Protection of Critical Species
We’re the proud protectors of many endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs, anteaters, anacondas, black caiman and harpy eagles. We also protect iron wood and cedar trees – two species that are being logged to extinction due to their economic value.
Although ours is a remote part of the Amazon, we’ve discovered the need for a constant presence to protect these critical species from invaders. The situation became more critical after the Peruvian military destroyed the largest illegal gold mining camp in the region. This crackdown simply dispersed the miners to more isolated areas, including remote Ashipal where ARC’s lands are located. The miners illegally dredge the Ashipal stream for gold.
To address this situation, ARC recruited a former park warden from the Department of Wildlife Conservation in Sri Lanka to help develop a forest ranger program. ARC covers the salaries, food, transportation and other costs of rangers.
We care for over 400 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 whose populations are declining due to habitat loss, destruction of nesting sites and shooting. Each nesting pair only has a single chick every two to three years.
We are pleased to be the protectors of many mature ironwood trees – a hard wood species that is being logged to extinction due to its economic value. Ironwood trees are essential for the survival of the macaw. These trees take centuries to grow large enough for cavities to form in their trunks and thus create the dry nesting sties macaws need and use for many decades.
The population of the Amazonian tapir has diminished dramatically in recent years. Due to their large size and relative defenselessness, they’re viewed by hunters as an easy source of protein. Low reproductive rates and habitat loss have worsened their plight, which is alarming since tapirs are a species that helps maintain biodiversity in the rainforest. Known as the “gardeners of the Amazon,” they wander the forest eating fruit and spreading seeds to new locations. Tapirs are reclusive and difficult to see in the wild. We’re thrilled to have encountered fresh tapir tracks on our land many times.
Jaguars once roamed from the United States to Argentina, but today this big cat has vanished from 40 percent of its original range. Jaguars are especially sensitive to habitat destruction and other human pressures. Ranchers and farmers view these beautiful creatures as a threat to their livestock and do not hesitate to kill them. The jaguars that roam our land are safe from the rifles of these rancher and farmers.