BIAZA Buy an Acre News: March 2014

Welcome to the new look monthly update from BIAZA's conservation partner World Land Trust (WLT).

This first issue has been sent to as many BIAZA contacts as possible, if you have not subscribed but would like to - then please subscribe here.

We want this newsletter to go out to as many people as possible so  please forward it to anyone who may be interested. 

We also want to hear from you. Please send us news and photos of your collections and fundraising efforts, so we can feature them in future updates.

If you have any questions about this project - or if you're not receiving the update and would like to - please send an email to

Thanks and enjoy!

BIAZA Buy an Acre launched

WLT-BIAZA Buy an Acre logo.

WLT and BIAZA launched BIAZA Buy an Acre at the end of February with the aim of raising £10,000 to safeguard 100 acres of land in Sierra Gorda, Mexico, in partnership with WLT's Mexican partner Grupo Ecologico Sierra Gorda (GESG).

An area of wonderful ecological diversity, Sierra Gorda is Mexico's richest area for mammal diversity. The mountainous region is home to all six cat species found in Mexico - Jaguar, Puma, Bobcat, Margay, Ocelot and Yaguarundi. More than 130 other mammal species have been recorded including Black Bear, Neotropical Otter and Queretaro Pocket Gopher. In addition there are 334 species of birds, including Military Macaw, Great Curassow and Maroon-fronted Parrot.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for BIAZA members to pull together and, by saving this precious habitat, to achieve a really significant conservation goal" said Kirsten Pullen, Chief Executive of  BIAZA.

The initiative was welcomed by Banham Zoo, a member of BIAZA. "This is an exciting  project, effective in terms of conserving species, and simple to communicate to staff and visitors" said Gary Batters, Director of Conservation and Education. "I think BIAZA Buy an Acre will be very successful"

BIAZA Member of the Month: Paradise Wildlife Park

Group picture of the cheque handover at PWP. © PWP.

Paradise Wildlife Park (PWP) in Broxbourne, has donated £1,000 for BIAZA Buy an Acre.

The cheque for £1,000 was presented on Saturday 22 March to Kelly Jacobs, WLT Education, Outreach & Training Manager, at an evening event for staff and Friends of PWP.

At the event Peter Sampson, founder of PWP, spoke passionately about the need to conserve habitats. "There is no point in zoos managing and preserving endangered species if there is nowhere for them to live in the wild" said Peter, who is also the founder of Wildlife Heritage Foundation, based at the Big Cat Sanctuary in Kent.

PWP has supported the WLT-BIAZA partnership since 2006 when WLT first formed a relationship with BIAZA. In 2007 Friends of PWP made their first donation, towards purchasing a property in the Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil, now the BIAZA Reserve.

Since then PWP's Friends, staff, volunteers and visitors have been staunch supporters. They donated to the BIAZA Keepers of the Wild project to pay the salaries of rangers patrolling reserves supported by WLT, and in 2013 a group of intrepid keepers from PWP's Paddocks Section bungee jumped to raise more than £2,500 for WLT to save land of conservation value in Ecuador.

Pictured above, from left to right, Lynn Whitnall (PWP Director & Trustee), Kelly Jacobs (WLT Education, Outreach & Training Manager), Barbara Turner (Friends of PWP) and Peter Sampson, PWP founder and owner.

Featured Creature: Puma (Puma concolor)

Camera-trap image of Puma in Sierra Gorda, Mexico. © GESG.

Mexico's Sierra Gorda, the subject of BIAZA Buy an Acre funding, is home to all six cats found in Mexico.

Although the Puma is registered as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, sightings of them are rare and always a cause for celebration.

In late February, a camera-trap in La Tinaja reserve in Mexico's Sierra Gorda recorded a puma (pictured). The camera-trap was monitored by Abel Resendiz, a reserve ranger employed by Grupo Ecologico Sierra Gorda, with funding from WLT's Keepers of the Wild appeal. (In 2011 and 2012, Abel was also supported by BIAZA Keepers of the Wild funding.)

BIAZA Buy an Acre Action Pack

WLT and BIAZA have prepared a BIAZA Buy an Acre Action Pack for members, which is available on the BIAZA website

Included in the pack is information about the biodiversity of Sierra Gorda and other resources including a poster, banner, logos, images and a QR code to link zoo animal interpretation to information about the project. More information and Action Pack on BIAZA website»

World Land Trust News: Saving Armenia's Leopard

Caucasian Leopard. © Misad /

World Land Trust (WLT) needs your help to win a conservation grant of €30,000 (£25,000) for the conservation of habitat for the endangered Caucasian Leopard in Armenia.

The project - Saving Armenia's Leopard - is one of six projects competing for the grant in a poll organised by the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA).

The voting started on 17 March 2014, and after nine days more than 14,000 votes had been cast. Saving Armenia's Leopard is leading the poll, but we are not complacent as there are still five more days of voting until the poll closes on 31 March 2014.

Please visit WLT website to find out how to vote for Saving Armenia's Leopard »