Part of the Tropical Andes Biodiversity Hotspot, the Cordillera del Cóndor comprises dense rain forest with exceptional biodiversity, high endemism, and many species both new and unknown to science. In Peru, this region has been inhabited for centuries by indigenous Aguaruna-Jívaro people, whose cultural practices effective protect the forests where they live and who exhibit extraordinary cultural knowledge of birds that demonstrates a high degree of overlap with scientific knowledge. Aguaruna people have also contributed to numerous scientific discoveries in bird ecology. These include the endemic Orange-throated Tanager (Wetmorethraupis sterrhopteron), a species described with the assistance of Aguaruna people and which is currently considered “Vulnerable” to global extinction.
Despite its global conservation importance and the presence of several government protected areas, however, this region is increasingly impacted by threats from encroaching extractive industries, including mining, gas, and oil exploitation. We are conducting the first systematic surveys of avifauna in this region, and documenting indigenous Aguaruna conservation practices and knowledge of birds. We are conducting research, education, and conservation projects in Aguaruna territories including the Comunidades Nativas de Saasa and Agkais, building on previous work in the Comunidades Nativas de Wawas-Wichim and Alto-Wawas. We focus on species including the Orange-throated Tanager and other species of particular cultural importance to Aguaruna people. These communities have a long history of forest protection and management, but to date there has been virtually no scientific study or documentation of their territories.
Bird Conservation Partnership
Tropical rainforests in West Africa are disappearing at an alarming rate. In 2018 alone, Ghana showed a 60% decrease of its primary rainforest, with huge detrimental impacts to many endemic bird species. At the same time, woodland savannah habitats that are crucial for many bird species, including long-distance migrants, are being replaced by over-grazed grasslands and crop monocultures, as an increasing human population occurs. In addition, the impacts of climate change, with recent severe droughts, are being extremely detrimental to both humans and nature.
We have conducted several projects in West Africa, focusing in Ghana and Togo. In these countries, we have been actively involved in student´s formation to contribute to the development of their careers as researchers. We have also performed environmental education with children in order to develop a new generation of environmentally-aware local people.
At the same time, we have collaborated in several bird censuses in completely unstudied areas of Northern Ghana, where there are many threatened species whose populations are completely unknown, including raptors and vultures. Currently, we are developing a project to study the effect of land use and climate changes on Afro-Palearctic migrant birds, and the possible mitigation effect of protected areas in Ghana.
North American Great Plains Conservation Partnership
More to come!
Baltic Sea Region
More to come!
Tropical Pacific Bird Conservation Partnership
More to come!