The World Land Trust eBulletin
Issue 15, February 2004
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In this issue:
Ecuador update: Orchid discoveries make Tapichalaca reserve a site
of special scientific importance
Patagonia update: La Esperanza gains Wildlife Refuge status
India update: WLT able to send first funds to save the Indian elephant
Endangered fauna of the Arabian peninsula
Valentines Day Acres a great success
Ecuador update: Orchid discoveries make Tapichalaca reserve a
site of special scientific importance
(Report from Fundación Jocotoco)
The next edition of the Plant Red Data Book of Ecuador, published
2005, will include Cerro Tapichalaca as a site of special importance
because of recent orchid discoveries there.
|Orchids recently found
on Fundación Jocototo's reserves include the genera
Masdevallia, Maxillaria, Lepanthes,
Odontoglossum, and Lycaste.
February, experts attending an international Orchid Conference in
Quito, looked at recent orchid discoveries found in the WLT/Fundación
Jocotoco reserves on Cerro Tapichalaca. In early January, orchid
expert Lou Jost continued his survey work and Nigel Simpson (Fundación
Jocotoco and WLT trustee) and colleagues photographed new orchid
species in Tapichalaca and the Christopher Parsons Rainforest. In
the opinion of the experts, it is possible that ten of these may
be, as yet, undescribed.
In the whole of Ecuador some 4,500 species of
orchids have already been recorded but the fact that new orchids
are being discovered in the Fundación Jocotoco cloud forests
demonstrates both the importance of the reserves and also how little
studied the biodiversity of the cloud forests is. With Lou Jost
looking at the orchids on the reserves we feel pretty confident
that these new discoveries are merely the tip of a botanical iceberg.
As WLT raises more funds to protect more of the
wonderful Ecuadorian rainforests we are able to demonstrate to supporters
that individuals really can make a difference in saving
endangered and even unknown species.
more about the project in Ecuador
a donation to the Ecuador project
Patagonia update: La Esperanza given Wildlife Refuge
(Report from Fundación Patagonia
Natural) Estancia la Esperanza in southern Argentina
has been given Wildlife Refuge status by the Provincial Government
|This juvenile Guanaco (Lama
guanicoe) was rescued after being abandoned by her
herd. Named Princesa (Princess) she now lives on the ranch
where she is being cared for by volunteers.
Estancia la Esperanza
(Ranch of Hope), WLT's project area in Patagonia, has been elevated
to a site of national importance within Patagonia, by being given
the status of a Wildlife Refuge at the end of 2003. One of the reasons
WLT became involved in land purchase on the coastal steppe of Patagonia
was because very little of this important habitat is protected.
Fundación Patagonia Natural (FPN), WLT’s local partners,
have initiated a Landscape and Biodiversity Survey which is being
undertaken by volunteers on the ranch, and recognition of this ground
breaking research is further proof of the site's biological value.
|A rescued juvenile Burrowing
Owl (Athene cunicularia) is being cared for until
it is fully grown, when it will be released back into
As well as protecting and surveying the huge diversity of wildlife
on the ranch, Fundación Patagonia Natural staff and volunteers
are also increasingly involved in wildlife rescues and rehabilitation.
Emma Page, who worked as a project development intern in the WLT
Office until Christmas, has recently spent time as a volunteer on
the Estancia where she has been able to assist in the care of a
juvenile Guanaco, a young Burrowing Owl, a Patagonian weasel, a
Red-backed hawk and an Upland Goose.
more about the project in Patagonia
a donation to the Patagonia project
India update: WLT able to send first funds to save the Indian
Supporters of the Trust's latest project
have made possible the first transfer of funds to WLT's partners Wildlife
Trust of India, to save an elephant corridor in the Garo Hills in
We hear a lot about
the plight of the African Elephant but Indian Elephant populations
are also critically endangered. The Wild Lands Elephant Corridor
project addresses the problem of forest fragmentation which is a
serious threat to the elephant’s survival. The corridor will
link together the Siju Wildlife Sanctuary and the Rewak Reserve
Forest in Meghalaya State, enabling wildlife to move freely between
the two reserves. Please help us empower local families to protect
this vital elephant corridor.
more about the project in India
a donation to the Elephant Corridor project
Endangered fauna of the Arabian peninsula
At the end of February John Burton, CEO of the
WLT, was asked to visit Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates to assist
with a workshop on the Endangered Fauna of the Arabian Peninsula.
The workshops were held at the Breeding Centre for Arabian wildlife
– one of the finest collections of its type in the world. Because
of previous extensive experience with captive European Brown Hares,
John took part in the workshops on the Hyrax and Desert Hare, which
while neither are considered endangered, are threatened mostly by
overhunting. The Desert Hare is classified as Lepus capensis
(the African Hare), but is tiny with huge ears, and may well prove
to be a quite distinct species.
more about the Desert Hare in John's Green Issues weblog
Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife
Valentines Day Acres a great success...
Our suggestion that One Acre of threatened habitat
would make your valentine sit up and take notice really did work.
This year we asked would-be Romeo and Juliets to forget the red roses
which would wilt and die within a few days but instead save an acre
of tropical forest full of wonderful orchids. Once again we were inundated
with donations on behalf of loved ones – many of whom wished
to remain anonymous. Not surprisingly several Valentine recipients
have telephoned our office to ask who sent them such an amazing present
– of course we have kept names strictly confidential so they
are probably still trying to guess!
...and Easter is looming
World Land Trust Gift Acres make excellent Easter
presents too – particularly as we will be offering our supporters
a free bar of Green & Black's Organic Maya Gold chocolate
with every acre saved. But more about this in the next issue of the