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Fundación ProAves

Colombia, Latin America
  • Endangered Species
  • Land Purchases
  • Wildlife Conservation
Date Founded:
Partner Qualifications:

  • IUCN Member
    A distinguished Member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. IUCN Members are each vetted and voted on based on an independent, rigorous assessment and external references. Learn More
  • Verified Partner
    One of Conservation Allies' staff or trusted advisors has visited this organization and verified its work and impact.
  • Legally Constituted
    This organization is formally constituted and is a legally recognized non-profit in its country of origin.
  • Top Accountability
    Our experienced team has rigorously reviewed the organization's annual accounts. Learn More
  • Effective Impact
    We recognize this Partner for their tremendous efforts to make a difference for wildlife and local communities, as well as welcome technical support from Conservation Allies to improve and scale up their impact.
  • Conservation Action Heroes
    We recognize this Partner for their high level of engagement with the Conservation Allies team and their demonstration of a clear commitment to our collective mission of making a real difference and having a major impact on wildlife and communities where it is needed most.

About Fundación ProAves

The Fundación ProAves was hatched 25 years ago by a group of Colombian conservationists desperate to save the Yellow-eared parrot from the brink of extinction.  They succeeded in what is widely considered one of the greatest species revivals ever documented.  Inspired by this new hope, ProAves expanded its efforts to save other globally threatened species, especially birds and amphibians throughout Colombia, by means of research, innovative conservation actions, and community outreach.

ProAves is the leading national conservation non-profit in Colombia, which is one of the most biologically diverse countries on earth.  ProAves is active across all major biomes and regions of Colombia and manages 28 Nature Reserves in critical biodiversity hotspots, permanently protecting the homes of countless endangered species and unique habitats.  The passion and commitment to conservation shown by the ProAves family is nurtured by alliances and collaboration with local and indigenous communities, with whom they work to save biodiversity.

The mission of Fundación ProAves is to protect birds and biodiversity in Colombia through research, specific conservation actions, and outreach with the community.

Their Challenges

Colombia is home to an astounding diversity of landscapes, included a vast area of the Amazon, the glacier-capped mountains of the Andes, mangroves along the Pacific Coast, vast stretches of the Caribbean Sea, and the open savanna of the Orinoco River basin—combined, these habitats hold some of the greatest biological diversity on the planet.

In fact, Colombia is second only to Brazil as the most “megadiverse” country on earth, hosting over 10% of the planet's biodiversity.  Worldwide, it ranks first in bird and orchid species diversity and second in plants, butterflies, freshwater fishes, and amphibians.

Tragically, Colombia currently faces multiple major threats to its once-vast forest landscapes.  The instability from the COVID-19 pandemic crisis allowed unscrupulous persons to invade protected areas and exploit natural resources as government entities struggled to respond.  Combining this with the 2016 peace process that sparked a tsunami of natural resource exploitation and colonization, deforestation rates are skyrocketing to some of the highest worldwide.

The unprecedented exploitation of Colombia’s natural treasures has decimated vital habitats necessary for the survival of many unique and range-restricted species. ProAves has scaled up their actions to stop deforestation.  They continue to face mounting challenges but will continue to fight to save precious wildlife and habitats across Colombia.

Their Approach

ProAves conservation approach is built on 25 years of effective science-based, laser-focused biodiversity conservation action.  Their tried and tested field experience has led to some of the most successful conservation impacts and outcomes in Latin America.

Their objectives include:

  1. Targeted Research in Search of Conservation Solutions: Locating priority areas for endangered species, increasing knowledge of threats to those species, designing conservation actions that address those threats, and establishing conservation strategies for Colombia.
  2. Direct Conservation Action: Implementing science-based action plans and strategies to save endangered species and sites.  This includes establishing new Protected Areas, improving and strengthening reserve management plans, and promoting policies for the protection and conservation of biodiversity and their habitats.
  3. Community Outreach: Working with local people is key to ensuring conservation actions survive in the long term. ProAves prioritizes environmental education for youth and helps provide communities with knowledge and skills to sustainably benefit from nature, such as ecotourism training and maintaining traditional knowledge and practices.

ProAves Reserves are not islands of biodiversity, but are instead interactive nodes of conservation within the larger landscape.  ProAves makes a concerted effort to work with and educate the community through campaigns, workshops, and capacity building.  A clear example of these actions is at the El Paujíl ProAves Reserve, where direct conservation and environmental education carried out to save the Critically Endangered Blue-billed curassow resulted in a ban on hunting this turkey-sized bird.  Consequently, the population density of the curassow has increased from 3.1 individuals per km2 in 2004 to over 8.4 individuals per km2 in 2020.  This significant population increase shows the importance of the protected areas and working with the community.

Why They Need Your Help

Your donation to ProAves will help them to:

  1. Save more than 12% of all bird species on the planet (1,337 bird species in ProAves reserves)
  2. Protect in perpetuity more than 160,600 acres of crucial wildlife habitat across Colombia that contains an estimated 10% of all flora and fauna species on Earth
  3. Support over 70 conservationists dedicated to protecting Colombia’s wonderful wildlife

Conservation Allies charges no overhead fees or administration costs, meaning 100% of your donation goes directly to Fundación ProAves.  All donations made from the United States are fully tax-deductible.