Protecting
El Silencio Nature Reserve
Colombia

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El Silencio Nature Reserve
Expanding Protection for the Magdalena Valley's biodiverse forests and wetlands

Colombia is one of just 18 ‘megadiverse’ countries – nations that are home to the majority of Earth’s species, with high levels of endemism. The Magdalena River flows from the Colombian Andes into a rich expanse of wetlands surrounded by rainforest, and the extraordinary landscape of the Barbacoas Wetlands is part of this heritage for wildlife.

El Silencio Nature Reserve_Rio Magdalena (Credit: Rita Willaert Flickr)
The Magdalena Valley (Credit: Rita Willaert Flickr)

The Magdalena Valley is home to three Critically Endangered species: the Magdalena River Turtle (Podocnemis lewyana), Blue-billed Curassow, and the Brown Spider Monkey (Ateles hybridus).

The Barbacoas Wetlands is home to a significant population of Endangered Silvery-brown Tamarin, which is endemic to the area, and Endangered Varied White-fronted Capuchin.

Other threatened animal species in the area include Large numbers of American Crocodile, the West Indian Manatee, Lozano’s salamander, an Endangered and endemic species, Jaguar and Northern Screamer.

The Magdalena Valley is home to three Critically Endangered species: the Magdalena River Turtle (Podocnemis lewyana), Blue-billed Curassow, and the Brown Spider Monkey (Ateles hybridus).

The Barbacoas Wetlands is home to a significant population of Endangered Silvery-brown Tamarin, which is endemic to the area, and Endangered Varied White-fronted Capuchin. Other threatened animal species in the area include Large numbers of American Crocodile, the West Indian Manatee, Lozano’s salamander, an Endangered and endemic species, Jaguar and Northern Screamer.

El Silencio Nature Reserve_Rio Magdalena (Credit: Rita Willaert Flickr)
The Magdalena Valley (Credit: Rita Willaert Flickr)

Threats:
Illegal Logging from Cattle Ranchers & Mining

El Silencio Nature Reserve_Critically Endangered Magdalena Spider Monkey
Critically Endangered Magdalena Spider Monkey / Ateles hybridus (Credit: Fundación BioDiversa)

There are many threats in the region, most notably illegal logging, driven by the constant expansion of extensive cattle ranching which has led to the depletion of most of the original forest areas. In recent years, industrial palm oil plantations and legal and illegal mining have furthered the destruction of critical habitat around Barbacoas.

Mining activities are also causing severe pollution, creating major and irreversible consequences for both wildlife and local people, as well has harming economic activity.

There are many threats in the region, most notably illegal logging, driven by the constant expansion of extensive cattle ranching which has led to the depletion of most of the original forest areas. In recent years, industrial palm oil plantations and legal and illegal mining have furthered the destruction of critical habitat around Barbacoas.

Mining activities are also causing severe pollution, creating major and irreversible consequences for both wildlife and local people, as well has harming economic activity.

El Silencio Nature Reserve_Critically Endangered Magdalena Spider Monkey
Critically Endangered Magdalena Spider Monkey / Ateles hybridus (Credit: Fundación BioDiversa)

Where is the
El Silencio Nature Reserve?

Our Current 'Buy-An-Acre' Project:
Expanding El Silencio Nature reserve

In September 2018, World land Trust funded the protection of 975 acres (395 hectares) of rainforest and wetland habitat in Colombia, extending the El Silencio Nature Reserve, managed by partner organisation Fundación Biodiversa Colombia (FBC). The new land purchase, known as Selva Verde, ensures vital additional protection to the biodiverse forests and wetlands of the Magdalena Valley in Colombia’s Barbacoas region. Now more land has become available to provide additional protection.

Tree Hugger Traveldriven through our client Eco Rewards programme, will be donating to World Land Trust’s El Silencio Nature Reserve ‘Buy-an-Arce’ land protection programme. 

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Fundación Biodiversa is working closely with local communities and relevant authorities towards declaring a regional protected area in Barbacoas. This would include a monitoring and management plan for community-based fisheries,to ensure the sustainability of fish populations. This will aim to empower the local community to play a key role in the conservation of the area and enable them to safeguard their own natural resources.

Initiatives are being carried out in El Silencio to explore alternatives to traditional cattle farming and logging practices, based on conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. These include pilot projects such as food production in reduced spaces and productive reforestation with native timber and non timber products

Booking Tours
Saves Rainforest

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Tree Hugger Travel is an ethical travel agency where booking tours literally means saving endangered wildlife and habitats.

Tree Hugger Travel donate up to ⅓ of your tour bookings to World Land Trust.

Collect Eco-Reward Points every time you book tours and experiences through Tree Hugger Travel. Eco-Rewards fund the purchase of biologically important threatened areas of rainforest worldwide.
Collect Eco-Reward Points every time you book tours and experiences through Tree Hugger Travel. Eco-Rewards fund the purchase of biologically important threatened areas of rainforest worldwide.

Booking Tours Saves Rainforest

Planning To Travel?
Tree Hugger Travel is an ethical travel agency where booking tours literally means saving endangered wildlife and habitats.
Tree Hugger Travel donate up to ⅓ of your tour bookings to World Land Trust.

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