From its Andean peaks that reach over 4,000m in height to the Amazon Rainforest, the Orinoco River delta, the llanos plains, the northern deserts, and the tepui tabletop mountains like the one Angel Falls – the world’s tallest waterfall – roars down from, Venezuela’s dramatic landscapes are home to an equally diverse and impressive spectrum of wildlife.
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HECTARES FUNDED 0 (1,809 acres)
More than 16,000 plant species have been recorded in Venezuela, one of Earth’s 17 megadiverse nations, together with astounding numbers of fish (2,068), bird (1,384), mammal (390), amphibian (360) and reptile (341) species. This is only the life that has been documented and much of it is as unique as it is threatened: many of Venezuela’s species are endemic, with around one in two of its amphibians found only within its borders.
A visitor to Venezuela can see Critically Endangered Orinoco Crocodiles slithering down the bends of one of South America’s longest rivers, black-and-orange Venezuela Troupials – the national bird – serenading from atop tropical trees, and Capybara herds napping by marshy lakesides. There is a wealth of wildlife worth protecting in Venezula, and on the Caribbean island of Margarita, WLT partner Provita has spent years making a difference for a species that especially needs it: the Yellow-shouldered Parrot.
Our partners in Venezuela
CURRENT PROJECTS IN VENEZUELA
Chacaracual Community Conservation Area
Yellow-shouldered Parrots have already gone extinct on Aruba and other Caribbean territories, but in Venezuela, one of their homes is thriving – thanks to WLT supporters.
Margarita is the largest and most biodiverse of the many islands scattered along Venezuela’s Caribbean coastline. There, on the Macanao Peninsula, white-sand beaches encompass dry forests, thorny shrubland, clumps of cardonal cacti and seasonal creek beds, a landscape that Yellow-shouldered Parrots share with mammals unique to Margarita (like the Margarita Deer and the Sylvilagus floridanus margaritae rabbit) and Critically Endangered populations of Ocelot.
This is an important habitat for Venezuelan biodiversity and WLT supporters saved it in two stages. In 2009, they donated to help Provita purchase and protect the Chacaracual Community Conservation Area. In the years since, they have been funding Keepers of the Wild to patrol this land: Provita’s EcoGuardians. As a result, the Yellow-shouldered Parrot population on Margarita has more than doubled, growing from 750 individuals in 1989 to 1,600 in 2019. Provita also recorded 202 fledgling chicks in both 2021 and 2022 – an all-time record.
Provita’s parrot patrol
Our partner’s presence on Margarita has proved decisive time and time again. Every day, EcoGuardians patrol reserve trails, helping to keep parrot trade trafficking and deer hunting at bay. In 2020, a contingent of these rangers chose to stay behind for the parrots as the pandemic brought Venezuela to a standstill, a decision that allowed a then-record 140 chicks to reach maturity.
All this work is being done by the local people who know the land best, with the EcoGuardians recruited from the communities of Margarita. These same communities produce the saplings used in Provita’s reforestation work, which is helping to restore habitats threatened by soil degradation and invasive species. With help from training provided by Provita, Margarita’s residents have been building tree nurseries and lending their eyes to the 24-hour surveillance of parrot nests.