The Chaparri Reserve is home to a wide-range of wildlife including many species considered endemic to the Tumbesian dry forests. It is this endemism that is the main attraction as by Neotropical standards the overall diversity is not very high with 225 birds, 21 mammals, 17 reptiles, 5 amphibians, 6 fish and 10 dragonfly species having been recorded in the reserve to date. Full species lists in PDF format are available for the birds and mammals.
Andean or Spectacled Bears
The Andean or Spectacled Bear Tremarctos Ornatus
is globally endangered and threatened by habitat loss and illegal hunting. Chaparri and the surrounding areas are the last refuge of the dry forest population of Andean Bears; generally the species is found in humid montain forests and parámo habitats. In Chaparri we are working to protect the wild bear population through direct protection and outreach and education of local people to reduce hunting. We know that at least 11 Andean Bears used the Chaparri valley in a one year survey period and are now working on understanding more about their habitat needs and dispersal routes by using satellite telemetry to monitor their movements. For more information on Andean Bear Conservation
and the research work at Chaparri see www.andeanbearconservation.org
Chaparri is also home to the only dedicated Andean Bear Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre in Peru. This specially designed facility is currently home to 7 bears that have been confiscated from illegal captivity by government authorities and passed to Chaparri. Many of these bears arrive undernourished and having lived in incredibly poor conditions. In Chaparri they are fed a balanced diet and get to live in large enclosures within their natural habitat. A recent expansion of this facility means we now have 6 enclosures. It is hoped that some of the bears will be able to be reintroduced to their natural habitat. Bears that cannot be reintroduced are maintained in enclosures where the public can visit and learn about the species. For more information on the bears currently in the Chaparri facility see Bears of Chaparri
The White-winged Guan Penelope albipennis is critically endangered by habitat loss and hunting. Less than 250 individuals are estimated to remain in the wild in the remote dry forests of north-western Peru. Chaparri is home to approximately 65 birds, the largest single population remaining. The species was hunted out in the area during the 1970s but was successfully reintroduced from 2002-2005 and the population is now thriving with third generation birds now starting to breed. The reserve is now source population and the species is reappearing in other areas as birds disperse from Chaparri. This distinctive and spectacular bird is easy to see in Chaparri valley where they are remarkably easy to see as they are never persecuted.
Exterminated in the region shortly after the arrival of the Spanish we have successfully reintroduced a group of 12 Guanaco Lama guanicoe, the largest of South America’s native camelids to the reserve in 2006. Despite arriving with no adult males we are pleased to report that one of the juvenile males is now adult and the first Guanaco young was born in 2007. The 10 surviving Guanacos are now spread over a wide area, three were resident in the Bosque de Pomac sanctuary from March to August 2008 but have now moved back towards Chaparri. We hope to seek funds for another release to bolster the population and increase genetic diversity of the population in the near future.
Populations of the impressive Andean Condor Vultur gryphus are declining throughout its range as a result of persecution and lack of food. The species was previously common in the north-west coastal area but today very few individuals remain in this region. The species is still regularly seen in Chaparri in small numbers and we suspect that it may be attempting to breed on Chaparri mountain. Chaparri is at the heart of a national condor recovery strategy and we are working towards having a reintroduction and supplementary feeding program.