Against a back drop of ongoing and successful habitat protection, 2013 was another memorable year for World Land Trust (WLT).
Our special appeal projects - focusing on the Caucasian Leopard of Armenia and the Orang-utans of Borneo - produced exciting results, and there was plenty of good news from the other projects and reserves we support. Chris Packham became WLT's third patron, and a busy programme of events and a dedicated social media campaign kept WLT in the public eye.
We hope you enjoy our review of 2013, a year of land purchases, new discoveries and conservation successes.
Chris Packham becomes World Land Trust's third patron »
Chris Packham - BBC presenter, wildlife photographer, author and natural history expert - becomes WLT's third patron.
Edward Lear exhibition opens at WLT gallery »
An exhibition opening in January at World Land Trust gallery tells the story of Edward Lear, the artist and illustrator, with a display of Lear's prints from the private collection of John Burton, WLT Chief Executive.
Rare, endemic butterwort discovered in Sierra Gorda »
A rare, carnivorous plant is found in Mexico’s Sierra Gorda, in a reserve recently purchased with funding from WLT. The species (Pinguicula martinezii) is known to be endemic to the area, but had not previously been seen recorded on the reserve.
World Land Trust develops Nature Kenya partnership »
Also in January Chris Smith, WLT's Conservation Programmes Officer (Ecosystem Services), and Roger Wilson, WLT’s Senior Conservationist, visit Nature Kenya’s Kinangop, Mount Kenya, Kikuyu and South Nandi project sites.
Leopard presence confirmed in Caucasus Wildlife Refuge »
The efforts of conservationists working to preserve habitat for the endangered Caucasian Leopard in Armenia are boosted by confirmation that samples of fur and faeces found in an area managed for conservation, and supported by WLT, are indeed from a rare Caucasian Leopard.
Kerala corridor success paves the way for Corbett project »
WLT focuses efforts on securing an elephant corridor on land adjoining the eastern boundary of Corbett National Park in northern India. To achieve this, Wildlife Trust of India, WLT's conservation partner in India, will follow the model used successfully to establish the Tirunelli-Kudrakote (Wayanad) Corridor in Kerala, southern India.
Ramsar designation for Beni savanna »
The Barba Azul Nature Reserve in Bolivia’s Beni savanna, which is supported by WLT's Buy an Acre programme, forms part of a new Ramsar site, the world's largest to date.
Mexico land purchase will save a living laboratory »
WLT's Buy an Acre Appeal provides funding to purchase land to extend the Cerro Prieto-Cerro la Luz Reserve.
Borneo: HUTAN presses on with plans for wildlife corridor »
Encouraged by WLT's commitment to raise funds for land purchase in the Bornean rainforest, WLT’s Malaysian partner Hutan approaches landowners in the Kinabatangan River corridor with a view to negotiating agreements of sale.
New exhibition echoes WLT commitment to biodiversity »
Birds & Bees, an exhibition opening in February at WLT gallery in Halesworth, celebrates the often humble creatures that play a vital role in the life cycle of plants, either through pollination or seed dispersal.
Chris Packham shows his support: video now on World Land Trust website »
Chris Packham, WLT's newest Patron, shows his support for the Trust in a short video made by WLT corporate supporter Media Bounty.
Rare and elusive owl checks in to Urraca Lodge »
Also in February, a rarely seen Buff-fronted Owl makes an unexpected visit to the Urraca Lodge in Fundación Jocotoco’s Jorupe Reserve in Ecuador.
Green light for Keeper of the Wild in Honduras »
Also in February, Ruth Canning, WLT's Conservation Programmes Manager (Americas Region) visits Honduras. After the visit WLT announces funding for a Keeper of the Wild in Honduras. The ranger will be employed by Ecological Association of San Marcos, Ocotepeque, at Güisayote Biological Reserve in the west of Honduras.
Wildlife protection in Caucasus Wildlife Refuge is working »
Thanks in part to Armenian Keepers of the Wild funded by WLT, the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge has become a safe haven for wildlife. Rangers report that herds of Bezoar Goats, numbering up to 30 at a time, are now regularly seen inside the reserve.
Camera-traps show tigers in wildlife corridor funded by WLT »
Camera-traps record three healthy adult tigers in Kerala, in a wildlife corridor part funded by WLT. The pictures are a positive indication of the success of the Tirunelli-Kudrakote corridor, which runs through the Wayanad district of Kerala in southern India.
Extending Las Tangaras will protect Colombia’s rare birds »
Negotiations to purchase land to extend Las Tangaras reserve in Colombia near completion thanks to funds from Buy an Acre Appeal.
March Hares & Easter Eggs: new exhibition opens at World Land Trust gallery »
An exhibition opening in March celebrates the popular Brown Hare – still a familiar sight in the Suffolk countryside – along with beautifully painted depictions of birds’ eggs and nests.
John Burton named Natural Heritage Champion »
John Burton, WLT's Chief Executive, is named Natural Heritage Champion by the Charity Staff Foundation. “John has been a leading light in the UK’s international wildlife conservation movement for more than 40 years,” says Rohini Finch, WLT’s Chair of Trustees, who nominated John for the award.
During March, Roger Wilson visits Vietnam to carry out a short consultancy for Viet Nature Conservation Centre (VNCC). Roger’s trip is funded by Birdlife International, and among other things he looks into opportunities relating to a potential Carbon Balanced project. Following Roger's visit, VNCC becomes a WLT programme partner later in 2013.
Also in March, the first verification of the Chaco-Pantanal component of Paraguay Forest Conservation Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) Project is completed according to the Verified Carbon Standard. This releases the project's first carbon credits.
World Land Trust ambassadors united in call for action »
Simon Barnes, Nicola Davies, Su Ingle and Chris Jenkin called for action to save the destruction of the world’s last wild places, at an event organised by WLT in London on 16 April.
Chessington Conservation Fund supports Ecuador ranger »
Chessington Conservation Fund supports a ranger in Ecuador in partnership with WLT and Nature and Culture International.
Phenomenal footage of Beni savanna mammals »
In April we enjoy camera-trap videos from Glasgow University expeditions to Bolivia’s Beni savanna, including a great sequence of a Giant Anteater enjoying a nocturnal wallow.
WLT backs collaborative conservation in Armenia »
John Burton, WLT's Chief Executive, joins an important round table discussion on the future of protected areas in Armenia, on 20 April 2013.
Also in April, Roger Wilson and Mary McEvoy, WLT's Conservation Programmes Manager (Africa), visit Zambia to review priority areas for conservation alongside WLT partner, Wildlife and Environmental Conservation Society of Zambia and another NGO, the Kasanka Trust.
Limerick competition winner announced »
Sally Peberday is named the overall winner of WLT's Limerick Competition for her limerick about an Orang-utan called Joan, who was in danger of losing her home.
Camera-trap records subspecies of Brown Bear in Armenia »
Camera-trap footage from the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge records a Syrian Brown Bear (listed as vulnerable in Red Data Book of Armenia) and highlights the importance of camera-traps for monitoring wildlife and informing conservation strategies.
NCI visit strengthens partnership with World Land Trust »
In May, Bruno Paladines, Program Coordinator for Nature & Culture International, visits WLT’s offices in Halesworth.
English Heritage makes Carbon Balanced commitment »
English Heritage commits to using Carbon Balanced Paper for all its visitor guides. This is projected to save 260 tonnes of carbon emissions.
Also in May, Body Shop confirms the extension of the Wood Positive initiative into 2014. During 2013 under this project, one of WLT's partners in Ecuador, Nature and Culture International, plants trees on 69 acres in Ecuador, and Reserva Ecológica de Guapi Assu (REGUA), WLT's partner in Brazil, plants trees on another seven acres.
WLT's 2013 AGM is held in London on 8 June.
Gil Child steps down from WLT board of trustees »
Gil Child retires from WLT's board of trustees after nearly 20 years. His resignation is accepted with regret at the Trust’s annual general meeting on 6 June 2013.
Miranda Stevenson becomes a Trustee of World Land Trust »
Miranda Stevenson, former Executive Director of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), becomes a WLT Trustee.
Mountain Tapirs benefit from land purchase in Ecuador »
The purchase of a property of 390 acres (158 hectares) inside Ecuador’s Podocarpus National Park provides a safe haven for the endangered Mountain Tapir.
Plant species new to science found in Sierra Gorda reserve »
Roberto Pedraza reports on remarkable species in a remote reserve funded by WLT: agaves new to science and endemic to the high ridge of the Sierra Madre.
Deckchairs raise funds for World Land Trust »
Deckchairs designed to raise funds for WLT have their first public showing at the Chelsea Fringe.
WLT funds successful exchange of expertise »
Financial sustainability, community engagement and land purchase for conservation are topics warmly debated at a meeting of Honduran and Guatemalan conservationists in Guatemala. The exchange is funded by WLT and IUCN NL.
Also in June, Chris Smith visits Paraguay to manage the Paraguay Forest Conservation REDD+ Project on site with Guyra Paraguay.
WLT unveils mobile ‘green wall’ for Halesworth in Bloom »
A mobile green wall goes on temporary display in WLT gallery to mark the launch of Halesworth’s Anglia in Bloom bid. The wall is made available at no charge by Enterprise Plants, WLT’s longest standing corporate supporter.
Cerro Blanco declared an important bat area »
Cerro Blanco Protected Forest has been designated an Area of Importance for the Conservation of Bats (AICOM). Cerro Blanco is owned and managed by Fundación Pro-Bosque, one of WLT's conservation partners in Ecuador. This is the first time that an area of Ecuador has been named an AICOM.
Artist in residence: a first for World Land Trust gallery »
Wildlife artist, former President of the Society of Wildlife Artists and WLT Trustee, Bruce Pearson spends five days working in WLT gallery at the beginning of July as the gallery’s first artist in residence.
A tantalising glimpse of a Caucasian Leopard »
In July we come another step nearer to seeing a wild Caucasian Leopard on film in Armenia. But the leopard is determined to live up to its elusive reputation and only shows us a tail!
World Land Trust launches new flexible website »
WLT receives a positive response to its new look website, which launches on 8 July. The new flexible site is responsive to mobile devices, making better viewing from a mobile phone or tablet.
Land purchase consolidates Buenaventura Reserve »
Thanks to the generous support of a donor in Germany, WLT helps fund the expansion of Fundación Jocotoco’s Buenaventura Reserve in Ecuador by an additional 578 acres (234 hectares).
Caucasian Leopard video goes viral »
WLT's YouTube site goes into overdrive thanks to a video of the tip of a tail of a Caucasian Leopard filmed by a remote camera in the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge. In late July the video has 26,000 views in 24 hours.
Uncovering the secrets of Sierra Gorda »
Also in July, Christina Ballinger, WLT's Writer / Editor visits Mexico to see reserves funded by WLT and to meet representatives of Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda, WLT's Mexican conservation partner.
Also in July, members of La Amistad community in the Atlantic Forest of San Rafael start to receive payments for ecosystem services to set aside and protect forest on their small holdings in the San Rafael buffer zone as part of the San Rafael component of Paraguay Forest Conservation REDD+ Project.
Landmark fund is a lifeline for Paraguay forest »
WLT plays a key role in setting up the San Rafael Fund for Biodiversity Conservation, worth one million US dollars.
Andean Condor successfully released in Ecuador »
For the first time ever, an Andean Condor with a satellite transmitter is released in Ecuador. This historic event is made possible by the combined efforts of The Peregrine Fund, the Andean Condor Working Group and Fundación Jocotoco, one of WLT's project partners in Ecuador.
World Land Trust at Birdfair 2013 »
Representatives of WLT's overseas project partners - Andrea Ferreira of Guyra Paraguay and Denis Mosquera of Pro-Bosque - join staff at WLT's stand at Birdfair 2013.
Borneo Rainforest Appeal launched »
Dr Isabelle Lackman, Co-Director of Hutan, WLT's conservation partner in Malaysia, visits the UK. During her visit WLT launches its biggest ever appeal aiming to raise one million pounds to secure a wildlife corridor for Bornean Orang-utans in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.
Yellow-shouldered Parrots breeding season success »
In August we learn that a record number of Yellow-shouldered Parrots have fledged this year in Margarita Island, Venezuela. This success is due to protection measures taken by Asociación Civil Provita (Provita), with support from WLT's Keepers of the Wild programme.
Caucasian Leopard in Armenia: daytime images »
Less than two months after a remote camera catches a tantalising glimpse of a Caucasian Leopard in the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge, a second video taken in daylight provides even more striking leopard images.
Carlos Ardón: Keeper of the Wild in Honduras »
José Carlos Ardón (Carlos), Head Ranger at Güisayote Biological Reserve in western Honduras, becomes WLT's first Keeper of the Wild in Honduras.
Earth, Sea and Sky: Suffolk Landscapes »
The landscape and wildlife of Suffolk provided the inspiration for Earth, Sea and Sky, an exhibition of watercolours by four local artists opening at WLT gallery in August.
In August, John Burton, Roger Wilson, Ruth Canning and Charlotte Beckham visit Misiones in Argentina to discuss the future of the Emerald Green Corridor project. They are accompanied by Sir Ghillean Prance and representatives from WLT donor Eurojersey for a round table meeting with representatives of the Misiones conservation alliance. At the meeting are members of the Guarani communities, government officials, local landowners and staff of La Fundación Naturaleza para el Futuro and Fundación Naturaleza, WLT’s partners in Misiones.
Roger goes on to Brazil to visit Guapi Assu Reserve, while John and Charlotte go on to Paraguay, where they meet representatives of Guyra Paraguay, the new Minister of Environment, representatives from the Ministry of Tourism and the new British Ambassador in Paraguay.
Also in August, as part of the Paraguay Forest Conservation REDD+ Project, the Yshir community and Guyra Paraguay sign a shared management agreement for Tobich Reserve - the area conserved under the Chaco-Pantanal component of the REDD+ Project. The Yshir now receive regular payments through the project intended to support their community organisation.
WLT-US changes its name to Rainforest Trust: the partnership continues »
In September 2013 World Land Trust-US officially becomes the Rainforest Trust, following a decision by its board that a different name will better reflect their aims and objectives.
Buy an Acre funding extends Hoya Verde Reserve »
WLT continues to build on a successful conservation partnership in Mexico with a land purchase of nearly 600 acres (243 hectares) in Sierra Gorda.
REGUA land purchase protects more Atlantic Rainforest »
Guapi Assu Reserve adds another 62 acres (25 hectares) of Atlantic rainforest to its protected area, thanks to funding from WLT.
Look Out For Elephants: exclusive collection »
WLT and Lily and Lionel launch a stunning range of silk scarves to raise awareness and funds to help protect African Elephants in the Arabuko‐Sokoke Forest, the largest fragment of coastal forest left in East Africa..
Colombia’s tropical forest: 2,500 acres saved »
WLT helps safeguard more than 2,500 acres (1,000 hectares) of Colombia’s threatened Chocó Rainforest.
New mollusc family discovered in Mexico's Sierra Gorda »
A new family of slug is discovered in the cloud forests of Sierra Gorda, thanks to assistance from Roberto Pedraza of Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda, WLT's conservation partner in Mexico.
Bill Oddie and Chris Packham back Big Match Fortnight »
Chris Packham and Bill Oddie voice their support for WLT’s Big Match Fortnight. During the fortnight all donations will be matched by funds generously offered by a small group of donors.
Saving the Bornean rainforest for Orang-utans: it’s now or never »
Preserving the remarkable wildlife diversity of the Kinabatangan region is essential for the survival of its Orang-utans, says Dr Isabelle Lackman in the run up to WLT’s Big Match Fortnight which starts on 2 October.
Bill Oddie video appeal on behalf of Big Match Fortnight »
TV presenter Bill Oddie makes a video appeal urging the public to support WLT’s Big Match Fortnight in aid of Orang-utans in the Bornean Rainforest.
Big Match Fortnight exceeds expectations »
Following the success of Big Match Fortnight, WLT makes progress in safeguarding the Keruak Corridor in Sabah, north east Borneo. The final sum raised during Big Match Fortnight is a staggering £725,152.
Buy an Acre protects threatened dry forest in Ecuador »
The tropical dry forest of La Ceiba Reserve in southern Ecuador is extended by 133 acres (54 hectares), thanks to WLT's Buy an Acre funding.
Neotropical Otter recorded at Barba Azul »
A Neotropical Otter is seen and photographed for the first time at Barba Azul Nature Reserve in Bolivia’s Beni Savanna.
Calls for action at Controversial Conservation debate »
Issues rarely discussed outside conservation circles are raised publicly at Controversial Conservation, a debate held by WLT at the Royal Society. WLT Patron, Chris Packham chairs the discussion
Wild Places Competition: overall prize winner »
Mark Fairhurst wins top prize in WLT's Wild Places Competition for his photograph of an abandoned bothy against a storm clouded sky near Kirkstone Pass in the Lake District.
WLT presents Local & Global: art from around the world »
Art by East Anglian painters and illustrators is displayed alongside work by indigenous Paraguayan artists in an exhibition entitled Local & Global, opening at WLT gallery on 14 October 2013.
Sarah Class and Bill Oddie: live at Halesworth Arts Festival »
On 25 October, as part of Halesworth Arts Festival, musician and composer Sarah Class presents A Musical Safari, a mix of personal experiences, film sequences and live performance. During the show, Sarah is joined on stage by Bill Oddie. Proceeds from the evening support WLT's international conservation work.
The last day of October marks the end of the first year of the Kenyan Forest Conservation Project. As part of the project trees are planted on 235 acres to reforest degraded areas within three of Kenya’s indigenous forests: on the western side of Mount Kenya (in the Mount Kenya Forest Complex), in the Kikuyu Escarpment and in South Nandi (part of the Mau forest complex). In addition, to relieve pressure on the indigenous forest, 95,000 fast growing trees are planted for fuel on small holdings in the vicinity of the reforested areas. A further 20,750 trees are given to schools in the vicinity for the same reason.
Conservation evening links dormice and tigers by way of wildlife corridors »
WLT and Suffolk Wildlife Trust jointly host a successful conservation evening at The Cut in Halesworth on 8 November. Simon Barnes, award winning journalist, WLT Council member and a keen supporter of SWT, is the special guest.
Iranian Cheetah Society: possible new partner for WLT »
Following a successful field trip to Iran by John Burton in November, a conservation partnership with the Iranian Cheetah Society is being discussed.
Lynx caught on camera in Caucasus Wildlife Refuge »
Fleeting footage of a Eurasian Lynx is recorded in the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge on a camera-trap funded by WLT.
Rare dormouse image wins Camera-trap Photo of the Year award »
An image of a rare dormouse on a nocturnal hunting expedition wins top prize in the BBC Wildlife Magazine Camera-trap Photo of the Year Competition 2013 in association with WLT and WLT’s corporate supporter Enterprise Plants.
Surviving the Season: exhibition illustrates World Land Trust’s commitment to conservation »
Works on display in WLT gallery illustrate in beautiful detail some of the many ways in which wild creatures adapt to survive, and the importance of conserving natural habitats for the survival of many creatures. Exhibition opens 22 November.
Typhoon Haiyan spares Danjugan Island »
Despite the devastation in the Philippines caused by Typhoon Haiyan, the marine reserve of Danjugan Island is left unscathed.
Also in November, Chris Smith returns to Paraguay to manage the Paraguay Forest Conservation REDD+ Project and to attend the second VCS verification audit site visit for the Chaco-Pantanal component of the project.
Buy an Acre funding saves 124 acres of cloud forest in Mexico »
Funds from WLT's Buy an Acre appeal secure 124 acres (50 hectares) of cloud forest in Mexico’s Sierra Gorda.
Camera-trap revelation sheds new light on Caucasian Leopard »
December sees the release of camera-trap footage showing full body images of a large male Caucasian Leopard recorded the previous month in the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge. Patience is rewarded. Efforts to raise funds for WLT’s Save the Caucasian Leopard Appeal are redoubled.
Rewak-Emangre Corridor is declared a Village Reserve Forest »
As an important step in linking Rewak Reserve Forest with Emangre Reserve Forest in Meghalaya, the Rewak-Emangre Corridor has been officially declared, which further consolidates WLT’s past success with the Siju-Rewak Corridor in 2007.
Also in December, a land purchase to extend the Narupa Reserve was completed by Fundación Jocotoco, one of WLT's Ecuadorian conservation partners. The reserve is in the Amazonian lowlands of eastern Ecuador, and the purchase of 89 acres (36 hectares) was made possible thanks to funding from WLT and American Bird Conservancy. Including the recent extension, the reserve now covers 1,754 acres (710 hectares).