Magdalena Valley Rainforest Update

Rainforest Trust Conservation Director
Reforestation of tropical Rainforest
Community Environmental Education

New Land Acquisitions:
In late 2009, two additional properties–totaling 420 acres–were added to the El Paujil Reserve in Colombia’s Magdalena Valley at a cost of $47,500. The purchase of these two blocks, representing the last two private in-holdings within the reserve brings the area under protection to 7,355 acres. Three final forested properties have been negotiated and are pending purchase.

Protection Gains:
Harmful incursions into the reserve area have been halted thanks to ongoing monitoring of borders by 2 forest guards. Private Property signs have been mounted on those trails and pathways most frequently utilized by unwanted trespassers. This signage doubles as trail markers and denotes ecotourism pathways as well as routes for internal species monitoring. Camera traps are in place to assist with monthly observation along established wildlife conduits.

Reforestation Efforts:
Reforestation continues on over 80 acres of pasturelands that were acquired by the reserver in 2008. Plantings to prevent erosion near the highly deforested Rio Ermitaño continue, as does the reintroduction of plant species of particular interest to the Blue-billed Currasow. The ultimate objective is to reforest this entire sector, thereby strengthening the buffer zone of the reserve’s outer boundary.

Community Outreach: Blue-billed Curassow Festival
This festival aimed to build the profile of the protected area in the surrounding communities by instigating a far-reaching educational campaign. Various workshops stressing the importance of ecosystem health were held in key communities and saw a high level of participation. The campaign focuses on the uniqueness of the Blue- billed Currassow and strives to raise greater awareness about the plight of the bird, as well as the threat that habitat loss poses to biodiversity. As part of the festival, school children and community members were invited to explore the reserve and participate in observational expeditions.

Local Development: Community Handcrafts
To date over 1500 handmade items have been crafted by women in the Puerto Pinzon municipality. These include a wide variety of jewelry and artware including bracelets, necklaces and belts–for sale to visiting tourists and also available in minimal numbers for export. The proceeds from sales under this alternative initiative go directly to local artisans living on the outskirts of the reserve. Sustainable development initiatives like this help to greatly alleviate the extractive pressures upon fragile terrains by providing an important source of income for community members.

Rainforest Trust will continue to support our partner buying and saving critical rainforest properties around the Paujil Nature Reserve to ensure long-term viable populations of the endangered species. For more information on the appeal, click here.

Many thanks to our donors that contributed to the Magdalena rainforest appeal and also a special thanks to the support of Luanne Lemmer, American Bird Conservancy, Earth’s Birthday, and The Rainforest Site.

Rainforest Trust Expands the Yabotí Biosphere Reserve in Argentina

Misiones Falls
Misones Map

Rainforest Trust expanded theYabotí Biosphere Reserve by another 14,826 acres to complete the protected area corridor linking Moconá National Park and Esmeralda National Park in the core area of the reserve and Parque de Turbo (in Brazil, which includes the world-renowned Iguazu Falls).

The Atlantic forest once stretched unbroken from the Atlantic coast in the north of Brazil, south and inland through Paraguay and the Misiones Province of Argentina. Today it is one of the most critically endangered ecoregions in the world, with only 7% of its once vast original forest remaining.

Long isolated from other major rainforest blocks in South America, this unique rainforest has an extremely diverse and unique mix of vegetation and forest types, with a large number of endangered and endemic plant and animal species, including marmosets and lion tamarins and the extraordinary Araucaria forests.

Fully 20% of this remaining 7% is found in the Misiones region. Rainforest Trust worked with our partner in Argentina, Fundación Biodiversidad and FuNaFu, in the buffer zone of the Yaboti Biosphere Reserve in Misiones Province, on a project that contributed to the conservation and protection of this last great relic of interior Atlantic forest. Misiones today contains 60% of the remains of the non-fragmented sectors of what is known as the Upper Parana Atlantic Forest.

Two properties, one of 4,000 acres and a second of 1,600 acres were identified as immediate priorities for protection and low-impact sustainable tourism development by Fundación Biodiversidad and FuNaFu, and their purchase was negotiated. Together these properties constitute a strategic point for a biological corridor connecting the Esmeralda, Moconá and Turvo Parks, and for sheltering four Guaraní villages.