Forests of Hope site - Apolo, Bolivia
Site name: Apolo
IBA: BO 001
Location: Madidi National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area, La Paz Department
Site area: 193,304 ha
Values of the site
The Apolo IBA is the only site in the world where the endemic and Endangered Palkachupa Cotinga Phibalura boliviana can be found. This recently described species is seriously threatened by grazing, fire and cutting of the remaining forests. As it is restricted to the remaining forest patches, the protection and restoration of these forests is expected to help improve the conservation status of this species in the long term. The site hosts a mix of savannah and forest species. Other threatened birds include the Vulnerable Sharp-tailed Tyrant Culicivora caudata, the Near Threatened Dark-throated Seedeater Sporophila ruficollis and the Vulnerable Green-capped Tanager Tangara meyerdeschauenseei
Asociación Armonía has been working closely with the Leco indigenous people of Aten in the Apolo region carrying out awareness-raising activities regarding the importance of the Palkachupa Cotinga. A TCO (Territorio Comunitario de Origen or Designated Community Land) designation has recently been obtained by the communities at Apolo IBA, including the community of Aten. This gives the Leco people the right to manage their lands and natural resources. Over the past ten years, this community has experienced invasions from outsiders illegally acquiring land within the community lands area. As Bolivian legislation does not adequately regulate land property in such a situation, community members are currently negotiating with outsiders to define the extension of private properties within the community area of Aten.
The main threats at the site are the expansion of grazing land and fire. The main agents of deforestation at this site are the cattle grazers within the local community.
Historical conservation approach
Until recently, Asociación Armonía’s conservation efforts at the site have been focused on community education, purchase and protection of 52 ha of forested land, community development and scientific research.
New conservation approach
Asociación Armonía is working with the local community to further extend the existing forest reserve with the purchase of additional land around the reserve. They are planning to train local people in new methods to increase the effectiveness of cattle grazing and fire management to reduce the pressure on the remaining forest fragments. Alternative income generation activities such as honey production and eco-tourism are also being explored. The project is planning reforestation activities with the participation of local school children in the Palkachupa Nature Reserve. Asociación Armonía also conducts annual monitoring of the Palkachupa Cotinga population in the area.
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