Tree planting saving Peruvian bird species

March 7, 2012 at 7:50 PM

LIMA, March 7 (UPI) -- A tree-planting campaign in Peru may have avoided the extinction of a number of endangered bird species in and around two nature reserves, conservationists say.

More than a million new trees have been planted in Peru in the last nine years, with more than 150,000 in 2011 alone, a release from the American Bird Conservancy, which has supported the planting effort, said Wednesday.

A leading Peruvian conservation organization, Asociacion Ecosistemas Andinos, has led the campaign to plant native trees and shrubs from 21 different species in two important Andean reserves, the Abra Patricia-Alto Nieva Private Conservation Area and the Huembo Conservation Easement.

Exotic birds such as the Marvelous Spatuletail hummingbird, the Long-whiskered Owlet and the Ochre-fronted Antpitta may have been spared from extinction by the habitat created in the planting program, an ABC release said Wednesday.

Funding for the reforestation work near the reserves was provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act, it said.

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