In 2012 the Jocotoco Foundation was awarded a grant from the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) titled “Conservation of Cerulean Warbler in Eastern Ecuador”. The Cerulean Warbler (Dendroica cerulea) is a Neotropical-Nearctic migrant that is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN due to a rapid population decline in recent decades attributed to habitat loss and fragmentation throughout its range. The Narupa Reserve, a Jocotoco reserve located in foothill rainforest of NE Ecuador’s Napo Province, represents ideal non-breeding habitat for this species, and is the project location for this NMBCA grant.
The grant, combined with matching funds from other institutions, is improving the ability of the foundation to protect habitat for the Cerulean Warbler and other species at the Narupa Reserve. Specifically, the foundation has carried out the following activities:
- Acquisition of 86 ha (212 acres) of forest, which was added to the existing reserve in 2012.
- Hiring of two park guards that are patrolling the reserve, improving reserve infrastructure, and assisting visiting researchers.
- Monitoring of Cerulean Warblers (and other resident bird species) through the establishment of transects within the reserve. This monitoring was conducted by Aves & Conservación, an Ecuadorian organization.
- Construction of a park guard house and a covered camping platform. The latter will provide basic accommodations for both tourists and visiting researchers.
Through 2014, additional steps are planned to meet the goals of the NMBCA. These include more land acquisition and reserve boundary signage, a comprehensive management plan for the reserve, additional trail improvements, and environmental education activities directed towards rural communities and schools around the reserve.