Thanks to Rainforest Trust donors and other supporters, 236 acres of crucial rainforest and wetland habitat for Hoge’s Side-necked Turtle have been purchased in Brazil. Securing this land as a private reserve will help recover the Hoge’s Side-necked Turtle population and may be the best hope of saving it from extinction.
On February 26, 2016, Rainforest Trust supported local Brazilian partner Fundação Biodiversitas in purchasing a critical private property along the Carangola River, establishing the Hoge’s Side-necked Turtle Reserve.
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Restricted to the Paraíba do Sul Basin and adjacent areas in Brazil’s Atlantic Rainforest, the Hoge’s Side-necked Turtle is severely threatened due to the destruction and fragmentation of its small range. The species is considered Critically Endangered due to its declining population and lack of protection. One of the last confirmed populations of the turtle is found along this small portion of the Carangola River.
“For years we have talked about the possibility of establishing a reserve along the Carangola River to protect these turtles. At that time, it felt like an impossible dream, but now we feel totally gratified by seeing our dream realized,” said Glaucia Drummond, President of Fundação Biodiversitas. “Thanks to the support and determination of Rainforest Trust and Turtle Survival Alliance, we all agree that those dreams can come true.”
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The recent land purchase is a crucial step forward to establishing a safe refuge for the last stronghold of Hoge’s Side-necked Turtle, allowing it to recover and thrive. The new reserve also protects part of Brazil’s imperiled Atlantic rainforest. While only 7% of the Atlantic Rainforest remains intact today, it continues to be one of the planet’s most important biodiversity hotspots, being a home to some of the planet’s most endangered wildlife.
“While Hoge’s Side-necked Turtle may not be the most charismatic or beautiful of turtle species, it is on the edge of extinction and in dire need of our help. This is exactly the sort of protection Rainforest Trust is committed to providing through partnerships with local organizations like Fundação Biodiversitas,” said Dr. Paul Salaman, CEO of Rainforest Trust. “We are proud to help create the first-ever protected area for Hoge’s Side-necked Turtle and make a real difference for this rare species.”
Rainforest Trust is very grateful to the other institutions and organizations that supported the land purchase campaign for the new Hoge’s Side-necked Turtle Reserve including Turtle Survival Alliance and Wildlife Conservation Society. Rainforest Trust also wishes to thank all of its supporters who donated to make this project possible.