Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Enlarging reserves in Mexico protects vulnerable species

26 October, 2015 - 16:55 -- World Land Trust
Bearded Wood Partridge.
Forest in Hoya de Hielo.

Two reserves in Mexico’s Sierra Gorda have been extended and vulnerable species protected thanks to funding from World Land Trust (WLT).

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In Mexico, WLT has been working with Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda (GESG) since 2007 and the partnership goes from strength to strength.

“GESG is focused on expanding its existing reserve network, and I am very pleased that World Land Trust has funded two extensions in recent months,” said David Wright, WLT’s Head of Programmes.

Hoya de Hielo

In July GESG completed the purchase of 79 acres (32 hectares) following a donation from WLT. The land purchase increases the area of Hoya de Hielo Reserve and provides important habitat for the Bearded Wood-partridge (Dendrortyx barbatus).

The Bearded Wood-partridge is endemic to Mexico and classified as Vulnerable by IUCN. The species has never yet been photographed in the wild, and Roberto Pedraza, GESG’s Technical Officer, is determined to realise his ambition to record it on camera.

Mainly composed of temperate and cloud forest, the property is used by Jaguars (Panthera onca), Pumas (Puma concolor) and Margays (Leopardus Wiedii).

The extension has greatly improved access to the reserve because the road to the reserve runs through the newly acquired property. (Previously GESG needed permission from the landowner to use the road.)

Also thanks to the extension, GESG will now be able to better prevent any illegal logging on the north side of the reserve.

“Thanks to WLT, the property is safe from logging, and another section of the ancient forests of Sierra Gorda is now protected.”
Roberto Pedraza

Cerro Prieto-Cerro La Luz

In September GESG completed the purchase of 150 acres (61 hectares) on the western boundary of Cerro Prieto-Cerro La Luz Reserve following another donation from WLT.

Forested with oaks, junipers, pines and cedars, the property was a priority for protection because it was being logged. Trees that were hundreds of years old were at risk. As a temporary measure, GESG provided environmental service payments to the owner, to stop the logging until the purchase had been completed.

“Thanks to WLT, the property is safe from logging, and another section of the ancient forests of Sierra Gorda is now protected,” said Roberto.

Buy an Acre

GESG logo

WLT is only able to fund extensions to GESG’s reserves because of the generosity of donors to WLT’s Buy an Acre fund. If you would like to help GESG protect more of Sierra Gorda’s forests, please make a donation to Buy an Acre.

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More information

More about Hoya del Hielo:
Margay rescued at Sierra Gorda, Mexico »
Discovering the wild orchid garden »

More about Cerro Prieto-Cerro La Luz:
WLT funding extends reserve in Sierra Gorda, Mexico »

Image of Bearded Wood Partridge kindly provided by Nature Picture Library.

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