Many cloud forests serve as refuges for endangered species, which are being marginalized by the transformation and destruction of ecosystems at lower elevations. Large numbers of bird species and mammals, such as the spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus) and howler monkeys (Alouatta spp.), are dependent on cloud forest habitat for their survival.
Two significant areas for conservation of cloud forest environments are the Manu Cloud Forest and the Chachapoyas region.
Located within the Manu BioSphere Reserve of south eastern Peru significant areas of cloud forest are being protected by the conservation organization Selva Sur. Research for Selva Sur is carried out from their research center Cock-of-the-Rock, named after Peru's National Bird.
Selva Sur also owns and protects 12,500 acres of the uniquely-intact Primary Cloud Forest of this spectacular valley.
The reserve protects the world's biggest display ground of the blazing red Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, two species of Quetzales, Mountain Toucans, Amazonian Umbrellabirds, myrid species of tanagers and hummingbirds, orchids (including two species new for science first discovered by Selva Sur researchers), Tree Ferns, cascading waterfalls, Torrent Ducks, Andean Dippers, and much more.
In addition to the obviously spectacular Cocks-of-the-Rock, this luxuriant valley preserve protects healthy populations of Woolly Monkeys and the endangered Spectacled Bears, the two most impressive mammals of Andean forests.
The diversity of other large, colorful birds, such as Mountain Toucan, Quetzals, and Motmots, as well as smaller, but even more spectacular, iridescent tanagers and hummingbirds, makes this valley the birdwatcher's dream. Finally, the butterfly and flower diversity is fantastic and nearly entirely different from the lowland rain forest.