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Peru Big Day

Proyecto Polylepis [Royal Cinclodes video]

UPDATE 1/2002: The 2001 Peru Big Day failed to materialize, but Gunnar Engblom is keen on setting one up for 2002. Details will follow in due course as more information becomes available.


From Des Callaghan, BirdLife International

World record attempt in the Tropical Andes

Why?

The Tropical Andes of South America is a global hotspot for biodiversity. It is home to a tremendous diversity of species; for example, some 50,000 plant species and 1,666 bird species (20% and 17% of the world totals, respectively).

Slash & Burn - from BirdLife International

Habitat destruction is exceptionally high, caused mainly by deforestation, slash-and-burn agriculture and over-grazing by domestic livestock.

Polylepis forest occurs only within the Tropical Andes and has become one of the world's most endangered habitats. It occurs at 3000-4800m altitude - the world's highest forest. The Polylepis forest >4000m is different and is known as "queñoa de altura" - only 6.5 km2 remain in existence.

Royal Cinclodes Cinclodes aricomae - Photo Copyright Garry GeorgeMany once common species, such as the Royal Cinclodes (Cinclodes aricomae), have become extremely endangered. This bird lives only within Polylepis forest in Peru and Bolivia and presently has a declining world population of just 50-250 individuals, making it one of the world's most endangered birds.

The conservation of the Tropical Andes has been recognised as a global priority. Using Polylepis forest and the Royal Cinclodes as flagships, this project will aim to:

Raise awareness amongst over 5 million people worldwide of the importance and plight of the Tropical Andes;
Raise $50,000 for local organisations working for the conservation of the Tropical Andes.

How?

This project will focus around a major publicity event - an attempt to record 375 bird species in a single day. This would break the current world record of 342 species, set in Kenya in 1986 (Guinness Book of World Records). A team of four people, including the actor and TV personality Bill Oddie and Gunnar Engblom of Kolibri Expeditions, will undertake the attempt in the Tropical Andes of Peru in early October 2001.

A publicity strategy will ensure awareness of the event reaches at least 5 million people worldwide through TV, radio, print and the internet. For more information contact:

Des Callaghan
European Research Manager
BirdLife International
European Division Office
Droevendaalsesteeg 3a
PO Box 127
NL-6700 AC Wageningen
The Netherlands
Tel: + 31 (0) 317 478835
Fax: + 31 (0) 317 478844
E-mail: D.Callaghan@birdlife.agro.nl


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