El Pantanoso, a wildlife corridor of Yungas Forest between the Calilegua National Park and the Estancia Urundel, is Argentina’s largest area of intact Jaguar habitat. This is one of the reasons it was one of the key projects supported by World Land Trust’s (WLT) Big Cat Appeal of 2014.
It has also been supported by a legacy left by a WLT supporter, and Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. After the area was secured under FBA’s protection in 2016, most of the remaining funds for ongoing land purchase payments came from the generous supporters of the Buy an Acre Argentina programme, and now the land purchase has been completely funded.
Increasing land prices
With this announcement comes the news that due to increasing land prices, the Buy an Acre programme WLT has been running in Ecuador for the past few years has also ended for the time being. All donations to Buy an Acre are currently going towards land purchases in the beautiful mountainous landscape of Sierra Gorda, Mexico.
John Burton, WLT’s Founder CEO, explains these changes: “WLT’s Buy an Acre projects have been buying land for an average of £100 an acre since 2012, most recently in Argentina, Ecuador and Mexico but land prices continue to rise, as there is less and less left, but ever greater demands.
“We have completed payments for the El Pantanoso reserve in Argentina, and are not currently able to buy land at around £100 an acre in Ecuador. Only our partner in Mexico, Grupo Ecologico Sierra Gorda, can still save habitats for approximately £100 an acre. Consequently, this is our Buy an Acre project at present.”
Sierra Gorda is an incredibly species rich landscape with 15 different types of vegetation creating a myriad of habitats for Mexican wildlife. Although Sierra Gorda has been declared a Biosphere Reserve, much of the land inside Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve boundaries is privately owned and unprotected.
WLT has been working with partner Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda for more than ten years, and last year celebrated the protection of 10,000 acres of habitat as a result of this partnership. By donating to Buy an Acre today, you will help save land that is home to 131 recorded species of mammals, including Neotropical Otter, Kinkajou, Puma and Jaguar.
Without protection this land is threatened by cattle ranching, slash and burn forest clearance, illegal hunting, timber extraction and inefficient agricultural practices which lead to soil erosion.