The proposed La Colosa gold mine poses a new threat. The South African mining company Anglo Gold Ashanti announced that it had found a 13 million ounce gold vein under Colombia’s central Andes. The company acquired land near the reserve in an attempt to mitigate environmental impacts from mining operations.
The Fuertes’s and Yellow-eared Parrots are threatened with extinction; the Rusty-faced Parrot, and the Golden-plumed and Rufous-fronted Parakeets also occur here. The area also holds many other threatened and endemic species, including the endangered mountain tapir and spectacled bear, both of which are regularly seen, although too often killed by hunters. The area also contains populations of endangered amphibians, including the true harlequin frog and Herveo’s toad.
Creation of a ‘corridor’ of protected sites will help safeguard key remaining areas of habitat and focus conservation efforts for these and other imperiled bird species. Efforts must include:
Acquisition of key sites to create a contiguous protected area
Reforesting degraded habitat
Research and monitoring of the endangered parrots in order to determine the best conservation plan for the area
Education of local communities on the conservation of their natural resources.
In 2002 Fundación ProAves re-discovered the long-lost Fuertes’s Parrot after over a year of searching the Central Cordillera.
In 2005, ABC joined with ProAves to create the Threatened Parrot Corridor, a series of four interconnected parks and reserves that provide a swathe of protected habitat for five species of threatened parrot. The entire area under protection spans 18,800 acres and protects approximately 70% of the Fuertes's Parrot population.
In 2009 the Giles-Fuertesi Nature Reserve was created by ProAves and ABC. This reserve contains about 20% of the endangered Fuertes's Parrot population.
In 2012, ABC and ProAves acquired 356 acres of land to double the size of the Giles-Fuertesi Nature Reserve.
Manage the parks and reserves to effectively maximize the protection of the threatened parrots.
Establish a nursery and reforest habitat throughout the reserve, particularly on recently acquired land. Thanks to support from Loro Parque Fundación, ProAves has refurbished the guard station and has an ongoing next box program, and support to initiate reforestation of degraded habitat.