LOCATION: Renacer Negro Afro-Colombian Territory, Colombia
SIZE: 176,676 acres
KEY SPECIES: Golden Poison Frog and many endangered amphibians
HABITAT: Colombian Chocó
THREATS: Illegal mining and logging
ACTION: Raise $145,000 to save 177,000 acres
LOCAL PARTNERS: Local communities and ProAves
FINANCIAL NEED: $145,000 for a multifaceted conservation program
AMPHIBIANS MATTER! The world's amphibians are flagships for the status of global biodiversity, play a vital role in the food chain, and have been found to produce chemicals capable of treating human diseases including diabetes, high blood pressure, and HIV. Sadly, these tiny ambassadors for the health of our planet are being lost at an alarming rate with destruction of habitat the leading cause.
The global Red List of Threatened Species reports that of the 6,285 known species of amphibians, more than 3,900 species are in danger--making amphibians the most threatened group of biodiversity on the planet. We have already lost forever at least 160 species. This is the greatest extinction episode in the history of amphibians, and one of the biggest conservation challenges in the history of humanity.
But there is hope! Amphibian species occur over relatively small ranges and are concentrated in the tropics where WLT-US works, making targeted land conservation a highly effective way to help protect these species from extinction.
The Golden Poison Frog (Phyllobates terribilis), is the most poisonous animal on Earth but is at imminent risk of extinction. Dependent on primary forest, the Golden Poison Frog occurs patchily across a few thousand acres of rainforest on the Pacific coastal plain of the Chocó in western Colombia. Endangered, the main threats to this frog's habitat include illegal mining and logging. This remarkable amphibian was labeled "Terribilis" because its skin is drenched in alkaloid poison which prevents nerves from transmitting impulses and eventually causing heart failure. This frog's unique toxins have significant medical abilities to combat leukemia, osteoporosis, infections of the liver, and even cancer.
The core of the Golden Poison Frog habitat occurs in the Renacer Negro Territory, in the heart of the Colombian Chocó region--one of the top biodiversity hotspots on the planet. It is thought to hold between 5-7% of all biodiversity on Earth, making it a critical focus for conservation. This Territory is also home to roughly 300 Afro-Colombian families living in absolute poverty along the Rio San Miguel (near Timbiqui). In May 2001, these families were assigned full rights to the Renacer Negro Territory by the Colombian government and have directly manifested their interest in entering into partnership with WLT-US and our partner organization to protect their forests.
Dr. Paul Salaman, CEO of WLT-US, traveled to the site of this project in February of 2013. Watch him expound on the importance of this project while holding the world's deadliest animal in his hands!
A central action of the project will be to establish, in partnership with the local communities, strict conservation areas across the territory of mangroves, rainforests, cloud forests, and critical paramo watersheds protecting these habitats into perpetuity. ProAves, with WLT-US support, would provide community assistance and training to build capacity towards environmentally-friendly economic development as well as education to improve livelihoods in the impoverished region. In return, communities are committed to removing exploitative forces bent on destroying their culture and environment.
The location of the Golden Poison Frog and other endangered species within the 176,676 acre Renacer Negro Afro-Colombian Territory highlights the importance of a multifaceted conservation program that involves both private and community-protected areas. The proposed action would protect a broad elevational gradient to ensure the future survival of the frog and many other endemic and threatened biodiversity, stretching from mangroves on the Pacific up to paramo grassland on the highest peaks of the Western Cordillera.
JOIN US TO SAVE THE GOLDEN POISON FROG--the World's most toxic animal! Support from WLT-US donors allowed for the purchase of 124 acres of private land to set up the world's FIRST protected area for this amazing species. But that is just the beginning of what needs to be done to ensure this unique amphibian and many other endangered species in its rainforest are saved from extinction.
EXTINCTION IS THE ONLY ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUE THAT IS IRREVERSIBLE. With 24 years of experience partnering with local organizations and with generous support from people like you, WLT-US has saved over 4 million acres of rainforest across Latin America. The average purchase price is just $100 per acre. When you donate today, you are maximizing your impact and 97 cents of every dollar will go directly to conservation action to buy and save endangered rainforest habitat forever.
Please act today to help us save the Golden Poison frog and other amphibians who call the Colombian Chocó their home--creatures critically important to the future health of our planet. Together we CAN make a difference for the future of amphibians! DONATE NOW!
Map of the Project Area
View WLT-US 2013 conservation projects in a larger map