Blackpool Zoo has made a donation of £1,000 to support the 2015 fundraising campaign of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) in partnership with World Land Trust (WLT).
The campaign target is £15,000 and the funds will be put towards purchasing El Pantanoso, an area of Yungas forest in northern Argentina.
El Pantanoso lies between Calilegua National Park to the south and a large tract of sustainably managed forest to the north.
Tapir, Jaguar and other threatened mammals range across the property, which has not been logged for 35 years. Since 2009 camera-traps across the property have monitored wildlife, providing an excellent record of the species that make their home at El Pantanoso.
Saving the property is essential as it provides an important wildlife corridor between the national park and the sustainably managed forest, a link that would otherwise be broken if the land was sold and developed.
If El Pantanoso were not to be saved for conservation, there would be a very real threat that land would be cleared of its forest to make way for agriculture and mining. Hunting could take place and there is also the risk that the land might be acquired for commercial logging.
“World Land Trust is determined to save El Pantanoso, and it is very good news that the members of BIAZA are contributing to this urgent appeal,” said Kelly Jacobs, who manages the WLT-BIAZA joint projects.
WLT is managing the land purchase in partnership with Fundación Biodiversidad-Argentina, one of WLT’s conservation partners in Argentina.
Blackpool Zoo has been a generous supporter of previous BIAZA-WLT projects. Between 2008 and 2010 the zoo donated £18,000 to the first BIAZA-WLT project which raised funds to create the BIAZA Reserve in the Atlantic forest of Brazil.
More recently, in 2014 a team from Blackpool Zoo completed the Three Peaks Challenge in order to raise funds for WLT and BIAZA Buy an Acre in Mexico.
“We are delighted that Blackpool Zoo has made a contribution of £1,000. Their donation is a great start to the campaign,” said Nicky Needham, BIAZA Programmes and Policy Coordinator.
World Land Trust’s Wild Spaces programme gives zoos, aquariums and their associations the opportunity to support conservation in the wild.
In 2014 BIAZA members focused their efforts on fundraising to purchase and protect land in Sierra Gorda, Mexico. By the end of 2014, BIAZA had helped save 230 acres of forest with a total donation of £23,000.