Since November 2013, we have ensured the protection of biological diversity in the properties included in the Network of Private Nature Reserves in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, expanded the protected area and executed payments for environmental services to forest owners.
Our objective has been to restore and protect areas of high biodiversity. During this period, we have carried out 10 surveillance runs through the reserves. Fortunately, we have not come across any environmental crimes of any kind, such as logging, hunting, or forest fires. To the contrary, we have found a variety of jaguar and puma trails and footprints, as well as sightings of several endangered species such as crested guans (Penelope purpurascens), bearded wood-partridge (Dendrortyx barbatus), singing quails (Dactylortyx thoracicus), tayras (Eira barbara), boas (Boa constrictor), Totonacan rattle snake (Crotalus totonacus) among others, which speaks to the health of ecosystems we safeguard.
Moreover, thanks to our management we effectively protected 48.284 ha of forests and jungles through payment for environmental services (PES) to landowners living in conditions of extreme poverty.
Through this strategy much of the large biological corridor that runs east of the Sierra Gorda is protected, with continuous forest cover and the effects of forest fragmentation and human pressure minimized. Our continuous presence through surveillance trips prevents environmental crimes in neighboring properties because the neighbors know of our activities and function.
In all cases a contract is signed by the beneficiary landowner, where conditions stipulate that they must remove livestock, not change the land use and exclude any activity logging and hunting from their property. Meanwhile, our role is to monitor the condition of the property and ensure that the landowner complies with the conditions.
Clearly these activities, apart from having a broad socio-environmental effect and combating poverty, help protect priority biodiversity in real way. The continuous sightings of the presence of big cats, reflects the health of these mountain ecosystems, food chains and their ability to provide environmental services.
Thank you to Global Giving donors for contributing to his essential work!