Program Coordinator: Daniela Aguirre; firstname.lastname@example.org
Project area: Inter-Andean dry forests of the Cotacajes river basin, Departments of Cochabamba and La Paz
The Bolivian Spinetail is considered Endangered owing to its very small range in which suitable habitat is severely fragmented and in steady decline. The only known viable population is found in the Cotacajes river basin, an Alliance for Zero Extinction site (www.zeroextinction.org) located in western Cochabamba and eastern La Paz departments. The Bolivian Spinetail inhabits exclusively dry, seasonally deciduous forest, an inter-Andean dry forest type considered endemic to the region. Thought to have once been more widespread, much of this forest has been cleared for agriculture and replacement with Eucalyptus plantations. Remnant forest fragments generally are small and severely degraded by cutting for firewood and commercial charcoal production, with poor regeneration due to overgrazing and burning.
Armonía identified four priority areas with significant Bolivian Spinetail populations in the municipality of Independencia in Cochabamba. With the support of the Conservation Leadership Programme and COSUDE (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) Daniela Aguirre has been working with local communities and the municipal government to raise awareness of the importance of the dry forest ecosystem services to sustainable development. In 2010, Armonía participated in a government pilot project funded by COSUDE that aims to engage local stakeholders in the development of a management strategy for the long-term conservation of native forests in Independencia. Armonía conducted field surveys to assess the conservation status of the forests and establish a baseline for monitoring using birds, amphibians, dung beetles, bees and butterflies as bioindicators. This work led to the production of education materials and recommendations for sustainable forest management.
The Bolivian Spinetail program is without funds. To secure the long-term protection of the Bolivian Spinetail stronghold, we need a program of at least $35,000 annually. Presently we are seeking $1000 USD to produce reports and disseminate the results of our work to stakeholders at local, regional and national levels in order to stimulate action in support of the conservation of the Bolivian Spinetail.