With the recent purchase of new properties, Rio Canandé Reserve was expanded by 853 acres, working toward a biodiversity corridor in Ecuador.
Rainforest Trust and local partner Fundación Jocotoco have purchased several properties during 2017 for a total of 853 acres that will be added to the Río Canandé Reserve in Ecuador, a hotspot for biodiversity with one of the highest concentrations of endemic species in the world. The reserve holds the sole population of the Critically Endangered Canandé Magnolia and is home to the Critically Endangered Brown-headed Spider Monkey, one of the world’s rarest primates. The area is also critical for the Mache Glass Frog and is one of the few sites where the species is found.
The Chocó region of South America contains lowland tropical rainforests and extends from Panama, through north-western Colombia and into northern Ecuador. As one of the richest and most biologically diverse forests in the world, the Río Canandé Reserve has been identified as a Key Biodiversity Area and serves as a refuge for over 350 bird species, including at least 36 Endangered Great Green Macaws that inhabit the area – perhaps the largest group in Ecuador.
“Rainforest Trust is proud to have supported the purchase of many properties at Canandé for 15 years now,” said Rainforest Trust CEO Dr. Paul Salaman.
“The Canandé area is perhaps the most important surviving refuge of super-wet Chocó rainforest remaining in western Ecuador, and we aim to accelerate efforts to secure and protect what little of this unique habitat remains.”
This action is critical as it is one of the most threatened forests in the world with less than 10 percent of the original forest remaining intact. The expanding lumber and palm oil industries in the areas surrounding the reserve pose great threats to this diverse ecosystem. In addition, increased infrastructure and road expansion make the reserve more vulnerable to timber extraction and agricultural expansion. Therefore, the race is on to save this vital habitat.
To ensure the protection of the reserve from these encroaching threats, Rainforest Trust is working with its longtime partner to continue purchasing critical properties that will expand the Río Canandé Reserve and enable the long-term objective of establishing an ecological corridor between Canandé and the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve.
With the support of our many generous friends around the world and the SAVES Challenge, this project is a success. A special thank you to Artenschutzstiftung Zoo Karlsruhe, John Dwyer, P.E., International Conservation Fund of Canada (ICFC) and the March Conservation Fund for their leadership gifts.
For more information on how you can support Rainforest Trust, visit our Conservation Action Fund.