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Suffolk-based conservation charity World Land Trust launches campaign to save ancient forests in Mexico

PUBLISHED: 12:25 23 July 2018

Cypress trees in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve     Picture: ROBERTO PEDRAZARUIZ

Cypress trees in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve Picture: ROBERTO PEDRAZARUIZ

ROBERTOPEDRAZARUIZ

Suffolk-based international conservation charity World Land Trust has launched its latest campaign, which aims to protect 578 acres of ancient forests in Sierra Gorda, Mexico, an area the size of nearly 300 football pitches.

Bumblebee hummingbirdBumblebee hummingbird

The Sierra Gorda mountain range contains many different habitats, including pine-oak forest, tropical evergreen forest, and cloud forest - the most threatened type of forest in the world. They contain several tree species which are classified as globally threatened, including the Mexican Royal Oak and Gregg’s Pine.

The trust, which has a head office in Halesworth, says the forests in the heart of Mexico are being lost to illegal logging and manmade fires.

The forests are also home to a rich diversity of wildlife: from one of the world’s smallest birds, the bumblebee hummingbird, to six cat species including jaguar and puma. The area also holds several rare and threatened amphibians, including the critically endangered big-footed salamander, which was thought to be extinct before it was rediscovered in one of Sierra Gorda’s caves last year.

World Land Trust’s director of conservation, Richard Cuthbert, said: “This campaign is part of a decade long programme with our partner Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda (GESG), which with the help of World Land Trust’s supporters has already safeguarded more than 10,000 acres of habitat.

Big-footed salamander        Picture:ROBERTO PEDRAZARUIZBig-footed salamander Picture:ROBERTO PEDRAZARUIZ

“However, the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve is over 3,800 km2 (more than twice the size of Greater London) and there is critical need to protect this area from illegal logging and fires. The aim of our campaign is to purchase a further 578 acres of this incredible landscape and every donation of £100 will save one of those acres.”

More information can be found at worldlandtrust.org/ancientforests

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