The creation of Bosques El Chaupe, Cunia, y Chinchiquilla marks the first Regional Conservation Area established in Cajamarca, Peru. This area will protect 54,039 acres (21,869 hectares) of montane forests and páramos within one of the most renowned biodiversity hotspots on the planet– the Tropical Andes.
“The headwaters of the eastern tropical Andes are a critical habitat for conserving the Amazon basin as a whole. The cloud forest and páramos here play a major role in collecting and releasing precipitation that then flows through the entire basin,” said Dr. Adrian Forsyth, Executive Director of Andes Amazon Fund.
Commonly referred to as the “global epicenter of biodiversity,” the Tropical Andes contain unmatched levels of endemism (species found nowhere else on Earth), spanning across five countries in South America. The Cordillera Real Oriental lies within this landscape and provides critical refuge for Chaupe’s extensive flora and fauna. Wildlife recorded in the new Regional Conservation Area include the Pristimantis percnopterus frog, endangered woolly tapir (Tapirus pinchaque), and Pholidobolus ulisesi– a species of lizard that is new to science.
“Magnificent podocarpus forest also remains here that has been destroyed in many locations elsewhere,” said Dr. Forsyth.
As a part of the protection of this area, Chaupe will also safeguard a number of freshwater basins, including the Botijas watershed. The population of San Ignacio relies on these water sources for consumption and variety of economic activities such as coffee production.
This conservation achievement was led by the Regional Government of Cajamarca with the support of local people, Andes Amazon Fund (AAF) grantee Naturaleza y Cultura Internacional (NCI), and other partners. AAF applauds the hard work of these actors and will support the management of the new area.
Photos by Diego Perez.