Posts Tagged ‘deforestation’

Wild Eyed Primate Thought To Be Extinct Caught on Camera For The First TIme

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

As you know species are going extinct today 1000 times faster than historical natural cycles.  Our mission is to protect endangered land and those species that live on the land.

So we were very excited when we read this article about the Horton Plains Slender Loris, a small nocturnal animal that can grow up to 6 inches long, thought to be extinct, being caught on camera in the forests of Sri Lanka for the first time.  However, the loris maybe in trouble as a species if deforestation in Sri Lanka is not controlled.

Experts say that deforestation in Sri Lanka, due to cutting down the forests to create tea plantations, was the biggest threat to the loris.  The destruction of their natural forest for both farming and logging has cut off the loris from their partners.  Because they can’t move to one anther, they can’t mate and breed. Therefore there are real implications for the survival of the loris.

The Horton Plains Slender Loris is one of the world’s most threatened primates. Experts estimate there are just 100 left or even fewer. Their numbers may even be below 60 – which would make it the rarest primate species.

Because for many years they were thought to be extinct, very little or almost nothing is known about them. Unless their natural habitat is preserved and we do something to protect them they will be extinct.

Read the complete article about the Horton Plains Slender Loris here

The Mesoamerican Biological Corridor – What is it, why is it significant?

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

The Mesoamerican Biological Corridor – What is it and why is it significant?

dark green = current reserves | light green = developing reserves

The ecoReserve project in Panama is located within the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, which is also known as the Jaguar Trail or Path of the Panther.  We thought we’d take a moment to talk about why this is significant.

First, what is a biological corridor (also known as wildlife corridor)?  A wildlife corridor is a route comprising a continuous, or nearly continuous, stretch of open land, woodland or water, which facilitates the movement of wildlife species, the aim of which is to prevent the genetic isolation of wildlife populations.

The Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, specifically, is a large habitat corridor in , stretching from southeastward through most of Central America, connecting several national parks. It was started in 1998 to keep 106 critically endangered species from going extinct.

Mesoamerica is made up of the five southern states of Mexico and the Central American countries of Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.  These governments agreed to coordinate their efforts to encourage a huge system of interconnected parks, reserves and wildlife corridors that literally link North America to South America.  ecoReserve will be adding one additional reserve to this system.

The Mesoamerican region is very large and covers 768,990 square kilometers. It includes lowland rainforests, pine savannas, semi-arid woodlands, grasslands, high mountain forests, and coral reefs. Although the region contains only 0.5 percent of the world’s land surface, Mesoamerica is home about 7 percent of the earth’s biological diversity.

In recent decades, Mesoamerica has seen some of the highest deforestation rates in the world; between 1980 and 1990, deforestation averaged 1.4 percent annually, and it is estimated that 80 percent of the area’s original habitat has been cleared or severely modified. More than half of Mesoamerica’s forests have been lost and approximately 90 percent of its primary or “frontier” forests have been logged, converted to agriculture, or replaced with tree plantations.

Wildlife corridors become especially important in the face of human activities such as roads, development, or logging that may bisect the routes that animals normally traverse.  Animal movement allows an exchange of individuals between populations, which may help prevent the negative effects of inbreeding and reduced genetic diversity that often occur within isolated populations.

In the Mamoni Valley, where the ecoReserve project will be located, the wildlife corridor has been partially degraded by logging and cattle-ranching which has turned primary forest into pastures or barren dirt.  Animals are reluctant to traverse these open areas because it makes them vulnerable to predators.

ecoReserve will be reforesting and restoring degraded land and protecting primary rainforest that still exists within the Mamoni Valley.  The ecoReserve reserve will also provide a buffer zone for the protected primary rainforest land of the indigenous Kuna that is still intact. We are looking forward to providing one more link in the chain of reserves that protect the famed Jaguar Trail.