Thanks to the generous support of donors, Rainforest Trust expanded protection for Buenaventura Reserve this fall with the purchase of an additional 944 acres of cloud forest.
Leaders from the local and national level, including Ecuador’s Minister of the Environment, were present at the reserve expansion’s inauguration event – celebrating a significant increase in habitat to preserve populations of the endemic birds and other threatened montane species that require higher altitude habitat for their long-term survival.
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With 95 percent of western Ecuador’s forests already lost, Buenaventura Reserve holds tremendous value for conservation. Located in southwestern Ecuador, the Reserve is home to the El Oro Parakeet and El Oro Tapaculo, two endangered and endemic bird species. They are so rare and occupy such small ranges that their future survival depends entirely upon the reserve and its ability to provide sufficient habitat protection.
Discovered forty years ago by Rainforest Trust’s president, Dr. Robert Ridgely, approximately half the global population of El Oro Parakeets reside entirely within Buenaventura Reserve today. Since the reserve was established in 2000, the El Oro Parakeet population has rebounded by 33 percent.
Today, the reserve is home to a diversity of rare and endemic species, even harboring the critically endangered primate, the White-fronted Capuchin. For the El Oro Parakeet and other endangered species in the Chocó cloud forests of southwest Ecuador, Buenaventura Reserve represents their last safe haven.
For this reason, Rainforest Trust is working to help its Ecuadorian partner, Fundación Jocotoco, raise enough funds to acquire another two properties totaling a further 672 acres in the future.
The 944-acre purchase to expand Buenaventura Reserve was made possible thanks to the support of March Conservation Fund, Marybeth Sollins and Andrew Farnsworth, Martin Schaefer, Weeden Foundation, James and Ellen Strauss, Milton Harris and Alice Chenault, Bert Harris, Patience and Tom Chamberlin, Roberta Ashkin, Sally Davidson, Bob and Peg Ridgely, Ken and Sue Ann Berlin, Nigel Simpson and an anonymous donor.