World Land Trust is encouraging supporters to Plant a Tree in Ecuador this Easter.
The Easter festival celebrates the cycle of life, death and resurrection. A time of rebirth and new beginnings is the perfect moment to make a gift donation to Plant a Tree.
Tree planting in Jorupe
Donations to the World Land Trust’s (WLT) Plant a Tree programme from 2013 onwards are funding a reforestation programme in Jorupe Reserve, owned and protected by WLT’s partner organisation Jocotoco Foundation.
This reserve is located at the very southern tip of Ecuador, close to the Peruvian border and protects an important part of Tumbesian dry forest. The forests of this region are some of the richest on earth but are also some of the most threatened, with less than 5 per cent of the original forest remaining.
Jorupe Reserve protects around 1,200 hectares of deciduous forest, which is home to many threatened and endemic species of plants and animals. More than 50 bird species are found here including the rare Henna‐Hooded Foliage‐Gleaner, King Vulture, Ochre-bellied Dove, Blackish-headed Spinetail, Watkins’ Antpitta, Gray-breasted Flycatcher, and White-tailed Jay.
The White-tailed Jay, known locally as Uracca, is the flagship bird of the Visitor Lodge at Jorupe, which has been named in its honour: the Urraca Lodge.
Forests at risk
Tumbesian dry forests are under increasing pressure, particularly from expanding farms. The Andean and Western coastal provinces are most at threat due to the relatively high human population density in this area. For this reason WLT is helping Jocotoco Foundation to help restore forests in the most threatened regions.
The Jocotoco Foundation owns and protects nine nature reserves and, apart from assisting in land purchase across many of the reserves, WLT has helped to reforest degraded lands at four of them, thanks to support from WLT’s corporate supporters.
Planting programmes focus on native pioneer species which are quick to establish and can shade out competition and restore soil condition. The trees planted are a mix of species found in the surrounding primary forest.
In Jorupe, reserve rangers collect seed from the forest trees to raise saplings in the reserve’s nursery. The Guayacan (Albizia pistaciifolia), for example, is indigenous to the area and is commonly planted as part of the reserve’s reforestation programme.
5,000 trees planted in Brazil
World Land Trust launched its Plant a Tree programme in 2011. The programme provides funds to enable partner organisations to plant trees to reconnect fragmented areas of forest habitat.
In the first year of the programme, 5,000 native trees were planted in the Guapi Assu Reserve in the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil. With more donations to Plant a Tree, significant numbers of trees can be planted in other parts of South America.