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Protect Las Tángaras Cloud Forest

Item # 46425

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The Las Tángaras area of northwestern Colombia is perhaps the least known rainforest on Earth. It is home to many endangered species, and may hold one of the greatest concentrations of species new to science. But private landowners are selling parcels of this incredibly diverse ecosystem to timber and mining companies, and also for pastureland, destroying the delicate forests.

During September of 2010, a team of tropical biology experts visited the previously unstudied forests of Las Tángaras. In just a few days, the team discovered countless exciting amphibian, butterfly, plant, and bird species. Spectacular multicolored frogs were found and are believed to reside nowhere else on Earth. Many of the amphibians uncovered during the expedition may be entirely new species! The area is also home to several threatened birds, including the endangered Chocó Vireo and Gold-ringed Tanager.

With its local partner, Fundación ProAves, Rainforest Trust has designed a conservation plan for high-risk areas known to be critical for the largest number of endangered species. The proposed Las Tángaras Protected Area will be one of the most diverse and important rainforest sites on Earth, and will stretch from 200 to 12,900 feet above sea level. This area will also protect the watershed of the Rio Atrato, which serves as a vital resource for tens of thousands of inhabitants living in poor rural communities.

The plan is to identify and acquire roadside property that will best protect the forests, as well as several isolated indigenous communities. When companies or investors buy these properties, they gain access to and take advantage of the wilderness behind them. So, by buying and protecting these points of access, we can stop encroachment into a vast neighboring wilderness area of more than 82,000 acres -- which means every acre secured helps protect an additional 15 acres.

You can help. $25 purchases 1/4 of an acre. Because we are buying road frontage in advance of land speculators, the purchase of 1/4 of an acre actually ensures that nearly four acres of critical habitat are protected!

Rainforest Trust (formerly World Land Trust-US) is proud to have saved over 7 million acres of endangered habitats in 15 countries and 65 sites since its inception in 1989. Their proven conservation approach and established network of dedicated local conservation organizations allow them to identify key rainforest sites containing the last populations of endangered wildlife under imminent threat. Rainforest Trust moves swiftly to purchase and protect these biodiversity treasures permanently throughout Central and South America. Their effective model empowers indigenous communities and local partners to steward their own lands. Through this stewardship, as well as education, training, and economic stimulants like eco-tourism for the indigenous people, Rainforest Trust is ensuring the lands they save are securing a rich and more diverse future for all life on earth.

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