Supporters of World Land Trust’s (WLT) project in Mexico, including Buy an Acre donors, have saved 10,000 acres (4,047 hectares) of forest in Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, Mexico.
WLT and Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda (GESG) have been working together for ten years protecting the wide range of forest habitats in Sierra Gorda, home to 110 species of mammals (including Black Bear, Jaguar, Neotropical Otter and Puma) and 339 species of birds (including Military Macaws and Great Curassow).
Giving the forests back to wildlife
Roberto Pedraza Ruiz, Head of GESG’s Land Conservation Program, says “Every acre of forest we have been able to save with WLT supporters has been an investment of the most important kind. Protecting the world’s forests ensures we will have water, oxygen, climate regulation and (of course) the beauty of these natural landscapes. Without these most basic needs, we have nothing.
“Walking through the reserves we have made is like travelling in time, back to when Mexican forests were ruled by the jaguar and filled with species we consider rare today. Through our work protecting and restoring these forests, we are slowly giving it back to them, and we would like to thank everyone who has donated to support us in this goal.”
Why create private reserves inside a biosphere reserve?
Roberto Pedraza Ruiz, GESG
The last land purchase which pushed the figure over the 10,000 acre mark was of a 544 acre (220 hectare) property that was an important purchase to ensure connectivity across a private reserve within the Sierra Gorda biosphere called the Hoya Verde Reserve.
Charlotte Beckham, Conservation Programmes Manager at WLT, explains “Biosphere Reserves are recognised by the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme. They are areas of international importance that promote conservation in partnership with sustainable use by people living in and around the reserves, as land within Sierra Gorda is privately owned the level of protection is dependent on the land owner.
“What we have been doing with GESG is increasing the amount of land within the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve that is actually under private protection and management by conservationists. There are a huge diversity of habitat types across the area, but GESG have focused their attention on the most important and threatened areas to create a network of privately protected areas in the eastern part of the reserve.”
This milestone has been reached thanks to everyone who has supported Buy an Acre, as well as grant funding and generous corporate supporters such as Puro Fairtrade Coffee, but we will not be slowing down.
Sierra Gorda’s habitats include Cloud Forests, Conifer Forests, Oak Forests, Tropical Forests and Riparian Forests, just to name a few. It is an incredibly rich area, boasting 110 species of mammals, 339 species of birds, and recently a salamander species was rediscovered there after it was declared Possibly Extinct. However, the threats continue, and there is still work to be done. Find out more about Sierra Gorda »