Beware of the Harpy Eagle. With a huge body, thick legs, massive claws and an intimidating beak, this rare Amazonian predator is a unique treasure of the Cordillera Azul National Park in central Peru. The Harpy Eagle can be found in the mid to upper canopies of tropical lowland rainforests, typical of this region of the Peruvian Amazon, and preys on animals like monkeys and sloths as well as large birds such as macaws and curassows. Its incredible size, a whopping 71-81 inch wingspan and 35-41 inch length, makes the Harpy an alpha predator of the skies.
The Harpy Eagle, the largest in the Americas, mates for life, raising a single chick over the course of 2 to 3 years, and can live for up to 35 years. Using its razor-sharp hearing and eyesight, the Harpy Eagle sits among its canopy, waiting for prey which it then chases at speeds upwards of 80 km an hour!
Crucially, Harpy Eagles require territories defined by large expanses of uninterrupted forest and are therefore suffering from increasing habitat loss and fragmentation from logging, agriculture and development. Their falling numbers have placed them on the IUCN’s Near Threatened list, as they face growing threats from human-wildlife conflict.
Luckily for the Harpy Eagles in Cordillera Azul, the project is protecting 1.6 million hectares of threatened forest through major conservation efforts and support for sustainable livelihoods. Here, climate finance – finance that supports efforts to address climate change – is rewarding forest protection and providing education to local farmers to ensure resilient and commercially viable revenue streams from sustainable, non-destructive land use. This work helps to protect the forest that is home to the majestic Harpy Eagle. Thanks to the Cordillera Azul National Park project, and others like it, these incredible birds will continue to grace the skies of the Amazonian rainforest. Just don’t be around for their dinner time…
Learn more about the Cordillera Azul National Park project here, and get in touch with us to find out about how you can support this work.