Coffee Contributes to Reserve Sustainability in Colombia

Photo: Bill Hubick

A program is now underway at the Cerulean Warbler Bird Reserve in Colombia to generate income and provide habitat for threatened and declining birds. The 518-acre reserve in the Andes was purchased with support from ABC and is run by Colombian partner group Fundación ProAves. The declining Cerulean Warbler is the reserve’s flagship species, but at least 333 other bird species occur there, including 28 that are endemic to Colombia, and several that are globally threatened. The reserve and its environs were identified by the Alliance for Zero Extinction as imperative for the survival of the endangered Gorgeted Wood-Quail. Also present are the critically endangered Chestnut-bellied Hummingbird and the endangered White-mantled Barbet, Black Inca, and Mountain Grackle.


Part of the reserve includes a 25-acre coffee farm, where coffee grows under a canopy of native trees and banana plants. The plantation provides valuable habitat for many bird species, including Cerulean and Canada Warblers, and also brings in much-needed revenue. ProAves’ goal is to cover 100% of the reserve costs through coffee sales by 2010.


Cerulean Warbler. Photo: Bill Hubick

The coffee farm has been certified by the Rainforest Alliance, indicating that the coffee production meets rigorous environmental and social standards, and therefore commands a higher market price. The coffee from this farm is being sold to wholesalers, but ProAves is already marketing coffee grown at a similar farm through the Thanksgiving Coffee Company at For more information, contact George Wallace , American Bird Conservancy, or Sara Ines Lara .