Bird of the Week, September 23, 2011
Royal Cinclodes

Royal Cinclodes by Valere Claverie

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The stocky, dark-brown Royal Cinclodes is an extreme habitat specialist, found only in the moss-covered understory of Polylepis woodlands high in the Andes of southern Peru and northern Bolivia. This Polylepis habitat is severely threatened by local inhabitants, who harvest the trees for firewood, while their grazing animals and fires inhibit the natural regeneration of these slow-growing trees.


In Bolivia, ABC has worked with partners Asociación Armonia and Insituto de Ecologia to plant 10,000 trees and install hundreds of improved wood-burning stoves in order to reduce two communities’ dependence on Polylepis for fuel. 

In Peru, ABC and partner ECOAN have worked with over 20 communities in the Vilcanota Mountains near Cuzco to restore and protect Polyelpis forests. An estimated 127 Royal Cinclodes live in these mountains, comprising the majority of the species’ distribution.


Vilcanota project successes include the creation of seven community-owned reserves totaling over 15,635 acres over 400,000 Polylepis saplings planted to restore natural forests. Beginning in 2012, the project will receive funding from an endowment fund created in 2010 benefiting local communities and the Royal Cinclodes, along with other Polylepis specialists such as the White-browed Tit-Spinetail.


ABC is working with local partners and communities to protect Polylepis woodlands where the Royal Cinclodes lives in both Peru and Bolivia and is helping to create a binational conservation plan for this species.


Support ABC's efforts to protect this and other birds and their habitats!

Photo: Royal Cinclodes by Valere Claverie; Range Map: ABC