BIODIVERSITY via Crowdrise
January 06, 2014
EVENT DATE: Jul 01, 2014
“Saving the Replendent Quetzal” is a collaborative research project for the Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI, Gorham, Maine), the University of Alabama, and Los Tarrales Reserve in Guatemala to protect a beautiful bird species that is vanishing because of deforestation and habitat loss. Due to low numbers of nesting pairs and available nesting sites, it is IMPERATIVE to understand the Quetzal’s population dynamics in areas where they remain, and also to investigate the use of artificial nest boxes to enhance the bird’s breeding success. Funding will support a pilot study plus long-term research on the national bird of Guatemala.
Los Tarrales Reserve is a sustainable coffee and ornamental plant farm located on Atitlán Volcano in southern Guatemala. The Reserve is home to 60 Maya Kaqchikel families who live within the protected area. Many of the local people work as forest rangers. They also cultivate and process coffee and ornamentals, and provide a wide spectrum of services to tourists. The area is home to several globally threatened and regionally endemic bird species such as the Horned Guan (Oreophasis derbianus), Highland Guan (Penelopina nigra), Pink-headed Warbler (Cardellina versicolor), Yellow-naped Amazon (Amazona auropalliata), and Cabanis Tanager (Tangara cabanisi). Los Tarrales is part of the Atitlán Important Bird Area (IBA GT015; see http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/sitefactsheet.php?id=20372) as designated by BirdLife International. The area protects pristine forest from the upper volcanic sloes at 3,000 m (9,800 feet) down to 700 m (2,300 feet). Cloud forest occurs above 1,800 m (5,900 feet), and below this elevation occurs humid broadleaf forest interspersed with coffee plantations. The Reserve protects a watershed that provides drinking water to several nearby communities. Because hunting has been illegal in Los Tarrales for three generations, it is fairly easy to spot animals such as White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus), Central American Agouti (Dasyprocta punctata), White-bellied Chachalaca (Ortalis leucogastra), and Crested Guan (Penelope purpurascens) sometimes hunted in other rural areas.
Visit www.tarrales.com for more information about the Reserve.
Working with the coffee farming community of Los Tarrales, BRI and its partners plan to build nest boxes for the Resplendent Quetzal, place the boxes strategically within the Reserve, and monitor them over the coming years.
Currently, we have completed a scouting trip and are now moving forward with nest box construction. Nest boxes will be in place for the 2013 breeding season. We will plan for more nest boxes for the 2014 breeding season. BRI and its partners will begin systematic surveys in the Spring 2013, employing Guatemalan naturalists who live and work in the Reserve.
With your support, we will monitor the breeding success of the Resplendent Quetzal and may even expand our efforts to include other endangered species such as the Yellow-naped Amazon (Amazona auropalliata). Cloud forests are special places full of flora and fauna that cannot be found anywhere else in the world! Please help us to conserve the home of the Resplendent Quetzal and to promote sustainable development in the tropics.
For more information about our project, please see www.briloon.org/quetzal.
Won’t you please help us conserve this strikingly beautiful bird species and its haunting cloud-forest habitat? Every dollar counts (minimum contribution of USD$10), and your donation is 100% tax-deductible. Thank you!