In a huge success for the conservation of Sierra Gorda’s ancient forests, several tracts of cloud forest totalling 1,489 acres has been bought for conservation thanks to World Land Trust supporters.
Some of the trees in Sierra Gorda are up to hundreds of years old, but without protection they are vulnerable to man-made forest fires and illegal logging, devastating this ancient habitat for Mexican wildlife.
Many avenues of support
“In past years the primary support for land protection in Sierra Gorda has come from our Buy an Acre programme, where a donation of £100 can save an acre of habitat,” says Dan Bradbury, Director of Communications and Development at World Land Trust.
“However, this year there have been several opportunities to protect these forests brought to our attention by our partner Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda (GESG). So, in addition to the support from Buy an Acre, we launched the Saving Mexico’s Ancient Forests appeal to raise funds for an important purchase of 578 acres, and our corporate supporter Puro Fairtrade Coffee have generously donated to support this and the other land purchases. A global fundraising event, The Big Canopy Campout, raised funds and awareness of the need to protect Sierra Gorda by holding campouts in forests all around the world.
“We would like to thank everyone who supported the protection of Sierra Gorda’s ancient forests this year, which has altogether funded the protection of 1,489 acres of this precious habitat to date, home to rare salamanders, big cats, and many ancient trees.”
Connecting forests for Mexican wildlife
Roberto Pedraza Ruiz, Head of the Land Conservation programme at GESG, thanks everyone who has supported and continues to support forest conservation in Sierra Gorda, “Sierra Gorda is classified as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO due to its wildlife being of scientific and natural interest worldwide, but unfortunately this does not automatically give this vital habitat protection on the ground.
“Instead, piece by piece, every person and organisation donating to save these forests is enabling us to give this habitat the protection it deserves. By purchasing these properties now, we are closing the gaps between the areas we have bought with our partners, such as World Land Trust, and ensuring connectivity within the biosphere. This benefits the animals who need large areas to roam, such as Jaguars, and many other species, such as Margays, Ocelots, Great Curassows, Kinkajous, and White-fronted Parrots.”
World Land Trust supporters have now ensured the protection of more than 11,000 acres of forest under GESG’s guardianship, but there is still much more that can be done. Donations to our Buy an Acre programme will continue to support land purchases in Sierra Gorda for £100 an acre as land becomes available for purchase.
Once land has been bought, the ongoing protection is ensured by the patrols of wildlife rangers on the ground, such as GESG’s rangers Miguel Flores and Abel Reséndiz, who are supported by our Keepers of the Wild programme.