Durham, NC, December 02, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- Today, Stuart Pimm, President of SavingSpecies, Ryan L. Lynch, Executive Director of the Third Millennium Alliance, and Pamela Jaramillo Goldhagen of Grupo Ecológico Jama-Coaque announced a new partnership to connect and restore fragmented forests on Ecuador’s northwest coast.
Joined by IUCN-Netherlands, the partnership will provide funding and scientific support to purchase land to be held by Grupo Ecológico Jama-Coaque (GEJC), an Ecuadorian non-profit conservation organization. The corridor project will connect an isolated mountain range on the coast of Ecuador located at the nexus of dry and wet forests within the Tumbes-Chocó-Magdalena Biodiversity Hotspot via two protected areas (Reserva Ecológica Jama-Coaque managed by Grupo Ecológico Jama-Coaque and Reserva Bosque Seco Lalo Loor managed by Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation), which together protect approximately 615 hectares of dry, humid, and cloud forests, and provide habitat critical for the survival of many threatened and endemic species.
Among the rare species protected by this project are the Ecuadorian white-fronted capuchin monkey and Ecuadorian blue glass frog, two species listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
Stuart Pimm, Doris Duke Chair of Conservation at Duke University and SavingSpecies’ President said: “Ecuador’s northwest coast is one of the world’s most spectacular and at-risk biodiversity hotspots. Lowland tropical forests are under attack everywhere and this one has exceptional numbers of species on the verge of extinction. By helping create this corridor, we have a chance to protect those species.”
Pamela Jaramillo Goldhagen, Administrator of GEJC said: “We at GEJC are extremely happy to be partnering with Saving Species and IUCN on our conservation work in the Pacific Equatorial Forests of Ecuador. The level of experience and commitment to conservation represented by these two international organizations will help ensure the continued growth and success of our conservation efforts in one of South America’s most unique and threatened ecosystems.”
The area is unique in its diversity and endemism in part because of its geographic location and the close proximity of distinct ecosystems to one another. In 2005, BirdLife International designated the area as an Important Bird Area (IBA). Population surveys found the fifth highest density of globally threatened species per hectare out of all 107 IBA’s in Ecuador. Ongoing surveys of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians also show high levels of diversity, and many new species are currently being described by researchers.
The area surrounding these two protected areas is severely fragmented and faces one of South America’s highest deforestation rates. Today, between two to four percent of native forest cover remains, leading researchers and conservationists to recognize western Ecuador as one of the most severely threatened areas on Earth.
To reverse the tide of forest fragmentation and threats to wildlife populations, the partnership will help connect isolated forest patches with a conservation corridor. “Once completed, the corridor will connect the higher elevation humid forests of Reserva Ecológica Jama-Coaque with the lower elevation dry forests of neighboring Reserva Bosque Seco Lalo Loor, which will in turn allow for the uninterrupted movement of local wildlife populations between different forest types and protected areas,” said Ryan L. Lynch, Executive Director of the Third Millennium Alliance.
SavingSpecies, Inc. was founded by senior conservation professionals committed to preventing species extinctions. Preventing species extinctions is SavingSpecies’ only objective. SavingSpecies scientifically evaluates projects and then provides funding for land purchase via individual donors. SavingSpecies connects local conservation programs to donors, helping donors reduce their carbon footprint. The projects that SavingSpecies supports restore degraded habitats in areas of the world’s greatest biological richness. SavingSpecies clearly distinguishes all donations for project work from those needed to support administration and operations. SavingSpecies is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, and all donations to SavingSpecies are tax-deductible.
About Third Millennium Alliance
Third Millennium Alliance is a U.S. non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting the research and conservation of rapidly disappearing Pacific Equatorial Forests on the coast of Ecuador through a variety of educational and fundraising activities. Third Millennium Alliance envisions a culture in which local communities recognize both the practical and intrinsic benefits of forest stewardship and manage the land accordingly, creating both economic and environmental sustainability in the region.
About Grupo Ecológico Jama-Coaque
Grupo Ecológico Jama-Coaque is an Ecuadorian organization that manages Reserva Ecológica Jama-Coaque on the coast of Ecuador by working hand-in-hand with local communities to protect remaining remnants of Pacific Equatorial Forests and to restore what has already been lost.