Baby olinguito found in SavingSpecies project site. Photo by Juan Rendon/SavingSpecies.
We are thrilled to announce that, thanks to our supporters, SavingSpecies has fully funded our Colombia Cloud Forest Restoration Project. This project was initiated for a rare mammal, only just discovered in 2013, the first new carnivore to be scientifically described in 30 years.
Soon after the announcement, workers with our in-country partner discovered the olinguito (Bassaricyon neblina) on one of SavingSpecies’ existing conservation areas. We published the first photos of a olinguito cub, which went viral.
Yet, we were concerned to find olinguito denning areas in areas that were not yet protected—indeed, many hectares were already deforested and badly eroded.
Given the popularity of the photos, and enthusiasm for the new discovery, we garnered enough support to initiate another project specifically dedicated to protect and increase habitat for this adorable creature.
Over the last 16 months our wonderful supporters have made this happen and we are delighted to share the good news that we have fully funded the project.
To ensure funds are spent only on purchasing and protecting critical habitat, we partnered with The Hummingbird Conservancy, a Colombia-based non-profit. We then embarked on raising funds to connect, protect and restore 254 hectares (628 acres) for the olinguito.
Our broader science-based strategy ensures the protection and restoration of forest so that a 50 square mile area remains connected with the cloud forests along the main ridge of the western Andes. Arguably, the single-most impactful conservation project in the Colombian Andes, this endeavor is targeted to help countless species to survive the threats of global warming, mining and other encroachments.
We are honored to have had the opportunity to lead the effort for the first project to preserve habitat specifically for the olinguito, and thereby numerous other threatened, endangered and endemic species. We could not have done this without our generous supporters, so they truly deserve the credit for this conservation success story.