New reserve declared within Dominican Republic IBA
Grupo Jaragua (BirdLife in the Dominican Republic) has celebrated the creation of a new reserve, 'Reserva Biológica Loma Charco Azul' (La Placa), within the Sierra de Bahoruco Important Bird Area (IBA) in the south-west of the Dominican Republic. This IBA holds essential habitat for high numbers (32 of the 34) of Hispaniola restricted-range birds, 14 threatened bird species and over 30 Neotropical migratory birds.
Loma Charco Azul has been declared a reserve after several years of active lobbying by Grupo Jaragua and its partners. The President of the Dominican Republic, Leonel Fernández, proudly announced the decision to extend the protection in Sierra de Bahoruco by 28,748 hectares.
"Loma Charco Azul contains populations of several threatened endemic birds and migratory species and, until now, was an unprotected portion of the Sierra de Bahoruco IBA. Key among the endemics there are the Bay-breasted Cuckoo, La Selle Thrush, Hispaniolan Crossbill and a good population of the Vulnerable Hispaniolan Amazon. We applaud the action of President Fernández to designate this important new protected area", said Yvonne Arias, President of Grupo Jaragua. "Grupo Jaragua thanks Leonel Fernández, Jaime David Fernández Mirabal and Eleuterio Martínez, President of the Dominican Republic, Secretary and Deputy Secretary (Subsecretario) of Environment."
"Loma Charco Azul contains populations of several threatened endemic birds and migratory species and, until now, was unprotected" —Yvonne Arias, President of Grupo Jaragua
The work to create the new protected area and to improve the management of Sierra de Bahoruco National Park was a result of the partnership of Grupo Jaragua, American Bird Conservancy, Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales and the Consorcio Ambiental Dominicano. The work was supported by the US Fish and Wildlife Service through the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act grant program.
Sierra de Bahoruco IBA is one of the three core zones of the Jaragua-Bahoruco–Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve where the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supported the project “Biodiversity Conservation of the Jaragua-Bahoruco–Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve”. To designate this land as a new reserve, this project supported the participation of Yvonne Arias and Ernst Rupp who jointly coordinated the work with participation from Alfredo Martínez, Tomás Montilla, Rolando Sanó, Marlig Desirie Pérez and Francisco Jiménez, from the Secretaría de Estado de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales. Nils Navarro and Luis M. Díaz B. contributed with the inventory of birds, reptiles and mammals.
"This establishes the foundations for more conservation work needed to diminished the impact of threats such as agricultural expansion, introduced animals, fires, illegal logging, capture of parrot chicks and illegal hunting", said Ernst Rupp, who coordinated the work. Moreover, this IBA connects in the west with Massif de la Selle in Haiti, another Globally Important Biodiversity Area, where forests are nearly gone.
To read more about the Dominican Republic’s Important Bird Areas click here
To find out more about Important Bird Areas in the Caribbean click here
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Credits: Grupo Jaragua