Expansion for the Narupa Reserve in Ecuador

Orange-breasted Falcons

With your help, we supported our Ecuadorian partner, Fundación Jocotoco, to purchase and save 387 acres of Andean cloud forest to expand Narupa Nature Reserve.

Established in 2006 to protect a large block of eastern Andean foothill forest from rapidly advancing deforestation for cattle ranching, this reserve is important for many rare species including the endangered Orange-breasted Falcon.

Named for an elegant species of tall palm, the Narupa Reserve is located in Napo province of eastern Ecuador. The reserve was established in 2006 to protect a large block of eastern Andean foothill forest, one of the largest in this part of Ecuador. These forests are globally threatened and have been the focus of much deforestation as the elevation is optimal for development and agriculture.

Narupa Reserve currently contains 1,265 acres and serves to protect part of an ecological corridor between the park and neighboring Napo-Galeras National Park, facilitating animal movement in an increasingly fragmented landscape. Rainforest Trust intends to continue to expand the size of the reserve to prevent deforestation.

Narupa has a growing list of birds that currently includes over 300 species. Five globally threatened species have been recorded, including its flagship species, the Cerulean Warbler, a long-distance migrant that breeds in eastern North America and spends the boreal winter in northwestern South America. Other wintering birds include the Canada Warbler and Swainson’s Thrush. Other globally threatened bird species that have been recorded include Black Tinamou, Military Macaw, Coppery-chested Jacamar, and Foothill Elaenia. A notable rarity is the Orange-breasted Falcon, a pair of which has bred for some years on a cliff immediately adjacent to the reserve; this represents the only currently known nesting nest for this rare falcon, itself Globally threatened, in Ecuador.

San Rafael National Park Expanded

San Rafael
San Rafael jaguar

In August, Rainforest Trust alerted our supporters to an urgent land purchase to expand protection of the San Rafael Reserve located in southeastern Paraguay. San Rafael protects one of the last great stands of Atlantic Rainforest in Paraguay and our partner Guyra Paraguay has worked tirelessly to protect it. In just ten days, the final amount of funding needed, $20,000, was raised allowing us to support our partner to finalize the purchase of 677 acres on October 8, 2012, that were in danger of being lost to deforestation.

Saving the 677 acres marked another milestone in the reserve’s history. It protects the ancestral territory of the Mbyá People and will be co-owned with them for the next ten years. This purchase was a collaboration of donors, particularly with Rainforest Trust in the UK.

San Rafael is the ancestral territory of the Mbyá indigenous people, but was under the ownership of 55 different private landlords and suffered heavy encroachment every year. Its conservation importance is clear–it has more of the 79 species endemic to the Atlantic Forest than any other Paraguayan site, and its overall avian diversity is comparable to much larger Atlantic forest sites in Brazil.

Rainforest Trust first became involved in 2002, assisting in the purchase of 2,271 acres. We continued to support this area through the work of our local partner, Guyra Paraguay. To date, with this additional land purchase, more than 16,000 acres of pristine habitats within San Rafael has been declared for conservation thanks to Rainforest Trust support.

The work at San Rafael continues to be at the forefront of conservation in South America. A pioneering project is now also underway which aims to show that REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries) can deliver significant and lasting benefits to forest communities and biodiversity, while meeting corporate social responsibility commitments, and contributing to climate change mitigation by sequestering carbon and avoiding deforestation and forest degradation.