Thanks to a donation by Puro Fairtrade Coffee the World Land Trust (WLT) has been able to purchase 215 acres (87 hectares) of cloud forest inside the Volcán Pacayita Reserve of western Honduras. The purchase and longterm protection of this property will halt any further fragmentation of the forest, and allow degraded areas to regenerate naturally. It will also contribute to the wider conservation efforts within the Trifinio Region, the tri-border area of three countries: Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
The purchase has been arranged by Asociación Ecológica de San Marcos de Ocotepeque (AESMO), WLT’s conservation partner in Honduras. They recommended the site as a priority purchase because it is an important first step towards establishing the Pital-Celaque sub corridor within the larger Montecristo Corridor, which includes other sub corridors in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
Biodiversity in Volcán Pacayita Reserve is particularly threatened by the illegal extraction of plants, timber and wildlife. Agriculture is expanding and the number of grazing dairy cattle is increasing, which erodes the forest and contaminates soils and water.
The property protects important water sources, springs in the forest that supply fresh water for several Lencas indigenous communities within the buffer zone of the Pacayita Reserve and in the Sensenti Valley.
The reserve will provide a haven for rare and endemic birds such as the Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno), which is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List, Plain Chachalaca (Ortalis vetula) and Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus).
Mammals include Oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus), which is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, and Pacayita Reserve provides good habitat for one of the few Puma (Felis concolor) populations found in western Honduras.
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