- Road building threatens to erode the reserve
- Logging is fragmenting the forest
- Slash and burn agriculture is also a threat, a practice carried out to produce coffee and sugar cane
The first of the conservation areas supported by WLT will be managed by the community of Segunda y Cajas where the reserve will be called Chicuate Chinguelas
NCPeru has been supporting conservation in Segunda y Cajas since 2013. In that year NCPeru identified an area for a private communal conservation area on the west side of the community.
A year later, in 2014 WLT donated funds to the project, which was expanded to include another area to the east side of the community. Combined, both parts of the proposed conservation area measure 68,480 acres (27,713 hectares).
Segunda y Cajas consists of thirty two villages and more than 320 families (around 3,010 people) and will protect vulnrable cloud forest and páramo.
Based on the main economic activities of the community and to ensure the long term protection of the reserve, the project will support groups of producers who have committed to improve land use practices and to avoid unsustainable biodiversity use.