On the western slopes of the Andes, a flash of colour bursts from the canopies. A deep green blur, flecked with patches of red. This beautiful bird is the El Oro Parakeet. There is only one spot in the world in which this stunning species is found: southwestern Ecuador. More specifically, the Buenaventura Reserve, alongside a few other reserves in the region. This narrow stretch of land is one of the last safe havens for the Endangered El Oro Parakeet, and it’s crucial that it gets the funding and support that it needs to thrive.
Some stunning species
Alongside the elusive El Oro Parakeet, which was only discovered in 1980, there are hundreds of other beautiful bird species that live in the Buenaventura Reserve. The Long-wattled Umbrellabird, El Oro Tapaculo and Gray-backed Hawk all reside here; these being ranked as either Vulnerable or Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Alongside birds, there are many other stunning species that thrive in the reserve. Hoffman’s Two-Toed Sloth, Western White Capuchin Monkey, and the Oncilla can all be found in the 15 square miles maintained by the Fundación de Conservación Jocotoco (FJ).
Something to celebrate
In light of the Birdlife 100 congress (11-16 Sept, London), World Land Trust (WLT) is celebrating the amazing achievements seen throughout the past few years at the Buenaventura Reserve, in collaboration with FJ. Thanks to funding from World Land Trust (WLT), American Bird Conservancy (ABC), and other organisations, FJ was able to complete the purchase of 232 ha of vital piedmont cloud forest habitat, which will be crucial to the further protection of Endangered species such as the El Oro Parakeet and the El Oro Tapaculo.
To date, World Land Trust (WLT) have directly contributed to 1321 ha (3,267 acres) of land at the reserve and have been supporting FJ since 2005. WLT has enabled Buenaventura Reserve to expand in many ways; four properties totalling 240 ha, three lots totalling 107 ha, and multiple land purchases have allowed the important and inspiring work of Jocotoco to thrive, and the lives of many endangered species to be protected ever more efficiently.
The latest land purchase is strategically important, as it connects the main body of the reserve to the lands supported by WLT for the last two years. Due to this, it was important that WLT and the other organisations involved in the project worked quickly to help push the purchase through. This is an excellent example of the importance and benefits of having the Action Fund. Thanks to the generous donations made to our Action Fund, WLT was able to respond quickly and efficiently, ensuring the purchase was able to go ahead with no time wasted.
Whilst we are happy to celebrate the expansion of the Buenaventura Reserve, we are not resting on our laurels. We are always looking to increase the ways in which we can help support their work. Whether it be trees, rangers, or land, WLT is striving to help make the difference our world, and the species within it, so desperately needs.
Whether it’s unexpected urgency for land purchase to extend and safeguard existing reserves, fighting forest fires, or ensuring that reserves are well protected by experienced rangers, we can turn the fate of these at-risk environments around, ensuring their security and wellbeing for the future. You can support projects like this through WLT’s Action Fund programme.