Peru: endangered bird sighting brings hope

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 A new discovery by the Peruvian environmental group Asociación Ecosistemas Andinos (ECOAN), of a population of the critically endangered Royal Cinclodes is providing some increased hope that this bird may be able to be saved from extinction.

In August 2012, ECOAN biologists spotted a Royal Cinclodes and possibly a second bird inside the Huaytapallana Regional Conservation Area in Peru’s Junín department. This sighting was 29 miles north of the nearest and previously northernmost population discovered in Junín in 2008.

“There may well be fewer than 250 of these birds left in existence,”said Constantino Aucca Chutas, President of ECOAN. “These new sightings are therefore quite significant because they raise the odds that this rare species might be saved.”

The Royal Cinclodes is listed by the IUCN-World Conservation Union as Critically Endangered; it was recently listed as Endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The largest concentrations are found in Peru’s Cusco and Apurimac departments in the south of the country, with other populations in Bolivia’s department of La Paz, close to the Peru border, and elsewhere in Peru’s Puno and Ayacucho departments, website surfbirds.com reported.

“The recent sightings of Royal Cinclodes in Junin are significant because the Junin birds are living among rocks in mossy alpine areas lacking Polylepis trees,” said Dr. Daniel Lebbin, Conservation Biologist at American Bird Conservancy (ABC). ECOAN is ABC’s Peruvian partner.

ABC has worked with ECOAN to conserve the Royal Cinclodes in southern Peru, and worked with Bolivian environmental groups Asociación Armonía and Instituto de Ecología to protect the Royal Cinclodes in Bolivia.

The sighting of the critically endangered Royal Cinclodes bird is providing some increased hope that this bird may be able to be saved from extinction.

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