The critically endangered and endemic Blue-billed Curassow is perhaps Colombia’s most enigmatic species, being virtually unknown until an expedition conducted by ProAves—a local non-profit conservation group—located a viable population in the Magdalena valley in 2003. Locally called “El Paujíl,” the curassow was an important symbol in ancient Pre-Colombian indigenous culture, with many gold figures depicting this spectacular bird.
With support from American Bird Conservancy, in 2003 ProAves was able to establish a Reserve for the species through the acquisition of 3,000 acres of some of the last remaining humid lowland forest in the Magdalena Valley. Today the Reserve encompasses over 8,000 acres with an elevational range between 150 and 1,200 meters above sea level.
Since the reserve was established, hunting has stopped (one of the biggest threats to this bird) and annual monitoring of the curassow population show the population is bouncing back.
The reserve supports a total of 360 species of bird including the endemic Saffron-headed Parrot, White-Mantled Barbet, Antioquia Bristle-tyrant, Sooty Ant-tanager, Turquoise Dacnis, Colombian Chachalaca and Crested Owl. In the marshy areas you can find Gray-necked Wood-Rail, White-throated Crake, Russet-crowned Crakes, Beautiful Woodpecker and many other species. In the feeders you may be able to see Violet-bellied Hummingbird, Shining-green Hummingbird, and Pale-bellied and Stripe-throated Hermits.
The Reserve also supports many endangered and endemic mammals, including the Variegated Spider Monkey, the Magdalena Lowland Tapir, and Fallox Robber Frog.