Public voting for a project to protect the Andean Condor will open on 16 March and run until 31 March 2015. The project stands to win £25,000 (€30,000) if it attracts enough votes.
The project is supported by World Land Trust (WLT) and Fundación Jocotoco (Jocotoco), one of WLT’s four conservation partners in Ecuador. The poll is organised by the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA).
The Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus) is classified by IUCN as Near Threatened with a population likely to be in decline. The species is vulnerable to human persecution owing to alleged attacks on livestock.
The project will take place within the Antisanilla Biological Reserve, owned and managed by Jocotoco. Located on the western slopes of the Antisana Volcano in central Ecuador, steep cliffs in the reserve are the most important nesting and roosting site for Andean Condors in Ecuador.
Winning the EOCA grant would help Jocotoco develop an ecotourism programme. If the tourism value of the Andean Condor can be demonstrated, along with related economic benefits to the local community, this may lead to a reduction in human persecution of the species and contribute to the financial sustainability of the reserve.
The grant would also enable Jocotoco staff to continue to monitor the Andean Condor as part of a project supported by The Peregrine Fund and the National Andean Condor Work Group.
Other elements of the grant proposal include restoring wetlands for the Andean Ibis (Theristicus branickii), by fencing cattle out of sections of the reserve and tree planting to restore both the páramo and Andean forest habitats.
In 2014 another WLT backed project – Saving Armenia’s Leopard – topped the poll and, if WLT can galvanise enough support, it may be possible to repeat last year’s success.
Both projects were nominated for the poll by Nikwax, a WLT corporate supporter and a member of EOCA.
The poll has now closed. No more email reminders will be sent.