- The two reserves fall within the Nechí Nare Endemism Center, an area where many species survived during the last ice age, known as a Pleistocene refuge.
- The reserves are home to the Silvery-brown bare-face tamarin, a monkey found nowhere else in the world.
- The new reserves will also be a significant boon to the local communities.
Two new cloud forest reserves in the Colombian Andes have been established to protect a number of rare, endangered species, including the Silvery-brown bare-face tamarin (Saguinus leucopus), a monkey found nowhere else in the world.
The Melcócho-Santo Domingo Reserve and Tigre-Calón-La Osa Reserve together are comprised of nearly 150,000 acres in the biodiverse state of Antioquia and contain habitat for more than 300 species of birds and several other endangered species, such as the Mountain tapir and the tree species Aniba perutilis and Aphelandra lasyophilla.
“Both reserves protect rich Andean cloud forests home to stunning biodiversity, and are particularly unique as they fall within the Nechí Nare Endemism Center — an area where many species survived during the last ice age (known as a Pleistocene refuge),” according to a statement by Nature and Culture International (NCI), which worked with CORNARE, the regional environmental agency for southeastern Antioquia, to establish the reserves.
The new reserves will also be a significant boon to the local communities that rely on, and work to protect, the headwaters of the Samaná River. Residents of the small town of Carmen de Viboral, for instance, had strongly advocated for the reserves as a means to protect their water supply.
The Colombian government has mandated the creation of regional reserve systems and mining exclusion zones, NCI says, and while regional authorities receive funding from the national government, it’s not enough to ensure the ongoing management of the reserves. “NCI is filling this gap by providing matching funds to speed the declaration of protected areas while there is still time,” the statement says.
NCI and CORNARE established a partnership last year that has led to the number of acres under protection in southeastern Antioquia being more than doubled, NCI says, adding that protections for an additional 175,000 acres of land in Antioquia and Nariño states are already in the works.