Marvelous Spatuletail
Marvelous Spatuletail
Photo: Marvelous Spatuletail by Roger Ahlman


The Challenge

The spectacular, endangered Marvelous Spatuletail is one of the rarest hummingbirds in the world; it has only been recorded in the area surrounding and in the Huembo Reserve in northern Peru, created by ABC and our partner Asociación Ecosistemas Andinos (ECOAN) to save this species from extinction. The principal threat to this species is the destruction and fragmentation of its habitat caused by the illegal harvesting of wood and the clearing of land for agriculture by fire. In recent decades, the rate of habit loss has increased because many people have moved into the area from surrounding regions. Other threats to the spatuletail include invasive species, which slow the natural regeneration of native plants, and the hunting and the capture of birds for illegal sale.


ABC Conservation Framework

Efforts to save this species comes under Safeguarding the Rarest within ABC's Conservation Framework
pyramid icon - rarest
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Primary Birds Impacted

The Huembo Reserve is home to four globally threatened birds: the Marvelous Spatuletail, Peruvian Pigeon, Little Woodstar, and Speckle-chested Piculet.

YouTube - Marvelous Spatuletail Courtship Display By abcbirds



  • Protect land through the creation of a reserve, and reforest that reserve with native plants
  • Develop and implement a fire control plan
  • Develop conservation educational materials for the Huembo community making use of the local education center
  • Research and monitor the Marvelous Spatuletail to better understand its basic ecology

ABC Results

ABC Results Button In 2006, ABC and ECOAN responded to the call for action to save the Spatuletaile from extinction by creating the Huembo Conservation Easement in northern Peru, the first protected area for this species.
ABC Results Button ABC and ECOAN have worked with the Pomacochas, Cochabamba, and other local communities to reforest the Huembo Reserve and surrounding private lands. Together, they have planted hundreds of thousands of native trees, shrubs, and coffee bushes to restore habitat for native and migratory birds, including the Spatuletail.
ABC Results Button Since the creation of the reserve, a guard house, four-bedroomed visitor center, and museum with displays on the ecology of the Marvelous Spatuletail have been built.
ABC Results Button ECOAN has created agroforesty demonstration projects planted with shade bananas, shade coffee, and passion fruit to show local farmers the methods and benefits of sustainable farming.
ABC Results Button

The reserve now has a trail system with a panoramic viewing, several hummingbird feeding stations, blinds to facilitate viewing and photography of the spatuletail by visitors, and thematic gardens showcasing orchids, bromeliads, and edible plants.


What Next?

What Next Button

ABC and ECOAN are currently working with the local community to expand the Huembo Conservation Easement, conduct additional reforestation near the reserve, and establish an additional protected area upstream along the Chido River.

What Next Button

Expand the reserve's capacity to handle overnight tourists and extend the reserve's trail system.

What Next Button Further develop conservation educational materials for the existing Huembo museum.
What Next Button Research and monitor the Marvelous Spatuletail to better understand its ecology.

Take Action

Support conservation by birding in Peru! The nearby Abra Patricia has an ecolodge from which the Marvelous Spatuletail is only a short drive away. Funds generated from ecotourism will directly support conservation actions. You can also donate to ABC to help with management costs of the reserve.