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Two new Buy an Acre projects have been added to our portfolio of projects where land can be secured and protected for £100 an acre. In Zambia, we aim to secure 941 acres of Mulaushi Reserve with partner Kasanka Trust, further helping to safeguard one of Africa’s most spectacular wetland habitats. And in Colombia you can help us save Selva Verde, a new land purchase project with our partner Fundación Biodiversa Colombia, which will protect additional forests and wetlands in Colombia’s El Silencio Reserve. Read on to find out more about these exciting projects and how you can support them.

MULAUSHI RESERVE, ZAMBIA

Target area to be secured: 941 acres (381 hectares)
Method for land protection: 99 year lease
Partner organisation: Kasanka Trust

The Mulaushi Reserve lies within the Kasanka National Park Buffer Zone, its eastern boundary directly bordering the park. Dominated by Miombo (Brachystegia) woodland, the reserve is rich in wildlife, including Roan and Sable Antelope, Hartebeest, Warthog, Bushpig, Common Duiker and Yellow Baboon. The reserve also contains Dambos – seasonally flooded grasslands which are prime habitat for Sitatunga (pictured above) – a semi-aquatic antelope specially adapted to marshy conditions.

Bat migration, Kasanka. Image: Frank Willems

Kasanka’s special guests
From October to December, something magical happens at Kasanka. Calls ricochet against a crescendo of beating wings as the Straw-coloured Fruit Bat migration occurs. Although this spectacle (the greatest mammal migration on Earth) witnesses around 10 million bats, their IUCN-listed status is Near Threatened. A combination of bushmeat hunting, deforestation and human population growth have caused serious population decline. By adding further safeguards to the region, however, the wildlife will enjoy increased protection.

Elephant and zebra in Kasanka. Image: Kasanka Trust

More acres of protected land for threatened wildlife
Kasanka National Park supports over 100 mammal and 500 bird species, from African Elephant to Wattled Crane. In 2013, the Kasanka Trust successfully reintroduced zebra and buffalo to the region. By adding Mulaushi Reserve to the areas under protection, WLT supporters are ensuring a safe haven for African wildlife. Mulaushi Reserve will increase the area protected from human encroachment and provide safer habitats and areas of movement for threatened species such as African Elephant, Sitatunga, Yellow-backed Duiker and Blue Monkey.

EL SILENCIO RESERVE, COLOMBIA

Target area to be secured: 2,471 acres (1,000 hectares)
Method for land protection: Land Purchase
Partner organisation: Fundación Biodiversa Colombia

In September 2018, WLT funded the protection of 975 acres (395 hectares) of rainforest and wetland habitat in Colombia, extending the El Silencio Natural Reserve, managed by our partner Fundación Biodiversa Colombia (FBC). The new land purchase, known as Selva Verde, ensures vital additional protection to the biodiverse forests and wetlands of the Magdalena Valley in Colombia’s Barbacoas region. Now more land has become available to provide additional protection.

El Silencio. Image: Fundación Biodiversa Colombia

Magdalena’s megadiversity
Colombia is one of just 18 ‘megadiverse’ countries – nations that are home to the majority of Earth’s species, with high levels of endemism. The Magdalena River flows from the Colombian Andes into a rich expanse of wetlands surrounded by rainforest, and the extraordinary landscape of the Barbacoas Wetlands is part of this heritage for wildlife. While El Silencio is threatened by illegal logging and ever-expanding cattle ranching, much of it remains intact thanks to the sterling work carried out by FBC. Its rounded approach to conservation has protected the wetlands and forests of Barbacoas while engaging local communities which face their own difficulties. This new land purchase will extend the reserve and protect more of this precious landscape and its remarkable wildlife. Without conservation intervention, it was feared El Silencio would be gone by 2025.

Blue-billed Curassow. Image: Susanne Cohen

Protecting Colombia’s Critically Endangered species
El Silencio is home to three Critically Endangered species: Brown Spider Monkey, Blue-billed Curassow and Magdalena River Turtle. The reserve also protects other threatened wildlife, including the White-footed Tamarin, Varied White-fronted Capuchin, Red-footed Tortoise and Lozano’s Salamander, as well Puma, Jaguarundi, Ocelot and Jaguar.

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