Barbacoas - Wildlife Refuge / Refugio de vida silvestre - Part 1

Uploaded by ferarbe on 10.11.2011

Magdalena River
BioDiversa Colombia Foundation
Barbacoas: Wildlife Refuge
Barbacoas is located in the middle Magdalena River basin
in the Yondó Municipality, Antioquia Department.
Its wetlands and its surrounding forests are perhaps among the best preserved of the area
and are habitat to a great diversity of fauna and flora.
Furthermore, they shelter a large number of migratory birds.
In the area lies the Bocas de Barbacoas village,
where nearly 90 families live dedicated to fishing.
Also, there are large cattle farming haciendas that cover most of the land.
Barbacoas represents one of the last conservation opportunities
of an ecosystem that is unique to the world,
of which only 10-15% of its original extension still survives,
and that is not represented in the Protected Areas System of Colombia.
However, rapid development of extensive cattle farming
and overexploitation of natural resources,
particularly deforestation and overfishing
seriously threated its survival.
For this reason, BioDiversa Colombia Foundation
has decided to put its entire capacity and determination
with the aim of joining efforts with landowners and the local community
to save the wetlands and rainforests of Barbacoas.
BioDiversa Colombia Foundation is a non-profit NGO
that was founded in April 2005,
and that is mainly dedicated
to conservation of the natural and cultural heritage of Colombia,
and has gathered a team
of 20 professionals in different disciplines,
and this team has focused mainty
in threatened species and ecosystems
throughout the Colombian territory.
Discussing with the Yondó Municpality and Corantioquia,
there was the possibility to update the environmental management plan
that was carried out by Corporación Montañas in 2003.
What we thought is that a good way to update the management plan
was to call several experts in different fields
that are allied to the Foundation (birds)
(plants) and carry out a biological caracterization
that so far had not been done (reptiles)
and this allows us to propose a preliminary area
that would be important to declare as a regional reserve.
The daywork in herpetology (reptiles and amphibians)
seeks to cover the two main activity peaks that these animals have.
So what you do is walking around very slowly
and searching vegetation, leaves, branches where these animals are found.
...and in the litter when it is heaped,
you remove it softly,
and there you seek for shiny little lizards,
shiny brown, like the color of chocolate.
...they use to lay eggs in cavities
where the temperature is lower.
This was the little lizard with the eggs.
This one is the females of the red-headed little lizard.
They usually are found in couples.
This is another species that is typical of the forest borders.
It belongs to a different family.
Family Policrotidae. The species is
Anolis auratus
that lives in the forest borders, in shrubs.
Rafa is taking some data
that can be lost due to alcohol and formalin.
Such as coloration.
You write down the species name, in this case we already know it:
Anolis auratus
collection date, and some natural history data.
"Al Cab, which means head height"
They are left in alcohol for several days
so they don't rott and become stiff.
These specimens that were collected
area going to the collection of a Zoology Museum,
so that anyone can have access to them if needed.
I work with mammals, in general,
and I could be able to collect
small, medium and large-sized mammals and bats,
but I am currently only capturing bats,
and among the bats I have collected,
the species are common, abundant and typical of lowland forests.
But the interesting aspect is that I have found frugivorous species
that in the case of these kind of fragmented landscapes,
i. e. that the forest patches are separated and isolated,
these bats are important because they can contribute
in the promotion of seed dispersal.
Therefore, they can act as vectors for seed transportation from one place to another
thus promoting forest regeneration.
I haven't seen it but the manatee is supposed to be found here,
which is a vulnerable species, but due to the the other wetlands
is not as good, it has dissapeared form most of the wetllands of the area,
because it requires water of good quality
plants also, because it is herbivorous, it feeds on certain plants
that are generally not found anymore in the wetlands that have been transformed.
Also, there are reports of great mammals
and felines such as the jaguar and the puma
in the forests nearby the wetlands.
This is important because,
most of the forests that existed before in the Magdalena Valley
have been deforested and very few forest patches remain
where large species such as these can be preserved.
Bird sampling is carried out during morning hours
form dawn until approximately 11 AM,
and in the afternoon from 3 PM until 6 PM,
being the highest activity peaks of birds.
During sampling, we carry out observations
and recordings that will be later stored
in the Sound Bank of the Humboldt Institute.
So far we have observed 250 species and with additional work
at the Sound Bank, this number will increase.
During this fieldtrip, we have observed some species that are important
to be used as conservation objects,
because some have been classified
with some degree of threat worldwide.
Among these is the Black-necked Screamer
that is a species that lives on the wetlands, mainly.
Also, the Little Chachalaca, of which Barbacoas
is an important location within its distribution range.
It is necessary to deepen biological characterisations in this area because,
due to the good conservation status of the forests,
it is very likely that they host critically endangered species
such as, for example, the Blue-knobbed Curassow,
of the barbets goup and of the tyrant flycatchers group.