The Cerulean Warbler is among the most threatened neotropical migrant land birds in South America. Cerulean Warblers spends their winters in tropical mountain forests in Colombia that also harbor rare, endemic birds. These areas have been severely altered by agricultural activities, and over 90 percent of the Cerulean Warbler’s preferred wintering habitat has been lost.
Neotropical migrants, including the Cerulean, Golden-winged, Tennessee, Black-and-white, Mourning, Canada, Blackburnian, and Black-throated Blue Warblers, American Redstart, Northern Waterthrush, and Rose- breasted Grosbeak. Endemic species include the Gorgeted Wood-Quail, Chestnut-bellied Hummingbird, and Niceforo’s Wren, and the endangered White-mantled Barbet, Black Inca and Mountain Grackle.
YouTube - ENDEMIC - Chestnut-bellied Hummingbird - Andrea Borras - Luis Uruena by MANAKINNATURETOURS
The Cerulean Warbler Conservation Corridor comprises three private reserves – Pauxi Pauxi Reserve (Helmeted Curassow), Cerulean Warbler Reserve (Gorgeted Wood-Quail) and Chicamocha Reserve (Niceforo’s Wren), all owned and operated by ABC’s Colombian partner Fundación ProAves. The reserves were established to protect not only key wintering habitat for migrant songbirds, but also the last remaining forests for species recognized by the Alliance for Zero Extinction. ABC is creating a forested corridor between these reserves on privately owned farmland through a suite of conservation tools, including land acquisition, conservation easements, and shade coffee production. Another key component is to link conservation efforts here to the important work being done in the United States.
In 2006, ABC and ProAves purchased three tracts of land and a coffee farm totaling 479 acres to create the Cerulean Warbler Reserve. Prior ABC and ProAves studies showed the properties have among the highest densities of wintering Cerulean Warblers in Colombia. These studies also spurred the creation of the almost 200,000-acre Yariguies National Park that borders ProAves’ Cerulean Warbler Reserve.
In 2009 and 2010, along the corridor between the Pauxi Pauxi and Cerulean Warbler Reserves, 13 conservation easements were created on over 300 acres of farm land.
In 2011, ProAves purchased 299 acres in the Cerulean Warbler Corridor to expand the Pauxi Pauxi Reserve, providing habitat for Cerulean Warblers. About 90% of the properties are covered with tropical humid forest, and 10% with small-scale coffee and cacao farms. Wintering Cerulean Warblers have already been confirmed on the properties.
Reforestation efforts have led to the planting of 21,000 trees across 800 acres (of the 48,000 planned) along the corridor, converting agricultural land to warbler-friendly shade coffee farms and forest.
ABC initiated a pen-pal program between Colombian and Appalachian students that live in Cerulean Warbler habitat.
Continue to enlist more farmers in placing conservation easements on their land
Manage Cerulean Warbler and Pauxi Pauxi Reserves with forest patrols and boundary marking
Continue the reforestation of degraded land to create habitat for wintering warblers
Conduct community outreach, including International Migratory Bird Day Festival, educational materials, and school program
Conduct migratory bird monitoring
Construct and equip new guard post on new properties, equip guards for patrols