The strategic purchase of 54 acres (22 hectares) of land bordering the Matumbo Gap in Brazil will extend a crucial wildlife corridor in the Atlantic rainforest.
The property protects critically important Atlantic rainforest as well as several valuable water courses; it also includes a gigantic 350 year old Jequitibá tree (Cariniana legalis).
The impressive forest provides a rich seed bank, which enables quick regeneration, and is home to many rare and endangered animals.
Nicholas and Raquel Locke, REGUA project coordinators, are delighted with the outcome of negotiations, which were finalised in November: “On behalf of all those working at the project, we would like to thank World Land Trust for making this purchase possible. The acquisition of a valuable, low altitude section of forest demonstrates our commitment to nature conservation.”
The land was previously owned by three farmers who had used it for growing bananas and other crops. After careful negotiation, the sale was agreed to the satisfaction of all parties. Three hectares will be replanted with native trees, but for the most part, the land will be left to return to forest naturally.
“The sale went through quickly and efficiently and the results could not have been better,” said Nicholas. “We are now looking forward to acquiring the next parcel of land with the help of World Land Trust!”
REGUA purchased several properties in the Matumbo Gap during 2009, protecting 2,020 acres (817 hectares). Since then, REGUA has been making strategic purchases of land adjacent to these properties in order to protect and extend this important wildlife corridor.
Only 7% of the original area of Atlantic rainforest remains, most of which consists of isolated fragments. Preventing any further loss of rainforest is a priority for international conservation efforts.
WLT also supports tree planting and rangers in Guapi Assu through Plant a Tree and Keepers of the Wild. In 2012 funds for two rangers came from British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), a professional body representing the best zoos and aquariums in Britain.