The endangered Peruvian Plantcutter (Phytotoma raimondii) is endemic to the coastal dry forests of northern Peru. As an herbivore its survival depends on sites with a good diversity of plant species and such areas are becoming increasingly scarce. With a total population estimated around 1,000 individuals the Plantcutter is in serious problems, more so when this population is highly fragmented at numerous sites from Ancash in the south to Piura in the north. Complicating conservation activities further is a massive die-back of the Algarrobo or America Carob tree (Prosopis pallida), which is the dominant species in the dry forest landscape. Moreover, Algarrobo together with the bush Palo Negro (Grabowskia boerhaaviifolia) are the main constituents of the Plantcutter´s diet.
Given the precarious situation of the Peruvian Plantcutter, Green Tours has been helping efforts to restore its habitat. With an agreement with the SOS Peruvian Plantcutter project, led by Jeremy Flanagan, Green Tours has sponsored a plant nursery to enable the propagation of native species important for the Plantcutter and the dry forests of north Peru.
To date the nursery has propagated nine species important for the Plantcutter´s habitat; Palo Negro (Grabowskia boerhaaviifolia), Realengo (Maytenus octogona), Satuyo (Capparicordis crotonoides), Pearlberry (Vallesia glabra), Faique (Vachellia macracantha), Overo (Cordia lutea), Vichayo (Beautempsia avicennifolia), Jerusalem Thorn (Cercidium aculeata), as well as other dry forest species such as Charán (Caesalpinia paipai) and Angolo (Pithecellobium multiflorum). Plants have been used on habitat restoration in Talara Province, a main stronghold for the species, as well as with schools in the area.