The Cauca Guan is endemic to a small area in Colombia and is one of the most threatened species in this country. It inhabits humid forest on both Andean slopes of the Cauca Valley, including forest edges and regeneration areas, between 1000 and 2000 m in altitude. Historically, this species occupied the Cauca Valley plateau and the Patía Valley (dry and semi-arid forest) but probably due to habitat lost and hunting, the geographical extension of the Cauca Guan was reduced and fragmented and currently around six populations remain. The Cauca Guan has a generalist frugivorous diet, composed largely of a taxonomically and morphologically wide variety of fruits, complemented by insects, foliage, and flowers. Guans usually occur in small groups (1-3 individuals) and do not show territoriality or aggressive behaviors.
WCS has been working with this species since 2003, particularly with the population of the Otun-Quimbaya Flora and Fauna Sanctuary on aspects of natural history, diet and density. Recently, we have been evaluated density and connectivity between two populations (at Barbas and Bremen forests) in the Central Cordillera.
We are currently designing and implementing monitoring programs two localities, the Otun-Quimbaya Flora and Fauna Sanctuary and the Yotoco Natural Reserve. These are participative monitoring programs, involving local community, university students and staff from the protected areas. Without compromising statistical rigor, these programs intend to be cost-efficient and hence sustainable at long term.