In October of 2019, the department of Cajamarca in Peru established its first regional conservation area: Bosques el Chaupe, Cunilla and Chinchiquilla. Since then, through Andes Amazon Fund’s support, Nature and Culture International (NCI), along with local leaders and park rangers have devoted their time and expertise to the management and protection of the area’s 54,039 acres of montane forests and páramos (high elevation grasslands) as well as the area’s, wildlife and natural resources.
Maintaining the healthy ecosystem of Bosques Chaupe, Cunilla and Chinchiquilla is a responsibility undertaken by a small team of 5 supported by the Regional Government of Cajamarca and Nature and Culture International. They currently manage the area with the help of 20 voluntary park rangers whose work and leadership plays a tremendous role in the management of the area. Every month, park rangers conduct patrols of the area starting in the northern-most part, then they travel to its nine distinct access points to check for any damage or changes. Apart from monitoring, they’re also tasked with observing and reporting on any flora and fauna sightings such as common and newly identified bird species. So far, they’ve identified 34 new bird species to the area, including the recently discovered Rufous-crowned tody-flycatcher (Poecilotriccus ruficeps), a rare sight in the forests of this region.
Together, park rangers and local leaders have held workshops about caring for the forest and to strategize in anticipation of the upcoming fire season. An additional two park rangers were hired earlier this year by the municipality of La Coipa to oversee the southern part of Bosques el Chaupe, Cunilla and Chinchiquilla. These recent hires speak to the desire of the local municipalities to work alongside the regional government in providing necessary reinforcements to secure the integrity of their forestland.
Bringing new life to the endangered Cinchona (Quina) tree
The area’s staff and volunteers have also carried out reforestation and restoration projects that seek to bring back a variety of native plant and tree species. One notable species is the national tree of Peru, the endangered Cinchona (Cinchona officinalis), commonly referred to as Quina in Spanish. In Pre-Columbian times, this tree was used for medicinal purposes by the people of Peru and its neighboring countries. It wasn’t until the 17th century that its bark was used to produce the popular anti-malarial drug, quinine. Of the 29 species of Cinchona tree, 20 are found in Peru and all are endangered due to deforestation.
Improving coffee productivity and organic gardens for local communities
Agriculture is the main source of income for the local communities living around the conservation area, with 90% of the population working in coffee production. For this reason, NCI has been strengthening the capacity of inhabitants to improve productivity of their coffee plants using sustainable practices. The installation of organic gardens and the management of organic fertilizers allows the residents near the area to generate additional income and a healthy food supply. So far, around 80 orchards have been installed in the area. By the end of this year, the community hopes to formalize an association in order to sell their products to nearby cities.
A recent event celebrated the three regional conservation areas of the Department of Cajamarca, all of which were supported by Nature and Culture International and Andes Amazon Fund.
Andes Amazon Fund is proud to be supporting the management of Bosques Chaupe, Cunilla and Chinchiquilla along with our partners Nature and Culture International. We commend the local community and park guards for their dedication to foster sustainable practices and work together to safeguard their resources and biodiversity.
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