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The World Land Trust eBulletin Issue 41, September 2006

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Special Endangered Species Issue

In this issue:
Ecuador: Endangered species at Tapichalaca
Brazil: Red Billed Curassow back in REGUA Reserve after 30 year gap
Belize: Big cat spotting
India: More than just Elephants using wildlife corridors
News in Brief

Ecuador: Endangered species at Tapichalaca 

Puma and Tapir sighted in WLT reserve Tapichalaca, Ecuador

The Lodge at Tapichalaca, one of the Ecuador reserves owned and managed by the Jocotoco Foundation, has recently received daytime visits from Puma and the rarely seen and globally endangered Woolly Mountain Tapir. Before the population spread in the Americas Puma ranged across most of North, Central and South America, and even today they have the widest range of any new world land mammal. But due to habitat loss and persecution they are classed by IUCN as Near Threatened and they are rarely seen, making this an exciting sighting at Tapichalaca.

A Woolly Mountain Tapir
A Woolly Mountain Tapir spotted in the Tapichalaca reserve, Ecuador.

The Woolly Mountain Tapir is the most threatened of the four species of tapir. They are found only in cloud forests of the Andes in Colombia and Peru and depend on continuous stretches of forest rather than isolated patches to successfully breed and maintain a healthy population.They live at elevations of around 2,000 to 4,000 meters and since at this altitude temperatures regularly fall below freezing, the animal’s woolly coat is essential. Even baby tapirs are born with woolly fur. When around other members of their species, Mountain Tapirs communicate through high-pitched whistles but for the most part they are shy and lead solitary lives. Despite their bulk, they travel easily through dense foliage, up the steep slopes of their hilly habitat, and in water, where they often wallow and swim. They are mainly active from afternoon to early morning, browsing on plants and shoots which they grab with their prehensile snout.

Make a donation to the WLT's Ecuador Project

Read more about WLT's Ecuador Project

Brazil: Red Billed Curassow back in REGUA Reserve after 30 year gap 

Red Billed Curassow to be re-introduced into Río state after 30 year gap

REGUA’s Christine Steiner is currently carrying out an exciting reintroduction of Red Billed Curassow into the REGUA reserve in the Atlantic Rainforests of Brazil. This species is a Brazilian endemic but numbers have plummeted due to loss of forest habitat. Six birds have been kept in a very large cage in the forest to get them acclimatized to their surroundings and allow for a ‘soft release’. This is the first time that this fantastic bird has stepped back into the Río de Janeiro state after a lapse of 30 odd years, and has not been recorded on the REGUA property for 120 years. The birds were released in August and are being tracked using telemetry equipment to establish precisely their behaviour and adaptation back into the wild.

Make a donation to the WLT's Brazil Project

Read more about the WLT's Brazil Project

Belize: Big cat spotting

High school students sight some of worlds rarest cat species

An Ocelot in Belize
Ocelot: Lucky high school students in Belize spotted not only an ocelot but two other big cats as well.

John Burton, WLT CEO, has been to Belize about 15 times and hasn’t seen a Jaguar ~ the only cat he has seen during all those visits to the Río Bravo Conservation and Management Area is the strange Jaguarundi. But 18 Merrill High School students from Wisconsin certainly had beginners luck. They saw three out of the five of the big cat species which occur in Belize all in one trip! During a week long stay at the Programme for Belize Field Station in June they saw not only Jaguar but Ocelot and Puma as well. If they had stayed a few more days we wonder what the chances of them seeing Margay and Jaguarundi would be? All five in one trip would certainly be a record.

Read more about the WLT's Belize Project

India: More than just Elephants using corridors in India 

Reserch has shown that it's not just elephants that benefit from the creation of wildlife corridors in India

Diagram showing the annual usage of Siju rewark Corridor by different species.
Diagram showing the annual usage of Siju Rewak Corridor by different species (See a larger image on www.worldlandtrust.org/images/diagrams/corridor-use-l.jpg.)

WLT is actively raising funds to support Elephant corridors with The Wildlife Trust of India. The first, in Meghalia state, connects the Siju Wildife Sanctuary with the Rewak Reserve Forest in N E India. This is an important area for Asian elephant populations but a nine month study has shown that many other animals are taking refuge in the corridor too. We were very excited to learn that Tigers and Clouded Leopards have been recorded and will be looking into the significance of the corridors for big cats in more detail. Other endagered species shown to be using the corridors include Rhesus Macaque and Capped Langur.

Make a donation to the WLT's Elephant Corridor Project

Read more about the WLT's Elephant Corridor Project

News in Brief

Win a Trip to the Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil

Courtesy of Trips Worldwide WLT has launched a competition enabling two lucky people to win a trip of a lifetime to the Brazilian Rainforest. The prize includes three nights' half board in the bustling metropolis of Río de Janiero with tour of the city as well as two nights’ full board at the REGUA reserve lodge, where guides, tours and facilities are included. To enter simply text WLT EXPRESS followed by your name and address to 87050 but hurry because the competition ends on Friday the 15th of September! (Open to UK callers only) Full competition details on www.worldlandtrust.org/news/brazil-holiday.htm

British Birdwatching Fair, Rutland Water

It was another enjoyable year for the World Land Trust at the British Birdwatching Fair. This year the exhibit focussed on Carbon Balancing and attracted a lot of interest from many of the tens of thousands of visitors who attended over the weekend. Read about the Bird Fair on www.worldlandtrust.org/news/events.htm

EBulletin survey results

The results for the eBulletin survey are in and we would like to thank everybody who took the time to respond. The results proved to be very interesting and we will be using your suggestions to improve the eBulletin as well as presenting the full results in the next issue.

The World Land Trust is a UK based conservation charity no.1001291 concerned with the protection of threatened habitats world wide.
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