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Selva de Ventanas Natural Reserve, within the ‘Alto de Ventanas’ bio-geographical region in Northwest Colombia, is the most biodiverse area within the Antioquia region. Home to Critically Endangered species such as Handley’s Slender Mouse Opossum and the Ventanas Magnolia, this reserve safeguards vital habitat for the region’s flora and fauna.
Rainforest Trust seeks $162,078 to assist our local partner Corporación SalvaMontes in expanding the Selva de Ventanas Natural Reserve by 402 acres. Buying two neighboring parcels will help with the strategic goal of consolidating a biological corridor in the area, including the largest remaining patches of well-preserved forests where key species are present. Old secondary forests with massive trees and primary forests with aged trees compose these patches of humid pre-montane forests. The management of the expansion will be supported with the addition of a ranger and new camera traps to monitor the areas.
Price per Acre:
Handley’s Slender Mouse Opossum (CR), Ventanas Magnolia (CR), Adenobrachia Andes Frog (EN), Guatape Magnolia (EN), Schlimm’s Phragmipedium Orchid (EN), Small Lemur’s Dracula Orchid (EN), Yarumal Magnolia (EN).
Agricultural expansion, gold mining, road construction
Expand the Selva de Ventanas Natural Reserve
Total Carbon Storage (Mt CO2):
The ‘Alto de Ventanas’ bio-geographical region, where the proposed expansion is to take place, is one of the regions with the most endemic and threatened species in Antioquia.
Fifty-six plant species endemic to Colombia are found in this area, several of them are Critically Endangered. Our partner has discovered at least two new species of orchids that have yet to be described. In addition, there is the presence of the Handley’s Slender Mouse Opossum – an endemic and Critically Endangered mammal – and the Endangered Adenobrachia Andes Frog.
Because there are not many environmentally-sustainable economic opportunities in this region and little to no financial incentive to protect the environment, many people are involved in agricultural expansion.
This can lead to a significant loss of native forest, while also eroding the soil, contaminating water resources and threatening several endemic species that inhabit these forests. Additionally, illegal gold mining threatens the area and encourages the construction of roads and access routes that can accelerate the process of colonization and deforestation of these ecosystems.
Campesinos live around the proposed expansion and our partner has been working with them for the consolidation of biological corridors.
It is through these types of community organizations that awareness and environmental education programs will be channeled, and it is through these programs that our local partner will promote the creation of the Association of Natural Reserves in the region of Alto de Ventanas. The partner already works with a local school by giving educational talks about the region’s biodiversity and environmental services delivered by natural forests. They also provide guided tours within the protected area, so children can see the key species firsthand, learn about their importance and understand how to preserve them. A Ventanas Magnolia tree was planted at the school, and the children are now taking care of it as a symbol of environmental awareness. Additionally, a program of community participative science is being designed to involve local people in identifying alternative modes of production that will help conservation strategies.
Thanks to the support of our board members who cover the majority of our operating expenses, Rainforest Trust is able to allocate 100% of your project donation directly to conservation action.
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