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Cover photo: After the ribbon-cutting that inaugurated the school nursery in Aten

The indigenous LECO community of Aten located in the Apolo municipality of La Paz, inaugurated on June 2023 a school nursery with native trees to restore highly degraded habitat for the endemic and Endangered Palkachupa Cotinga (Phibalura boliviana). This initiative aims to seedlings of native tree species to reforest degraded habitat with trees the Palkachupa Cotinga uses for food and nests.

The construction of the nursery was implemented by the local school and received support from parents and 100 students from the Tupili, Muhiri, Munaypata, and Atén LECO indigenous communities.

“This active participation fosters a sense of belonging and empowerment among the youth, promoting environmental awareness and the care of the Palkachupa’s habitat. Its implementation is an example of how collaborative work can generate a positive impact on biodiversity conservation and species protection”, said Sandra Paredes, Coordinator of the Palkachupa Cotinga Conservation Program at Armonía.


Photo: The school nursery in Aten will contribute to the conservation of the Palkachupa Cotinga. Teodoro Camacho

The nursery will have an annual production capacity of up to ten thousand seedlings of native trees such as Ichucaspi, Mapaco, or Sis that are preferred by the Palkachupa Cotinga for nesting or feeding. We also hope that the nursery will contribute to the food security of the community through the production of vegetables, legumes, and fruit trees.

During the inauguration of the nursery, school supplies, hats, and shirts related to the Palkachupa were distributed. The event was attended by local authorities, municipality, educational authorities, and private landowners. According to Paredes, the attendance of different stakeholders demonstrates a collective commitment to the protection and restoration of degraded areas, serving as an inspiring model for other communities.

The creation of the nursery was led by Armonía and has been made possible thanks to the financial support from Yuval Taylor.  The implementation of the nursery received technical support from Madidi National Park SERNAP. The Palkachupa Conservation Program currently is supported by American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund (MBZ).

From March to June of this year, Armonía provided training to teachers, parents, and students in Aten on nursery design, construction, and operation. Armonia also supplied educational materials to enable students to learn in a playful and informative manner about the Palkachupa, its  behavior, biology, and the ecosystem they share with this beautiful species.

Vivero escolar aten

Photo: Students from the Atén local school at the inauguration of their nursery.

Armonia supports the fight against fires in the habitat of the Palkachupa Cotinga

Additionally to the inauguration of the nursery, Armonía provided special firefighting gear to Madidi National Park. This donation aims to strengthen the National Park for when the dry season starts and when uncontrolled fires increase, threatening  the nesting sites of the Palkachupa Cotinga in the municipality of Apolo.

We provided the park rangers with special firefighting jackets, pants and gloves. “The technical staff and park rangers of Madidi NP are a key actor in the conservation of the Palkachupa’s habitat, considering the current anthropogenic pressures that are occurring within the municipality of Apolo”, Paredes reported.

Photo: Asociación Civil Armonía delivers firefighting gear to Madidi National Park.

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