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Fundación ProAves

About us

Fundación ProAves is building a brighter future for birds and for nature in Colombia. 

Established in 1998, ProAves is a membership-based registered nonprofit organization focused on implementing real and lasting actions to protect birds and their habitats in Colombia, through research, conservation action and community outreach.

ProAves vision is to be an example of preventing extinction and protect Key Biodiversity Areas with the help of local citizens who are proud of their natural resources and who will promote development in harmony with nature.

ProAves at a glance

Conservation team of 56 full time staff

The largest network of Nature Reserves in the tropics: 28 reserves protecting over 90,000 acres owned by ProAves.

We protect over 12% of all the world’s bird species in our reserves and over 70% of Colombia’s most threatened species.

Direct conservation actions in 22 of the 31 departments in Colombia.

Real and lasting conservation actions

ProAves reserves are not islands of biodiversity but interactive nodes of conservation within the larger landscape, because ProAves makes concerted efforts to work and educate the community, such as campaigns, workshops, and capacity building.

A clear example of these actions is at the El Paujíl ProAves Reserve where direct conservation and environmental education carried out to save the Critically Endangered Blue-billed Curassow resulted in a ban on hunting this turkey-sized bird. Consequently, the population density of the curassow has increased from 3.1 individuals per km2 in 2004 to over 8.4 individuals per km2 in 2020. This significant population increase shows clearly the importance of the protected areas and working with the community.

Team members

Sara Ines Lara

Executive Director

Sara Ines Lara is Colombian with almost two decades of conservation experience across Latin America, working closely with local organizations, communities and government agencies. Sara has led many initiatives to protect wildlife and their habitats, particularly endangered and migratory birds. Sara has helped conservation organizations across the America’s develop long-term financial and institutional stability.

Juan Lázaro Toro

Director of conservation strategies

Juan is a Forest Engineer from the National University of Colombia, in Medellín. He has an experience of more than 22 years in projects for the conservation and knowledge of biodiversity, management of protected areas and restoration of ecosystems. Thanks to his great management and dedication, he has received 2 recognitions: Alejandro Ángel Escobar Award in Environment and Sustainable Development in 2010 and Life Distinction of the Regional Autonomous Corporation of the Center of Antioquia (Corantioquia) in 2013.

Paloma Carrillo

Director of operations /accountant

Paloma studied Public Accounting at the Autonomous University of Colombia, and made her specialization in Management Accounting at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Since she was little, she dreamed of working for conservation, which is why, during the 12 years that he has been at the ProAves de Colombia Foundation, she has worked with great passion and conviction to help and protect Colombian biodiversity. 

Alex Cortes

Conservation Director

Alex is a Biologist from the University of Cauca with more than 20 years of experience in conservation actions. He is the co-founder of Fundación ProAves where he has developed different research and conservation projects in threatened bird species throughout the country