Israeli non-profit environmental organisation This Is My Earth (TiME) has crowd funded over $30,000 (£24,065) in order to purchase 200 acres of land in the El Toro District rainforest region of the Peruvian Andes.
This is TiME’s first environmental conservation campaign, and the project will create a nature reserve for over 300 species of birds, lizards and mammals, protected from deforestation and poaching.
TiME was founded by two leading Israeli ecologists, Dr. Uri Shanas of Haifa University, and Professor Alon Tal of Tel Aviv University.
Dr. Uri Shanas stated: “Every second that passes the world loses an area of forest the size of a football field. About half of the world’s biodiversity is located in what are called biodiverse hotspots. These hotspots make up about 2.3% of the earth’s surface, and approximately half of that land is for sale. It can be bought cheaply, something which we intend to do”.
Dr. Shanas continued: “In theory, these efforts can aid in protecting the majority of the world’s biodiversity”.
The El Toro region is under constant threat of being sold by the Peruvian government for the establishment of new farms. The urgent purchase of the biodiversity hotspot in Peru was selected due to its vital importance as a corridor between other protected areas in Peru and Brazil.
Critically endangered species, such as the woolly monkey, have been threatened with extinction in most of the habitat, repeatedly featuring on a list of the top 25 endangered primates. However, the El Toro region has seen a 30% increase in the population in this particular location, with 50% of the entire wild population residing there.
The land will be purchased in the local Yambrasbamba Campesino community, and will be managed by a local conservation organisation Neotropical Primate Conservation.