The southern horned curassow Pauxi unicornis unicornis is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List and is endemic to Bolivia. Recently, poverty reduction has become a priority to Bolivia's government and has caused other issues, such as nature conservation, to become a lower priority. Within months, populations of curassow in Carrasco and Amboro National Parks slid from well protected to seriously threatened as people started to move into the parks to hunt and clear forest for agriculture. Unfortunately, logging brings in a source of income that is desperately needed by the community.
In response to this, Armonia (a BirdLife partner) initiated the Southern Horned Curassow Conservation Programme. Surveys have been conducted in the tow national parks, awareness has been raised through environmental education activities in rural communities, and a preliminary Species Action Plan was devised. A PRIDE campaign was used, where a charismatic species is used to generate a sense of pride and act as an ambassador for the natural resources of a protected area. WPA was able to provide funds and assist in implementing the Action Plan, as well as producing promotional materials for use in community education activities.
Conservation of the southern horned curassow depends on the active participation of the local communities and effective monitoring activities. Therefore emphasis will be put on environmental education and raising awareness, as well as undertaking further field work, including conducting censuses and identifying key areas for conservation actions. Beginning the legal action to drive out loggers is unrealistic until an alternative source of income can be generated, therefore this is also an important issue to resolve.
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