Seeing a Harpy Eagle flying freely is an unforgettable experience. It is the largest eagle in America, it can reach a wingspan of more than two meters and enormous claws with which it can hunt and carry large prey such as monkeys and sloths.
As a species at the top of the food chain, the Harpy Eagle requires large areas of well-preserved forest, with large, leafy trees to support an adequate population of preys. However, few places are available with these characteristics, as their habitat suffers from high rates of deforestation and fragmentation due mainly to agricultural expansion and livestock.
As forests shrink, the amount of prey the eagle can feed on decreases and conflicts with human populations increase, leading to the deaths of many individuals and drastically reducing their populations.
Recently, in Colombia, a very easily accessible nesting area was found for the Harpy Eagle, with an adult female and next to her a 15-day-old chick in a ceiba tree. The nest was found by a member of the local community nicknamed “Morocho”, with whom we have been working for some time on explorations of places with potential for nature conservation through birdwatching.
According to the local information, the nest has been active every year for the last 30 years on two farms with agricultural and livestock production, which unfortunately have specific plans to increase their production capacity, which puts the area at imminent risk. nesting of the Eagle and its habitat.
Today we have achieved a rapprochement with the owners of the two priority farms for the conservation of the Harpy nesting area and we have managed to negotiate a total value of $80,000 USD for the acquisition of approximately 140 hectares of land that are made up of native forest , pastures for cattle ranching, some expanding avocado crops areas and water sources; purchase this piece of land is an urgent call because there are projects in the area that intend to massively expand the avocado crops and paddocks for livestock, which seriously endangers the nesting site, the individuals that live there and other species of birds and mammals that live in the area and that in turn make part of the Harpy’s diet.
The tasks with which we have started our work in the area include constant monitoring by the farmer who found the nest and other farmers in the area near by, to whom we are paying a salary to guard and monitor the nest, but also to start to spread the word among local communities about the importance of protecting the harpy eagle and any other finding of nests in the area or sightings of the species.
This is an excellent opportunity to promote the conservation of the Harpy Eagle, in a location that is easily accessible for research studies, linking local communities in education and tourism programs as an economic alternative for its development.
To protect this site, MANAKIN NATURE TOURS, FUNDACION CAMANA AND ORINOCO NATURE TOURS, launched the #SAVETHEHARPYEAGLE campaign, which seeks:
1- Buy the properties where the nesting area is.
2- Develop research projects to determine the conservation needs of this species in a local way.
3- Promote community participation in monitoring, environmental education and sustainable nature tourism
HELP US SAVE MOROCHO, THE HARPY EAGLE, HIS MOM, HIS NESTING PLACE AND HIS NATURAL HABITAT.
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