Leonel Fernández, President of the Dominican Republic, has announced the creation of a new refuge “Reserva Biologica Loma Charco Azul” on the northwestern border of Sierra de Bahoruco National Park, a global biodiversity hotspot.
“With 30 endemic bird species, Hispaniola ranks high in global importance for bird conservation,” said Dr. George Wallace, American Bird Conservancy’s Vice President of Oceans and Islands. “With forests in Haiti virtually gone and an accelerated rate of forest loss in the Dominican Republic, many of these species face a bleak future—of the 30 species, 14 are ranked by IUCN as globally threatened. That’s why expanding land protected in the vicinity of Sierra de Bahoruco is so important and such a significant accomplishment.”
Hispaniolian Parrot ©Pedro Genaro Rodríguez
In addition, over 30 species of Neotropical migratory birds have been recorded there; they form an important component of the biodiversity during the northern winter, making up more than 50% of the bird life in some habitats, particularly pine forests.
The Bahoruco National Park is the most important remaining forested site for endemic birds in the Dominican Republic. The park is seriously threatened by slash and burn agriculture, hunting, the collection of birds for the pet trade, and potentially mining and unplanned tourism development.
Bay-breasted Cuckoo ©Lance Woolaver
This site, is the global stronghold for three endangered species—Bay-breasted Cuckoo, La Selle Thrush, and Hispaniolan Crossbill—and five more that are globally vulnerable—Hispaniolan Parrot, Hispaniolan Parakeet, Golden Swallow, Chat Tanager, and White-winged Warbler. Other endangered species such a Bicknell’s Thrush and the Black-capped Petrel are also present.
More information from American Bird Conservancy here.
Special thanks to Pedro Genaro Rodríguez for the Hispaniolan Parrot photo, con can see more photos in his website www.pedrogenaro.com