PURCHASED: Expanding Protection of Las Tangaras, Colombia

Las Tangaras Project SnapshotPROJECT SNAPSHOT

LOCATION: Las Tangaras area in the Rio Atrato watershed, Chocó department in northwestern Colombia

SIZE: 2,034 acres

KEY SPECIES: Many new species of amphibians and birds, the Endangered Chocó Vireo, Gold-ringed Tanager

HABITAT: Lowland Rainforest to highland Cloud forest

THREATS: Gold-mining; clearing of forest for colonization; unsustainable timber and natural resource exploitation

ACTION: Critical land purchase for major rainforest protected area

LOCAL PARTNERS: Fundación ProAves

FINANCIAL NEED: $203,400 to acquire 2,034 acres of rainforest

$203,400OUR GOAL
Gold-ringed Tanager
Las Tangaras
Chocó Vireo

Project Update:
We are pleased to announce that we have reached our funding goal and have successfully protected 2,034 acres of Chocó rainforest. Thank you for your support. Our efforts to protect the Chocó, however, are far from over, and we are still collecting funds for the future expansion of the Las Tangaras Reserve.

The Chocó rainforest in Colombia contains one of the highest concentrations of range-restricted biodiversity in the world, with many birds, plants, and amphibians at risk of extinction. Unfortunately this region is highly under-protected, and there are no controls against colonization, creating an urgent need to buy this land before it is developed. The Las Tangaras area of the Chocó is perhaps the least known rainforest on earth, and may hold one of the greatest concentrations of species new to science. Private landowners are selling parcels of this incredible forest to timber, cattle, and gold mining companies.

In 2010, your support allowed Rainforest Trust to buy and save 5,500 acres of the threatened Las Tangaras rainforest. That acquisition blocked access to a further 85,000 acres of rainforest.

Today, you can continue to make a difference: we urgently need your support to buy a further 2,034 acres that will consolidate the protection of 398,000 acres of rainforest.

Every $100 you give buys 1 acre.

In 2010, a team of tropical biology experts from the USA, UK, and Colombia visited a previously unstudied region of the northern Chocó rainforest now called “Las Tangaras” that includes both lowland rainforest and highland cloud forest. In just a few days, the team discovered countless exciting amphibian, butterfly, plant, and bird species.

Many of the amphibians uncovered during the expedition are likely to be new species–previously unknown to science! Various spectacular multicolored frogs were found and are believed to reside nowhere else on earth. Additionally, the area is home to several threatened bird species, including the Endangered Chocó Vireo and Gold-ringed Tanager. Further research in the new 5,500 acres acquired in early 2011, has confirmed the presence of all of those threatened species as well as Spectacaled Bear and Puma.

Sadly, our local partner ProAves has informed us of significant threats to the area, emphasizing the importance of increasing the protected area. Privately-owned rainforest sites are being cleared for pasture land and are being stripped by timber and gold mining companies.

The Las Tangaras Protected Area is one of the most diverse and important rainforest sites on earth and will protect a great elevational gradient from 200 to 12,900 feet above sea level. This area will also protect the watershed of the Rio Atrato–the Chocó’s most important river, which serves as a vital economic resource for tens of thousands of inhabitants living in poor rural communities.

This further strategic land acquisition of 2,034 acres will help consolidate a buffer zone that will protect an additional 398,000 acres, against unsustainable rapid colonization, and will strengthen the protection of several isolated indigenous communities that are threatened by colonization.

A road that passes through the core of this area is being widened and paved–which means we must act quickly, as investors and businesses will be buying roadside properties to launch the deforestation of this sensitive rainforest wilderness.

We urgently seek your support to secure a major forested property that totals 2,034 acres that is for sale at $100 an acre, $203,400 in all. Securing this spectacular rainforest property will consolidate a major wildlife corridor and stop encroachment into a vast neighboring wilderness area mapped and calculated to be 398,000 acres. Every acre that you buy will help to protect many more acres.

Please contribute generously to purchase and protect this extraordinary rainforest and its threatened species.

Thank you for making a difference by supporting this critical appeal.