We are delighted to announce that the Think Galapagos team have just helped charity Rainforest Concern secure the permanent protection of over 2 acres (around the size of a football pitch) of pristine cloud forest in Ecuador. The fundraising was part of a UK-based charities appeal earlier this month to help extend the Neblina Reserve cloud forest in Ecuador.
The appeal came about after a fantastic opportunity arose for Rainforest Concern to secure a 123-acre piece of pristine forest at the southern tip of the Neblina reserve for a very realistic price of £29,000.
Rachel, with Angel Paz and his brother after some amazing birding in the cloud forest area last August.
Creating a continuous forest corridor
The purchase of this land will help close the gap between the reserve and the nearby protected forest, and bring Rainforest Concern one step closer to their goal of creating a continuous forest corridor between the Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve and community owned forests.
The cloud forests of northwest Ecuador are part of the Choco Global Biodiversity Hotspot, a stunning landscape with many endemic species. Only 2.5% of all rainforests are cloud forest, and these are increasingly under threat from human population growth, which brings with it threats such as cattle ranching, road building and mining. Rainforest Concern is a fantastic UK based charity that takes direct action to protect vital corridors of forests for the benefit of wildlife, as in this case, purchasing land in the name of local NGOs or communities.
More about the Neblina Reserve
At Think Galapagos, we are passionate about the cloud forests of Ecuador. They are one of our favourite places anywhere in the world and we are very conscious of the serious threats they face. The Neblina reserve that Rainforest Concern has helped create is a truly wonderful place. It has healthy populations of spectacled bears, ocelots, rare hummingbirds and last year there was the discovery of a toad presumed long extinct. A new mammal, the elusive olinguito, was even discovered close to the Reserve.
How is Cloud Forest different to Rainforest?
Situated in the foothills of the Andes, the low altitude in the shadow of the mountains makes Ecuador’s Cloud Forest very different from rainforest. It is much cooler than the rainforest (with highs of around 27 degrees and lows of around 13 degrees at night). Because of the blanket of cloud that often shrouds it, cloud forest is also very moist. This moisture combined with the coolness creates a unique climate with incredible biodiversity; the forest is teeming with epiphytes (plants that grow on other plants), mosses, orchids, and ferns as well as a host of insect and amphibian life, not to mention amazing birdlife such as hummingbirds.
Do you want to make a difference too?
If you would like to find out more, or would like to donate yourself to help Rainforest Concern reach their target on this, you can give the office a ring on 01225 481151 or email them on firstname.lastname@example.org