The return of the Paujil to the Serranía de las Quinchas

Mónica Amador-Jiménez, University of Bristol

According to Colombian scientists, there are approximately only 2500 individuals left of the endemic bird species Paujil, and the primary threats against the Blue-billed Curassow, as it is called in English, are deforestation and hunting. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature affirms that Crax Alberti, the scientific name of the Paujil, is in critical danger of extinction. Crax Alberti is a very particular bird, and the males of this species are the ones blue-billed that represent the image that creates so much sympathy and interest among conservationists and birdwatchers. Ornithologists and biologists specialized in studying bird behaviour, are struck by the fidelity of the Paujil; this bird has only one partner throughout its entire reproductive life. What adds to the vulnerability of the species is that it has a meager reproduction rate as it lays only two eggs a year. The paujil is a territorial animal that avoids contact with humans and its highly developed sensitivity to sounds makes it able to detect soon the presence of humans or animals that could threaten them. For that reason, the Paujil is known to be a bird that alerts other animals in the forest when there is the presence of predators. The paujil emits a loud intermittent sound when detecting potential danger. The paujils are, however, vulnerable since they cannot make long flights or fly high, and most of the time they stay on the ground looking for seeds and small animals or move around in trees looking for fruits.

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Indigenous Embera and Spirits Entangled with the Quinchas

 

Mónica Amador-Jiménez, University of Bristol

Travelling from Puerto Boyacá to the Serranía de las Quinchas Regional Park, about halfway to las Quinchas you arrive at a farm called “Triple G.” This farm, which looks like most other cattle and pasture farms in this region, is close to the Embera Cabildo, an indigenous settlement that was established about 17 years ago and whose governing council is recognized as an indigenous authority by the municipality and the Ministry of Interior of Colombia. In this blog entry, we will share impressions from our encounters with the inhabitants of this settlement, a group of Emberas that had been forcibly displaced from other parts of the country and who, upon reaching the mountain range of the Quinchas, settled down and soon initiated a deep relationship with these forested mountains.

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Women of the Serranía de las Quinchas: Gender, Mujeres and Environment

Mónica Amador-Jiménez, University of Bristol

There is a current within environmental feminism theory and practice that suggests that women are more willing or even naturally sensitive to environmental problems since they have ethics of care that men do not have. This perspective within gender theory and feminism has been criticized for its essentialism; that there is only one way to be a woman, that all women have a structural-universal identity and that they basically have the same ethics of care. This is again being connected to their reproductive capacity and to the idea of women being mothers. This way of understanding the role of women in environmental conservation tends to biologize the character of the feminine and of being a woman – and to simplify the construction of subjectivities and sociocultural practices that are related to how gender, sexuality, and bodies take shape in specific contexts and historical moments.

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Recovering long-term vegetation and environmental records in Andean ecosystems of Colombia

In June 2019, the BioResilience project palaeoecology team visited and sampled lakes from contrasting regions in terms of natural ecosystems and cultures. We crossed the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia from the lowland forests in the mid-Magdalena Valley to High Andean forest in the Cundiboyacense Plateau, covering an altitudinal transect from 200 to 3000 m asl. We travelled around 2300 km, exploring and sampling the lakes, but also participating in the socialization campaigns where the project introduction was successful.

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Disonancia Sugerida, experimento artístico en el espacio intermedio

Suggested Dissonance is an invitation to an artistic research process by sharing cross-sectional narratives to questions and encounters. This path will take us through the forest, the relational, the interdisciplinary, the sense of belonging, the notion of place, exchange and dialogue between different kinds of knowledge which are intertwined concepts in a space in between. This collective ritual offers the opportunity for participants to become active agents in this shared multisensory experience.

This event is part of the project “Colombia BioResilience: Biodiversity resilience and ecosystem services in post-conflict socio-ecological systems in Colombia”, an interdisciplinary collaboration between the University of Bristol and University of Exeter (United Kingdom), which has given the opportunity to the artist Seila Fernández Arconada to generate this research during her placement at the Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute (Colombia).

 

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