Well-managed protected areas are a proven way to safeguard birds and biodiversity, mitigate climate change, and support local communities' efforts to thrive sustainably. Although protected area coverage has increased steadily over the past decade, significant conservation gaps remain in Latin America and the Caribbean. Recent studies indicate that only about 40 percent of Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) enjoy some form of protection and that protected areas adequately cover the ranges of only nine percent of migratory bird species.
Conserva Aves strives to change this via an innovative partnership among Audubon, BirdLife International, American Bird Conservancy, and the Network of Latin American and Caribbean Environmental Funds (RedLAC). Conserva Aves will catalyze the establishment of more than 80 new protected areas covering 2 million hectares (4.9 million acres) and improve the management of an additional 2 million hectares. Stretching from Mexico to Chile, the program aims at new protected sites for every Endangered (EN) and Critically Endangered (CR) bird species.
Starting at the Tropical Andes region, already launched in Colombia, Conserva Aves will expand to other sub-regions of the continent. Our target is for each species to have at least one effective protected area dedicated to its conservation while also providing significant habitat for migratory birds. To accomplish this, we will implement a collaborative effort with local communities, international NGOs, and funding partners, to establish and strengthen protection across a network of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs2) and Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE3) sites identified for these species.
A cornerstone for the success of Conserva Aves is the $12 million grant the project received from the Bezos Earth Fund that other resources from partners and organizations will match. This grant will support local communities and indigenous peoples to establish and strengthen 30-40 new protected sites (totaling 450-600,000 hectares, or 1.11 to 1.48 million acres) critical for threatened and migratory bird species in the Tropical Andes—in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Perú—by 2027.
National implementation of Conserva Aves will be carried out by a consortium of effective conservation organizations, environmental trust funds in each country part of the Network of Latin American and Caribbean Environmental Funds (RedLAC) and BirdLife national partners Asociación Armonia (Bolivia), Aves y Conservación (Ecuador), Asociación Calidris (Colombia), ECOAN (Perú), as well as the Jocotoco Foundation (Ecuador) and Fondo Acción (Colombia).
Potential local partners will result from calls for proposals in each priority country. Committees of national experts will evaluate proposals for protected-area declaration, management, and sustainability and select local partners to receive 1:1 matching funding and training, technical support, and mentorship throughout the projects. The structuring phase ended last May and now calls for proposals are underway: Peru by the end of 2022, Bolivia and Ecuador by the first trimester of 2023, and Chile shal take place in June 2023.
Additional countries with
for priority species
Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica,
protection is unknown)
*Needed to safeguard approximately
10 percent of 160 Nearctic-Neotropical
migratory bird populations