Sun Angel’s Gardens Conservation Concession, San Martin
The Sun Angel’s Gardens is a reserve started by La Asociacion de Productores Agropecuarias La Primavera (APALP), an association created in 2007 by the people of La Primavera village to promote sustainable agriculture and conservation of their surrounding forests. The main agriculture in the area is coffee and cattle farming for meat, but seeing first-hand the devastation caused by large-scale production, the association has been making their coffee crop certified organic, as well as trying to incorporate reforestation into old harvest sites.
Since 1988 the area has been unofficially protected by a dedicated group of villagers, but in October of 2009, with the help of NPC it was decided to conserve the area of Sun Angel’s Gardens as a Concession for Conservation. This classification means that the land is owned by the state (not privately owned) and the government will classify it as a conservation site to be managed by the association for forty years, after which the request can be extended after reviewe. By having a classified conservation concession APALP aim to ensure clean and safe water resources, protect biodiversity by reducing indiscriminate hunting or killing of wild animals, encourage environmental education and the participation of members of the community in conservation, and generate sustainable income through ecotourism.
The geographical complexity of the site at Sun Angel’s Gardens, including high mountains and low valleys, allows for a variety of wildlife that doesn’t normally share the same habitat. As well as being incredibly bio-diverse, this area is home to many rare, endemic or endangered species of birds and mammals. There are four species of bird endemic to the tropical Andes hot-spot: the endangered Royal Sun Angel humming bird (Heliangelus regalis), the vulnerable Johnson’s Tody-Tyrant (Poecilotricus luluae), the Rusty-tinged Antpitta (Grallaria przewalskii) and the Black-bellied Tanager (Ramphocelus melanogaster). Although no yellow tailed woolly monkeys (Oreonax flavicauda) have been found in this area, the endemic Andean night monkey (Aotus miconax) and Endangered White fronted spider monkey (Ateles belzebuth) are two primate species that will be protected in this reserve. The final proposal for the creation of the reserve has been handed in to the San Martin Regional Government and is awaiting approval.