MADRE DE DIOS:

The Origin of ARC

This is where it all started! In 2014, ARC acquired the title of a 616-hectare parcel of land in the Madre De Dios region of Peru. There are over two hundred brazil nut trees on our land (we are still counting them!). Not only do these giant trees store large amounts of carbon, they are also the favourite nesting sites for the Harpy Eagle. These raptors are one of the world’s largest and most powerful eagles. Sadly, their populations are declining due to habitat loss, destruction of nesting sites and shooting.

In February 2019, the Peruvian military destroyed the largest illegal gold mining camp in the region. Unfortunately, this crackdown simply dispersed the miners to more isolated areas – including the remote area where ARC lands are located.

With local government proving to have little interest in supporting our conservation efforts, illegal and dangerous miners taking over the area, and COVID travel restrictions, we had to make the very difficult decision to retreat from our land in 2020 in order to protect ARC personnel.

But we refuse to give up!

The Smithsonian Institute has recently highlighted this area as playing a critical role in the conservation of the Madre de Dios landscape. Protecting this land and expanding this conservation project is crucial to the connectivity of the rainforest here. We are currently in conversation with other conservation organizations in the area to discuss joining forces to protect this important region together.

Jana Bell, standing in front of one of the many illegal mining operations popping up around ARC lands.

Jana Bell, standing in front of one of the many illegal mining operations popping up around ARC lands.

LOS AMIGOS CONSERVATION CONCESSION:

Strengthening Surveillance and Control Actions

For this project, ARC is partnering with the Asociación para la Conservación de la Cuenca Amazónica (ACCA), a Peruvian non-profit organization, cofounded by Canadian Adrian Forsyth, a Harvard PhD in tropical ecology, to protect The Los Amigos Conservation Concession (LACC). LACC is 146,000 hectares (360,000 acres) of pristine old-growth rainforest that is home to an abundance of wildlife, including at least 12 globally threatened species, including giant otters, harpy eagles, spider monkeys and jaguars, with over 550 birds on the bird list.

This parcel of land contains 11 species of primates (by way of comparison, all of Costa Rica holds only four.) The land parcel is also adjacent to the Reserve for Indigenous People in Voluntary Isolation. So, it acts as a very important buffer zone to ensure their freedom and right to live their traditional lives.

ARC Wild Protectors are working alongside ACCA’s Promotores de Conservación to patrol and protect this vital wilderness from the threats of illegal logging, gold mining, road development and poachers. Drone and high-resolution satellite monitoring assist the forest guards by alerting them to occurrence of illegal activities within the concession. The forest guards also collect biological monitoring data and provide education workshops for student in the region.

3 toed sloth
3 toed sloth

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