Nicholas and Raquel Locke, Directors of REGUA (Reserva Ecológica de Guapiaçu),World Land Trust's Brazilian project partner, visited the UK in December. As part of their visit Nicholas gave a presentation to representatives from the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) at Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire. BIAZA members have been working with the World Land Trust (WLT) as part of the Trust's Wild Spaces Programme to raise funds to purchase and protect a 1,700 acre reserve in Brazil.
The impressive BIAZA Reserve was purchased in August 2009 and Nicholas' presentation enabled BIAZA members to see images of the reserve they had helped to protect. Nicholas also brought some great news: A puma had been spotted on the reserve, the first time this species has been seen on BIAZA land and an exciting indication of the health of the forest in this area.
Recognising the importance of this habitat and to secure the land as quickly as possible the purchase was made with a loan, a proportion of which is still outstanding. WLT still urgently needs to raise funds to complete payment of the loan and then to ensure the permanent protection of this vital section of Atlantic Rainforest.