Israel

Israel-Based Conservation Group Buys Land in Peruvian Jungle to Protect Endangered Species

The spectacled bear, the white fronted monkey and several kinds of jaguars can rest a bit easier now that an Israeli organization has agreed to purchase part of their habitat in the Peruvian Amazon jungle.

This is My Earth (TiME) has been running a crowdfunding campaign to buy 7,000 dunams (1,730 acres) of wild jungle in Peru. The area has a high number of species vulnerable to extinction.

TiMe is an initiative of Prof. Uri Shanas, who teaches at the University of Haifa and the Oranim Academic College in Israel, and Tel Aviv University Prof. Alon Tal, cofounder of the Israel Union for Environmental Defense and Arava Institute for Environmental Studies.

Anyone can join TiME by pledging as little as a dollar as a membership fee, after which they can vote on which regions TiME should acquire next.

In the case of Peru, an area known as the “Sun Angel’s Garden” received over 50 percent of TiME members’ votes, beating out parcels in Belize and Kenya. The region receives its name from a species of endangered birds found there known as the Royal Sunangel.

Lands are purchased by TiME become part of a nature reserve to be managed by the local community.

The closest human communities, including the district of La Primavera, also benefit. Even though La Primavera is a day and a half walk from the soon-to-be TiME-protected area, the village is dependent on the forest to filter its fresh water and to provide electricity via a small hydro-electric power plant.

TiME’s first land acquisition, in 2016, was an area in the Andes Mountains of Peru, home to critically endangered woolly monkey.

“2.3 percent of the planet is described as ‘hot spots’ – regions which are home to extremely rich biodiversity – but where the endemic wildlife and plants face extinction,” explained Shanas. “That’s why protecting even a relatively small area can make an enormous contribution to numerous species protection.”

TiME also works with schools and universities to teach about the dangers of disappearing forests and species extinction. The organization “seeks to provide schoolchildren and students with the tools for being more engaged – offering them the satisfaction of being involved in concrete activities to save the earth.”

(via Israel21c)

[Photo: Whaldener Endo / WikiCommons]