Project Coordinator: Noemí Huanca; firstname.lastname@example.org
Project area: Montane slopes of the Tunari Cordillera, Department of Cochabamba
The Cochabamba Mountain-Finch is an endangered Bolivian endemic restricted nearly exclusively to the montane slopes of the Tunari Cordillera near the city of Cochabamba in central Bolivia. The species’ decline is attributed to the widespread destruction of its Polylepis woodland habitat through conversion to agricultural land, replacement with Eucalyptus plantations, burning for pasture and firewood collection. Small breeding populations occur in a mosaic of cultivated fields and small remnant patches of native vegetation, primarily shrubs and grasses with few scattered trees.
Noemí Huanca has been studying the Cochabamba Mountain-Finch at two key sites, where she has built local support for conservation efforts through community outreach and education activities. This year, with the support of Kilverstone Wildlife Charitable Trust and the Conservation Leadership Programme, Noemí worked with an agronomist and environmental educator to develop conservation actions aimed to reduce threats to the species and support community development through the introduction of sustainable agriculture practices. Also, with support from the Association of Field Ornithologists-Pamela and Alexander F. Skutch Research Award, Noemí studied the reproductive ecology of the Cochabamba Mountain-Finch in order to better understand the specific habitat characteristics that the species requires to maintain its population.
Presently the Cochabamba Mountain-Finch project is without funds. In order to have a significant impact on the long-term conservation of this species, we need a program of at least $25,000 (USD) annually. We are seeking USD 7,000 for a pilot reforestation project and $3000(USD) to begin a small community tourism project aimed at the internationally birding market. $8,000 (USD) is needed to conduct a Cochabamba Mountain-Finch population census and raise awareness throughout its range.