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New Reserve for threatened Helmeted Curassow

Thursday 6 March 2008.

In order to conserve the habitat of the Helmeted Curassow and other important endemic species of the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia, ProAves, thanks to the support of American Bird Conservancy (ABC), National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and ConocoPhillips, created the Helmeted Curassow Natural Bird Reserve in Cerro de la Paz, department of Santander.

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A female Helmeted Curassow.

The Helmeted Curassow is a rain forest and cloud forest bird endemic to Colombia and Venezuela. In Colombia it only exists in the Perijá Mountains and the Eastern Cordillera. It is classified as vulnerable to extinction by IUCN.

The reserve is located in the municipalities of Betulia and San Vicente de Chucurí, with nearly 3,700 acres, 90% of them corresponding to tropical rain forest and 10% to coffee and cocoa plantations, and cattle grazing fields. The area has quite steep slopes, with many gullies and canyons. Among the most important birds there are Chestnut-bellied Hummingbird (EN), Blue-billed Curassow (CR), Safron-headed Parrot (VU), White-mantled Barbet (EN), Sooty Ant-Tanager (VU), Cerulean Warbler (EN), Wattled Guan, Black-mandibled Toucan, Citron-throated Toucan, and Beautiful Woodpecker.

Forests have a high diversity of mammals such as the endangered Spectacled Bear. Major attractions are the marvelous scenery, the large number of creeks and the historic Camino de Lenguerke (Lenguerke Road) built in stone in 1840.

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