By Sriyantha Perera | Settlor, Rainforest Protectors Trust
In 2022, Rainforest Protectors Trust purchased and permanently protected an additional 10 acres of privately held primary forest adjoining Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest in Sri Lanka as part of its long-term project to create a "Protected Buffer Zone". Funding for the conservation of above 10 acres came 100% from individual donations made through our crowdfunding project in GlobalGiving. This tract containing giant Dipterocarpus zeylanicus and other endangered flora, directly borders Sinharaja rainforest as well as a previous 7.5 acres saved by Rainforest Protectors Trust in 2021, thus creating a contiguous protected buffer zone. Creation of a live fence through planting native trees along the border was also successfully carried out.
Acquisition and conservation of unprotected primary forest land such as above is the single most effective method of preventing extinction of the endemic and endangered birds and freshwater fish found here such as the Sri Lanka Blue Magpie (Urocissa ornata), Sri Lanka Red Faced Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus Pyrrhocephalus), Sri Lanka Cuming's Barb (Pethia cumingii), Sri Lanka Black Ruby Barb (Pethia nigrofasciata), Sri Lanka Lipstick Goby (Sicyopus jonklaasi) and the last 2 remaining Rainforest Elephants in Sinharaja. Looking forward to 2023 and beyond, we have 3 major initiatives.
1. Expanding the conservation of additional unprotected forest lands bordering Sinharaja Rainforest.
2. Monitoring and safeguarding the Protected Buffer Zone.
3. Purchase of a suitable property to establish a Rainforest Conservation and Education Center.
We wish to thank all our donors and supporters for your contributions. With several thousand acres of primary forest in the area still remaining unprotected, we are just at the begining stages of this conservation initiative. As we progress on protecting threatened rainforests, we are also taking steps to ensure these habitats stay protected in perpetuity through frequent monitoring. "Rainforest Guardians" are at the heart of this vital effort, hired from the surrounding community and trained to monitor the protected area. We hope you will continue to support us in 2023 and help recruit your friends and family join and be part of this conservation story.
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