Colombia’s oak forests have been declining as a result of timber exploitation. This is particularly alarming as many rare endemic species, including the Indigo-winged Parrot (CR), Colombian Mountain Grackle (EN), and Rusty-faced Parrot (VU) depend on Andean oak forests for their survival. To increase Colombia’s native oak forest coverage of Quercus humboldtii, Fundación ProAves seeks to implement an innovative project that will commence with comprehensive research to gather necessary biological data about the species, including the abundance of population densities at key sites. This information will be analysed and presented to stakeholders and experts, who will collaborate to develop a conservation action plan for the species, which will be implemented by ProAves. In addition to establishing new protected areas and restoring habitat, ProAves will launch an educational campaign to raise awareness about the Colombian Oak among the community within the species’ range. Through this multi-faceted project, we seek to expand the oak tree’s protected area and ensure that its population is increasing, so that it can continue supporting wildlife communities that benefit from these trees.
Research: Transects and study plots will be established at sites across Santander to survey for the Colombian Oak. We will also deploy drones to undertake aerial surveys using 4K imagery and deploy Sentera multispectral sensor to collect NIR imagery and produce NDRE maps to locate individual oak trees over a wide area.
Practice: Research results will be shared with stakeholders and experts, who will collaborate to develop a conservation action plan for the species, which will be implemented by ProAves
Outreach: In addition to establishing new protected areas and restoring habitat, ProAves will launch an educational campaign to raise awareness about the Colombian oak tree among the community within the species’ range.
Project location - Colombia, South America
May 28, 2023
Acting Head of Fund, Nicolas Heard visited the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund partner on the ground, ProAves, in Colombia. Having spend some time interacting and kids through the Rana Chiva educational bus concept, it was onto a partner project update.
He was fortunate enough to catch sight of the Mountain Grackle birds in the majestic Oak forests before they started their annual migration, but the highlight was catching a glimpse of the rare Lynch’s frog and a fascinating conversation with Adrián Maldonado who rediscovered the species.
The Mubadala project is in excellent hands, and it was reassuring to see positive progress.
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February 28, 2023
The Rana Chiva Bus, a community-based mobile environmental awareness project. This real-life “Magic School Bus” brings conservation education to school children and community members throughout Colombia. The project’s objective is to bring community-based environmental awareness to schools for students to learn about endangered species.
To date, the bus visited 34 schools in seven municipalities (three departments) educating more than 12,450 kids on the importance of conservation.
The Rana Chiva also offered the platform for Women for Conservation workshops to discuss environmental sustainability and nature protection. The workshops aim to empower local women’s role in conservation. To date, 1,481 women have been trained in the Women for Conservation program.
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November 30, 2022
After seven trips to the mountains of Santander, Colombia our field teams reported populations of Colombian Oak in the municipalities of Zapatoca (villages: San Javier, La Cacica and Palo Blanco) and San Vicente de Chucuri (Chanchón village), which have not been reported in the historical records of the species for the department of Santander (See the map below). During their search for the Colombian Oak, the team recorded many different species of plants and recorded them here on flickr.
February 17, 2022
In the La Llanada, Guaca and Santa Barbara nature reserves the Colombian oak is found amidst a cornucopia of colourful shrubs and trees. The rolling mountain ranges, rivers and streams all combine to create the fertile richness of the protected forest and its intensely vibrant and extraordinarily beautiful vegetation.
For all the wonderful photographs of flora taken during the expeditions please visit this flickr photo album.
January 25, 2022
Our crew located forests of the Endangered “Black Oak” during an expedition to Vereda Virolín, with the presence of seedlings and a high abundance of young trees in different stages of development. The previous month, in Vereda Esparta, more than 100 Colombian oaks were found, indicating a high rate of regeneration and recruitment of new trees, guaranteeing the structural continuity of the forests.