The northwest Andes of Colombia was identified as an area of utmost importance for protection and restoration after Rapid Assessment expeditions were done to identify strategic areas for conservation in 2006. Currently, over 7,000 acres of forests are being protected at the Mesenia-Paramillo nature reserve, which include the "El Olinguito" and "El Puma" forests. The Mesenia-Paramillo nature reserve is the main watershed of the San Juan Antioquia, San Juan Bravo Chocó and Dojurgo rivers, the latter being a main tributary of the San Juan Antioquia river. 
Cerro Paramillo
Cerro Paramillo

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Bosque Encantado
Bosque Encantado

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Rio Dojurgo
Rio Dojurgo

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Cerro Paramillo
Cerro Paramillo

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The nature reserve has over 7000 acres of forests located in three states: Antioquia, Risaralda and Caldas. This was the first conservation project established by BIOCONSERVANCY (formerly The Hummingbird Conservancy-THC) which began in 2008. Protecting both the San Juan Antioquia and San Juan Bravo Chocó river watersheds, the biodiversity value of this area is incalculable.
Given the great biological wealth found in the area of ​​the reserve, we have dedicated a large part of our efforts to carrying out studies and inventories of biodiversity. To do this, we have contacted scientists and students belonging to universities and institutes, both national and international. Several groups of vertebrates, invertebrates and plants have been studied.
 
Birds have been the most studied group of vertebrates so far. Around 20% of all bird species found in Colombia inhabit the Mesenia-Paramillo nature reserve. There are 30 IUCN threatened and 26 endemic or restricted-range bird species at the reserve, making this area one of the most critical habitats for birds in all of the Americas. A total of 374 bird species have been recorded and all are included in our new bird guide (PDF accesible below).
Guia de Aves RN Mesenia-Paramillo Web-1.
Coeligena_orina
Coeligena_orina

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Spizaetus isidori
Spizaetus isidori

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Spizaetus isidori juvenil
Spizaetus isidori juvenil

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Coeligena_orina
Coeligena_orina

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Mammal studies have also been done with the participation of students from the University of Antioquia, lead by Professor Sergio Solari. In 2013, the first carnivore species to be discovered in the Western hemisphere in 35 years, Baciricyon neblina, known as Olinguito was photographed at the reserve in 2011. Twenty-four camera traps have been placed strategically to "capture" various species. So far 53 species of non-flying mammals in 22 families have been detected.
Amphibians and reptiles have been researched with Adolfo Amezquita, our Science Director, where 37 species of the former and 45 of the latter have been found and additionally a significant number of new species, 10 and 8, respectively, have been found. Two frog species have so far been published: Andinobates cassidyhornae and Pristimantis ferwerdai, and seven more Pristimantis and one Rhinella will be described. Several lizards of the Pholidobolus and Anadia genera are also under description. In order to streamline the identification of new species, a molecular lab has been established at the reserve.
Andinobates cassidyhornae
Andinobates cassidyhornae

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Pristimantis ferwedai
Pristimantis ferwedai

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Anolis_2_full_3
Anolis_2_full_3

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Andinobates cassidyhornae
Andinobates cassidyhornae

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Regarding invertebrates, it has been possible to register nearly 500 species of nocturnal moths. It has been no easy task to identify these species. 
Rothschildia aricia
Rothschildia aricia

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Idalus_sp
Idalus_sp

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Macrocneme sp
Macrocneme sp

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Rothschildia aricia
Rothschildia aricia

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We are also working on the identification of Darwin Wasps (Ichneumonidae) and Spider Wasps (Pompilidae) with a group of researchers from Brazil: Rodrigo Araujo, Diego Padua, Daniell Rodrigues and Eduardo Fernando Dos Santos. In this two families we have already found a significant number of new species. Two scientific articles have already been published. The most recent describing five new species of Dolichomitus (Pimplinae).
Dolichomitus pimmi
Dolichomitus pimmi

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Pepsis sumptuosa
Pepsis sumptuosa

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Pepsis
Pepsis

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Dolichomitus pimmi
Dolichomitus pimmi

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Regarding plants, the main study group has been the orchids. Nearly 100 species have been identified at the reserve. Recently an important discovery was made of a new Dracula orchid. Named after Irmelin Indenbirken, mother of philantropist Leonardo DiCaprio, Dracula irmelinae was confirmed as being a new species for science. Additionally, over 130 species of Araceae were recently collected at the reserve by a group of national and international botanists. Thomas Croat, world renowned Araceae expert is currently describing many new species found. More info on the following link: https://www.hummingbirdconservancy.org/post/july-2021-anthuriums-aroids-galore-the-araceae-mpnr
 
Dracula irmelinae sp. nov.
Dracula irmelinae sp. nov.

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Epidendrum paniculorugulosom sp nov
Epidendrum paniculorugulosom sp nov

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Pleurothallis
Pleurothallis

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Dracula irmelinae sp. nov.
Dracula irmelinae sp. nov.

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One of our main objectives is to rebuild connectivity between forest fragments, focusing on those areas with water sources. Therefore, we intend to restore 300 hectares of pasturelands in the next five years to create corridors that allow for wildlife populations to mobilize, in addition to generating greater water wealth in the San Juan de Antioquia river basin. The assisted restoration will require some 450,000 native trees to provide a solid base for pastures to be colonized by natural plant species (video below). We also intend to include several species of endangered Magnolia trees within the scope of this restoration process. The species include: Magnolia jardinensis, Critically Endangered [CR C2a(i); D]; M. espinalii, Critically Endangered [CR C2a(i); D]; M. hernandezii, Endangered [EN A2cd]; M. yarumalensis, Endangered [EN A2acd; B2ab(iii,v)]; and M. urraoensis, Endangered [EN B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v)].