Well, now here is some positive news for birds! American Bird Conservancy in cooperation with the Amazon Conservation Association, has helped finance the purchase 7,427 acres of world-class bird and wildlife habitat in southern Peru that may contain the highest bird diversity for a single site in the world! The area is within the spectacular 4.7 million-acre Manu Biosphere Reserve, which is one of the most pristine areas of remaining rainforest in the Amazon.
This large property, called Villa Carmen, is situated at the confluence of three rivers, with frontage on two: the Pini Pini and the Tono. The property also has numerous streams and waterfalls, an all-weather road, and a small airstrip. The land ranges from about 1,500 to 3,500 feet in elevation, and contains roughly 90 percent old-growth rainforest, with about five percent diversified agriculture and five percent secondary forest.
The property is adjacent to Amazonia Lodge, a popular birding destination along the Manu road with a bird list of over 600 species including several globally threatened species, such as the Black Tinamou, Military Macaw, Blue-headed Macaw, Wattled Guan and Solitary Eagle. The area also supports wintering habitat for a number of neotropical migrant songbirds. Wintering U.S. WatchList species of conservation concern include the Olive-sided Flycatcher, Cerulean Warbler, and Canada Warbler.
The area joins a growing list of protected areas within the ABC Latin American Bird Reserve Network that currently numbers 36 reserves spanning 700,000 acres in 12 countries. Plans for the new reserve include cooperative efforts with local communities in the area to help preserve the greater Manu ecosystem, stimulating a local conservation economy with demonstration projects in sustainable agroforestry and aquaculture, and hosting environmental education programs, while providing lodging for visiting birders.