SavingSpecies: The Olinguito

Help Save Olly!

Welcome to our Help Save Olly campaign. We’re raising funds so that our Colombian partners can purchase, protect, and restore land for the olinguito.

Photo of baby olinguito by Juan Rendon.

A baby olinguito. Photo by Juan Rendon for SavingSpecies.

You’ve seen the photos of this adorable creature on the news and websites the world over–and yes, the olinguito is almost deliciously cute! Referred to as a cross between a house cat and teddy bear, millions of people have been touched by the news of its discovery by science.

But the olinguito lives in the precariously delicate cloud forests of the western Andes–one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet–and one threatened by nearby development, logging, and even mining and other harmful extraction activities. SavingSpecies is fighting to protect it. By protecting the olinguito, we are also saving an entire ecosystem, including countless other plants and animals at the same time–and perhaps other species eluding humans and science.

The olinguito is the first new carnivore species discovered in over 30 years and it lives in our project area in Colombia, one of the most spectacular–and threatened–forests in the world. The cloud forests of the western Andes are naturally so isolated and restricted that the species that evolved in them are especially vulnerable to extinction.

The Olinguito, in the La Mesenia Reserve.  Photo by Gustavo Suarez for SavingSpecies.

The Olinguito, in the La Mesenia Reserve. Photo by Gustavo Suarez for SavingSpecies.

We need your help to purchase a tract of degraded, deforested land in a valley adjacent to our existing Colombia project. The increased area adds more habitat and more protection for the olinguito. The land will support a larger population, increasing genetic diversity to improve the long-term conservation prospects for the species.

SavingSpecies is working to conserve the olinguito with colleagues from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, including Dr. Roland Kays. An expert on olinguito biology, Dr. Kays is one of co-discoverers of the olinguito and a co-author of the scientific paper that officially described the species.

“The discovery of the olinguito in these forests highlights how important they are to global conservation, and makes me wonder how many more secrets they are holding,” says Dr. Kays. He continues: “Money raised to buy and protect even one more acre of forest is a gift to the olinguitos, and all the other cloud forest creatures, known and unknown.”

SavingSpecies has actually been working to save the olinguito for years–only we didn’t even realize it! Our project to protect rare orchids and hummingbirds has already proved a boon to science– in addition to finding out that the olinguito dwells deep in the project’s cloud forests, experts discovered and scientifically described nine new species of frogs as part of our work to save this magnificent place.

One of the most important lessons we have come to understand is that when we strategically decide where to best spend resources, we are protecting species that are entirely new to science. What other wondrous creatures may we find here? Are there cures to be found in new plant species, or even beetles?

Photo of baby olinguito.

The first-ever photo of a baby olinguito in Colombia’s La Mesenia Reserve Colombia. Photo by Luis Mazariegos for SavingSpecies.

We knew that if we galvanized a campaign to protect and restore habitat for the olinguito, we would be giving science–and more importantly, nature–a second chance. Please Help Save Olly! We welcome donations of any amount, which are tax-deductible. And please share our news on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, or any place else.




 
 

We stretch your donation dollar further than any other conservation organisation. 
All the money we raise for projects goes solely to purchase, protect and restore land.

We're using this flyer to Help Save Olly. Please print it out and use it as you wish. You can use the shortened URL in your social pages. Olly loves you!

We’re using this flyer to Help Save Olly. Please print it out and use it any place you like. You can use the shortened URL in your social pages. Olly loves you!