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BIAZA Buy an Acre News - December 2014

The latest update from World Land Trust (WLT) in partnership with the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA)

Congratulations to everyone who has donated to BIAZA Buy an Acre!

At the beginning of December BIAZA members more than met their £20,000 fundraising target to purchase and protect land in Mexico's Sierra Gorda. With funds still coming in, the total raised is in excess of £23,000. This is a great effort – and it would be fantastic if we could round up the total to £25,000 before the next project is launched in early 2015!

In this update, we hear from Roberto Pedraza, Technical Officer for our Mexican conservation partner Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda (GESG). As you can imagine, Roberto is delighted to hear about BIAZA's latest fundraising total.

We also report on an image of a Jaguar captured in Sierra Gorda by the BIAZA trail camera, and on the important work of wildlife rangers in Sierra Gorda.

This edition's featured creature is the White-crowned Parrot, and we bring you news of the fundraising efforts of Drayton Manor Park. Also, we take a look back over the news stories published in 2014 relating to the partnership.

As always, please keep on sending us news and images of your fundraising events and activities. We will feature as many as we can in future updates.

Finally, a very happy Christmas and a prosperous new year to BIAZA members, staff and supporters from everyone at World Land Trust.

Kelly Jacobs

BIAZA Buy an Acre Project Manager for World Land Trust

December 2014

2014 is a target-smashing year for the BIAZA-WLT partnership

BIAZA-WLT Working Together logo.

Both World Land Trust and BIAZA are delighted with the success of this year’s partnership project with BIAZA.

The project was launched in February 2014 and focused on raising funds to purchase and protect threatened wildlife habitat in Mexico’s Sierra Gorda region.

“We started out with a target of £10,000. We met the target and doubled it, and so far we have raised more than £23,000. Congratulations all round,” said Kelly Jacobs WLT’s Project Manager for BIAZA Buy an Acre.

“2014 has been an exceptionally positive year for the BIAZA-WLT partnership,” said Nicky Needham, BIAZA Programmes and Policy Co-ordinator.

“More than £23,000 has been raised to protect Sierra Gorda’s precious habitat, as well as the provision of camera traps to facilitate research in the reserve. BIAZA members have gone all-out, with VIP animal experiences, face-painting, drinks sales, wishing well collections and even the BIAZA office team donning their sombreros to hit the streets of London on a Chilli Challenge!”

BIAZA members are now choosing a new region on which to focus their conservation efforts. “We’re looking forward to an equally exciting year in 2015!” said Nicky.

Highlights of the WLT-BIAZA partnership in 2014

Thank you on behalf of the wildlife of Sierra Gorda

Gossamer-winged Butterfly. © Roberto Pedraza.

GESG's Roberto Pedraza is delighted to hear of BIAZA's successful fundraising.

When told of the £23,000 total, he said: “On behalf of the wildlife of Sierra Gorda, from the Jaguars to the crystal butterflies, I would like to thank BIAZA and its members for their strong and effective commitment to protecting the biodiversity of the region.

“My thanks also to World Land Trust for weaving a great partnership from the other side of the Atlantic, for saving endangered species and their disappearing habitat, and for enabling conservation rather than conversation.”

BIAZA trail camera captures fleeting Jaguar image

Trail camera image of moving Jaguar at night. © GESG.

In mid November a trail camera donated by BIAZA staff recorded a fast moving image of a Jaguar at night.

This was the second image captured by the BIAZA camera; the first picture recorded just part of a Jaguar. The camera is monitored by a GESG ranger, Leonel Espino Chavez.

GESG's Roberto Pedraza told us: “Leonel just arrived with the camera traps. And again he captured a Jaguar with the BIAZA camera. He is such a good tracker. It is always so nice to find the big cat roaming, although I’m not sure if it’s the same Jaguar that was recorded in the previous photo.”

“Jaguar images from the BIAZA camera reflect the importance of extending protected areas in Sierra Gorda and it is great to be able to share these recent images with BIAZA members,” said Kelly Jacobs, WLT’s Project Manager for BIAZA Buy an Acre.

Big cats are at the top of the food chain, and their presence in the wild indicates a healthy ecosystem. But, today there are few areas of the world where the food chain is intact enough to support big cats.

“It is very good to have new evidence about the importance of the Sierra Gorda reserves, where large predators can still find shelter,” said Roberto about the Jaguar images collected by the BIAZA camera.

BIAZA staff raised funds to buy trail cameras with a Chilli Challenge earlier in the year. The next two cameras will be purchased  in early 2015.

Drayton Manor Park donates more than £3,000

Drayton Manor branded water bottle. © Drayton Manor Park.

Drayton Manor Park has donated more than £3,000 in its first year of support for the WLT-BIAZA conservation project.

Halfway through the year Drayton Manor’s Chief Executive authorised a donation of £1,000 to the 2014 WLT-BIAZA project, BIAZA Buy an Acre.

Following this, Drayton Manor’s Catering Manager pledged to donate 5p from every bottle of water branded BIAZA Buy an Acre which was sold at the park over the summer. This alone raised £2,234.

Zoo Manager Joyce Roberts said: “We are more than happy to support the BIAZA Buy an Acre Campaign.” Estates Co-ordinator Gaynor Pope added: “We like to do our bit and it is such a simple idea.”

Kelly Jacobs, WLT’s Project Manager for BIAZA Buy an Acre, said: “It has been brilliant to see a new supporter get behind the project with such gusto. Even though it was a small donation per bottle, it still added up to a significant contribution. The 5ps on the water bottles on their own saved 22 acres in Sierra Gorda, plus the initial donation of £1,000 saved another 10 acres!”

Featured creature: White-fronted Parrot

White-crowned Parrot. © Roberto Pedraza.

The White-fronted Parrot (Pionelus senilus) is present in Las Arenitas, the reserve in Sierra Gorda funded by BIAZA members, but until recently it had never been photographed there.

GESG’s Roberto Pedraza only managed to take this photograph thanks to the sharp eyes of Abel, one of the GESG rangers previously funded by BIAZA.

Roberto described the sequence of events: “Abel called me as he had found the nest and knew that it was a species not previously photographed in the reserve areas. He showed me the old, hollow oak that the pair had nested in, and in less than an hour this little parrot was sneaking up on me. I’ve waited for years to take a photo like that and in the end it was so easy.”

Roberto and Abel continued to monitor the nest and a few weeks later the chicks fledged. “More proof that WLT´s supported reserves are doing their job,” said Roberto.

White-fronted Parrots, also known as White-crowned Parrots, need old growth trees with holes to nest in. They are rare in Sierra Gorda because of habitat loss, from illegal logging and trapping for the pet trade. Although the species has a large home range, from northeast Mexico to western Panama, the Red List does report that the population trend is in decline.

This small and chunky parrot is only 24cm high. It is unusually quiet when feeding, although typically emits a screeching call in flight. When at rest it perches on palm fronds.

Are details of your collections up to date on WLT's website?

Please make it your new year's resolution to check the details of your organisation on WLT's webpage of zoological associations.

Please send us any updates to text or logo. If you are a new supporter-donor you may not yet have your own page on WLT's website. We shall be creating pages for new donors in the new year, but you can help by sending us your logo and information in advance. Many thanks!

WLT webpage of zoological associations

World Land Trust News

Common Partridge in Snow in the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge. Image © FPWC.

World Land Trust celebrates the highlights of 2014

Güisayote land purchase will protect critically endangered frog

Extending Cerro Candelaria Reserve gives much needed protection to rare wildlife in Ecuador

Saving Argentina’s largest area of intact Jaguar habitat is key target for WLT’s Big Cat Appeal