The Cerulean Warbler and 25 other neotropical migrating birds are the key beneficiaries of the preservation of habitat spread across nine properties on the western flank of the Pauxi Pauxi Reserve. Established in 2007 and expanded in the last two years by American Bird Conservancy and Fundación ProAves, the sanctuary is now nearly 4,500 acres--about seven square miles.
Situated in north central Colombia, approximately 150 miles north of Bogota, the newly acquired land is part of an imposing, mountainous outcropping called Cerro de la Paz, along the Magdalena River Valley west of the Andes Mountains, an area that has been heavily deforested due to agricultural and urban expansion.
The Cerulean Warbler was formerly one of the most abundant breeding warblers in the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys and elsewhere in the U.S., but is now one of the countrys most imperiled migrant songbirds. Its populated has declined by nearly 70 percent since 1966, due to loss of habitat both in its wintering grounds in the Andes, and its breeding grounds in the forests of the U.S.
Other species that will benefit include Tennessee, Black-and-white, Mourning, Canada, Blackburnian, and Black-throated Blue Warblers, American Redstart, Northern Waterthrush, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
While agriculture is leading to deforestation in the area, shade-grown cacao and coffee simultaneously provides farmers with cash crops and birds with habitat. ProAves is promoting this model.
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