Ruthmery Pillco Huarcaya (Peru, 26 years old) is living and working in Peru as a biologist. Starting her career as a volunteer in Yanachaga National Park, she won a three-month scholarship to work with the Crees Foundation, a UK-Peruvian NGO. From there she progressed through the ranks from field assistant to Research Field Coordinator. She studied the endangered Peruvian Woolly Monkey in neotropical rainforests for four years. Her work in the forests, gave her a deep understanding of the multicultural and multidisciplinary collaboration required to sustainably manage protected area networks.
In 2015, she began working on an expedition to the Sira Communal Reserve, one of the most biodiverse, remote and unknown areas of the Peruvian Amazon to find and study the critically endangered Sira Curassow (Pauxi koepckeae). This stunning bird faces growing pressure from habitat disturbance and hunting, and its current population size and distribution are unknown.
Ruthmery will dedicate the Future For Nature Award on performing research in the Sira Communal Reserve and the major threats posed to the long-term survival of the Sira Curassow, such as hunting and habitat loss. Despite being in the middle of Peru, nothing is known about this incredible, rich area. She will bring this region and its species to national and international attention. She wants to build a network with local communities in order to support future conservation work, reducing hunting pressure on the Sira Currassow and increasing the protected status of its habitat.