Golden-winged Warbler Working Group

Reserva El Jaguar, Nicaragua

Photo: TBD

Conservation and research in action at Reserva El Jaguar, Nicaragua

Reserva El Jaguar is a private reserve located in Jinotega, Nicaragua. It is owned by the Duriaux Chavarría family and is dedicated to conservation, biodiversity protection, research and coffee production.  In addition to producing high quality coffee, the reserve protects cloud forest that provides valuable habitat to more than 374 species of birds, of which more than 75 are migratory. The reserve is also home to overwintering Golden-winged Warblers, that occupy habitat in and around the coffee farm and forest reserve.

A biologist holds a golden-winged warbler at Reserva El Jaguar

A biologist holds a Golden-winged Warbler captured in one of the reserve’s bird-friendly coffee plantations. Their coffee is sold directly to Whole Foods in the US, packaged as Café el Jaguar. Photo: TBD

Students visit Reserva El Jaguar to learn about local wildlife, ecosystems, and Golden-winged Warbler conservation. Photo TBD

Starting in 2010, the Duriaux Chavarría family led a five-year conservation project for Golden-winged Warbler in collaboration with the surrounding community that included propagating native tree species, planting them in and around local coffee farms, and fencing off forested areas to prevent habitat degradation from livestock. The project was then extended to create a larger conservation corridor, involving more than 100 producers and providing environmental education to the students of 6 rural schools.

The Duriaux Chavarría family have actively participated in research on the migration ecology and winter habitat associations of Golden-winged Warblers while simultaneously operating 2 MoSI banding stations that collect data from both migratory and resident birds. With the support of Southernwings, Reserva El Jaguar also installed a Motus tower that detects the signals of radio transmitters that have been placed on migratory birds, contributing to different migration and connectivity programs. Reserva El Jaguar serves as an excellent and unique example of the intersection between coffee production, habitat conservation, community conservation, and scientific research.

Native trees being propagated on the reserve.

Reserva El Jaguar propagates native trees and other plants to reforest habitat for wildlife. Photo: Amber Roth 

Conservationists, Lili and Georges Duriaux-Chavarría, conducting MoSI bird banding research on the reserve. The Duriaux-Chavarría’s work with neighbors on reforestation projects to create habitat corridors in their area, as well as provide wintering habitat for Golden-winged Warblers. 

Signage at Reserva el Jaguar, demonstrating the collaborators involved with their success.

A sign reads, “Together we conserve habitat of the Golden-winged Warbler“, as visitors enter the reserve.