2,094Grants to


Cauca guan (Penelope perspicax)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 0925643

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 0925643) - Cauca guan - Awarded $15,000 on September 16, 2010

Conservation Monitoring Program for the Cauca Guan at the Yotoco Natural Reserve, Colombia


As a result of this project, a participatory, scientific, and cost-effective monitoring program for the Cauca guan (Penelope perspicax) was designed and is being implemented in the Yotoco Natural Reserve, Colombia. The size of the Cauca guan population was estimated at 39 to 101 individuals for this isolated 600 ha reserve. The management objective is to maintain the population at the current level over the next four years. The monitoring program aims to detect a 30% decline in the number of individuals, with a statistical power of 80% and false change error rate of 20%. Monitoring will be conducted annually, with three surveys per year (three days per survey). Cauca guan abundance will be estimated using the Distance Sampling Method along linear transects with simultaneous observers. Students from the Universidad Nacional (the institution in charge of the reserve) and local community members were trained to carry out the surveys voluntarily. This program was conceived and designed as an adaptive monitoring program and as a key step within the adaptive management cycle. Each component of the monitoring program (i.e., conceptual model, question setting, data collection, and analysis) is linked through iterative steps amongst the stakeholders. Information generated by the program is expected to influence management practices when incorporated into the management cycle.

The proposed monitoring scheme brings several associated benefits, not only for the Cauca guan, but also for the protected area itself, its biodiversity, the students, and the local community. Establishing a permanent system of marked transects across the whole reserve will facilitate and enhance other research studies, increasing current knowledge on the biodiversity of this unique area. The periodic presence of researchers and volunteers at the reserve will increase the chances of detecting threats that can affect its biodiversity (e.g., diseases, intruders, poachers). Also, the students from the Universidad Nacional and the local community will have a permanent opportunity to be trained on biodiversity assessments using these transects. We have already observed a significant increase in the number of volunteers, with nine people during the first survey and up to 25 in the fourth survey. For most of these volunteers this was their first time at the reserve and their first field-work experience. Through this program we have trained a total of 50 people. Currently, the University recognizes this monitoring program as an extension course in which students can devote some weekdays to the monitoring surveys, and the University facilitates lodging and transport. Finally, the local community has also benefited economically since the maintenance of the transects involves providing food and lodging for visiting researchers and volunteers.


Building Capacity and Communication Activities

• At Yotoco Reserve, 50 people were trained to carry out surveys within the monitoring program for the Cauca guan.
• Project objectives and results were shared with the four environmental authorities with jurisdiction in the areas where Cauca guan populations have been reported (Corporación Autónoma Regional del Valle del Cauca--CVC, Corporación Autónoma Regional de Risaralda--CARDER, Corporación Autónoma Regional del Quindío--CRQ, and the National Park Unit).
• Project objectives and results were published in three newspapers.
• Project objectives and results were shared with the local community of Yotoco and presented at the First National Meeting of Young Bird-watchers, held in the SFFOQ (June 2-4, 2011).
• We created education materials such as t-shirts, posters, and a field identification brochure.
• The CVC recorded  a brief a documentary about the Cauca guan based on the results of this project (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLngcE4lDUw).




Project 0925643 location - Colombia, South America