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Nonprofit Hits Milestone Protecting More Than a Million Acres of Rainforest So Far This Year – All With Public Donations


Photo by Trond Larsen / Conservation International

In September, a Virginia nonprofit made a $500 million commitment to preserve biodiversity and, six months later, the Rainforest Trust and its partners have already protected more than one million acres of habitat so far in 2022.

Since 1988, Rainforest Trust has safeguarded more than 38 million acres of vital habitat by establishing protected areas in partnership with local communities—all through public donations.

Studies show that protected areas are one of the most cost-effective ways to safeguard nature and vulnerable Indigenous populations.

Acres protected this year include projects in Belize, Ecuador, Guatemala, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.

Dozens of endangered species live in these protected areas, including:

• In Belize, they worked with partner Re:Wild to protect the Maya Forest Corridor, where the critically-endangered Central American river turtle is the last species in its scientific family.

• In Ecuador, they helped protect acres in the Bigal Biological and Rio Canandé Reserves, which contain more than 350 different bird species, the critical Mache Cochran frog, and the largest surviving population of Brown-headed Spider Monkeys—listed as one of the 25 most endangered primate species on earth.

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• In Guatemala, they’ve protected important habitat for the Guatemala spikethumb frog, and endangered Yucatán black howler monkey and Geoffroy’s spider monkey.

• In Bangladesh, they helped establish marine protection areas along the Teknaf Coast and St. Martin Island—a total of nearly 430,000 acres, home to sea turtles, the critically endangered Ganges shark and Staghorn coral, as well as the endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin.

• In Myanmar, Rainforest Trust worked with Friends of Wildlife to establish Zalontaung National Park and Maharmyaing Wildlife Sanctuary, for a combined total of over 350,000 acres protected.

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Most importantly, 99 percent of the forests protected by Rainforest Trust remain standing today—and the nonprofit is well on its way to protecting 125 million more acres by 2025.

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