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WLT – Save the Andean Condor

Soaring high above the mountains in the very remotest parts of South America, the Andean Condor is a spectacular sight.

With a wing span of up to three metres, the Andean Condor has a vast range, flying over lowland desert and coastal regions of South America as well as riding thermal currents high over the mountains.

Following the course of the Andes, the Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus) can be found from Colombia and Venezuela in the north all the way to Tierra del Fuego at the southernmost tip of the continent.

Despite its wide distribution, this magnificent bird is in danger. It is classified as Near Threatened by IUCN and its population is in decline.  It is hunted by humans because it is reputed to prey on livestock. Protected areas are few and time is running out.

Andean Condor (juvenile)

But help is at hand. A dedicated team of conservationists in Ecuador are determined to save the Andean Condor. Working with international conservation charity World Land Trust, Ecuadorian NGO Fundación Jocotoco (FJ) is implementing a programme to monitor and protect the Andean Condor as part of a wider conservation programme in the Antisanilla Biological Reserve,  which FJ owns and manages.

Located in central Ecuador on the western slopes of Antisana Volcano, steep cliffs in Antisanilla are the most important nesting and roosting site for Andean Condors in Ecuador and in northern South America.

Antisanilla Reserve

Like other conservation programmes, the Andean Condor project urgently needs funds. In response, and with the support of Nikwax and World Land Trust, the Andean Condor conservation project has been nominated for a grant of €30,000 (£25,000) from the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA).

A grant from EOCA would enable Fundación Jocotoco staff to continue to monitor the Andean Condor as part of a project supported by The Peregrine Fund and the National Andean Condor Work Group.

Other elements of the grant proposal include restoring wetlands for the Andean Ibis (Theristicus branickii), by fencing cattle out of sections of the reserve, and tree planting to restore both the páramo and Andean forest habitats.

The catch is, the project will only win the grant if enough people vote for it in an online poll.

And that is why we need your help. People can only register one vote, so we are counting on supporters to encourage their friends and family to vote as well. Multiple votes from the same IP address (ie most offices) may not be counted so please vote from a home computer if possible. WorldLand Trust believes this to be a conservation initiative that deserves all the help it can get so we hope everyone will rise to the challenge and help us save these magnificent birds from extinction.

In 2014, WLT and Nikwax nominated the Caucasian Leopard for an EOCA grant. Thanks to votes from Nikwax supporters, that application was successful. So let’s repeat last year’s success. Please cast your vote to save the Andean Condor. Thank you.

Votes can be cast online at Polling opens on 16 March and closes on 30 March.


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Nikwax helps protect habitat for Jaguar, Spectacled Bear and Baird’s Tapir in Colombia

1,772 acres of Colombia’s threatened Chocó Rainforest has now been saved thanks in part to funding from World Land Trust, and Nikwax is delighted to have played its part in this purchase!

This year, Nikwax has donated £6,364.20 to the World Land Trust’s (WLT) Action Fund for the trust’s most urgent land purchase and protection projects. 2014 is WLT’s 25th Anniversary year and so far the trust has been able to purchase and protect over half a million acres of natural habitats and the wildlife that depend on them.  Nikwax is delighted to have been part of their success story for many years.

WLT chose to use Nikwax’s donation this year to save some critically threatened, hot tropical rainforest of the Chocó in Colombia. The coastal tropical rainforest of the Chocó, which extends from southern Colombia to northern Ecuador in a thin strip, is ranked as the fourth hotspot for biodiversity in the world.

The Chocó forests are home to an extraordinary diversity of species, including large mammals such as Jaguar, Spectacled Bear and Baird’s Tapir. With more than 200 mammal species, 600 bird species and 220 reptile and amphibian species recorded in this rainforest, it is estimated that around 25 per cent of all these species of animals and plants are only found in the Chocó.

But the Chocó is disappearing before our eyes! This is a result of logging by settlers and timber companies, and more recently a boom in the cultivation of oil palm and biofuel crops, agriculture, livestock production and general development.

Spectacled Bear, Colombia

How do WLT protect the reserve?

Once a property is purchased and a reserve created, the ownership and protection is vested in the trust’s local conservation partner. These organisations belong to WLT’s Partner Alliance and all speak regularly about their particular projects and associated challenges. Recognising that the security of a reserve rests with the local organisation, the organisation’s wildlife rangers work on the ground to keep the forests and their wildlife safe.  Often by keeping a presence on the reserve it acts to deter would-be poachers of trees and animals. For this reason, WLT has a fund specifically designed to support the employment of rangers called Keepers of the Wild, and since its launch in 2011 has supported more than 30 rangers in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Not only do rangers deter poachers and traffickers, but they also carry out important monitoring work using trail cameras, recording species and assisting scientific expeditions.

WLT has been working with local conservation partner Fundación ProAves (ProAves) in Colombia since 2008 and has contributed to several land purchases. This new purchase is on the banks of the Atrato river and close to national public lands and indigenous reserves. Rising to 400 metres above sea level, this typical Chocó rainforest has very high rainfall and humidity. It is close to Las Tangaras Reserve, which WLT has been supporting for some years.

Colombia, Chocó forest habitat

Colourful Puffleg Hummingbird found in the Choco © Luis Mazariegos

Spectacled Bear © Paul Salaman

Choco forest of Colombia © ProAves

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World Land Trust – true to its word: Saving Real acres in Real places

WorldLand Trust (WLT) celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year and believes it has something to shout about. Its strapline ‘Saving Real acres in Real places’ is as true today as it was when they established its first project, Programme for Belize, in 1989.  In those days it was possible for the charity to buy threatened forest for £25 an acre but unfortunately that is no longer the case. However, WLT hasn’t strayed from its mission and still funds land purchase as a direct route to land conservation. Through its overseas project partners, WLT funds the purchase of acres for £100 each in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras and Mexico, as well as launching major appeals to save strategically important parcels of land where the cost is much higher.

Over its quarter of a century, WLT has helped purchase and save more than 500,000 acres (202,342 hectares) across the globe. These acres protect tropical forests, coastal steppe, grasslands and savannah, and would have been lost had WLT and its generous supporters not been able to step in with fire brigade funding. Be assured though, WLT does not own one centimetre of land outside the UK, the ownership of all the forest and threatened habitats that WLT has successfully funded is now safely vested in its overseas project partners who manage the land as strictly protected nature reserves.

In 2013 Nikwax contributed to two WLT Buy an Acre projects: in Bolivia and Colombia.

Saving the Beni savanna in Bolivia

Bolivia has only recently come onto the travel radar but it’s a country with immense biodiversity, with snow-capped mountains, cloud forest, rainforest and flooded savannas. WLT is working with partner, Armonía, to save as much as possible of the Beni savanna in the south west corner of the Amazon basin. This region is facing a battery of threats – logging and cattle ranching, plus regular burning, and agribusiness has introduced non-native grassland species. On top of this, the increasing threat of industrial farming for biofuel looms. The Beni savanna is the only breeding ground of the critically endangered Blue-throated Macaw and provides habitat for Jaguar, Maned Wolves, Giant Anteater and a host of engaging and endangered wildlife. Nikwax has supported the creation of the Barba Azul Nature Reserve that protects 26,382 acres (10,521 hectares).

More land saved in the Chocó rainforest of Colombia

The Chocó rainforest of Colombia claims to holds the record for being the wettest place on Earth, it is also one of the most endangered. This coastal tropical forest is listed in the world’s 34 global biodiversity hotspots. Together these hotspots contain more than half the planet’s plant species and 77 per cent of all terrestrial vertebrate species, in just 2.3 per cent of the Earth’s surface. Nikwax has supported land purchase in Colombia through WLT and its partner, ProAves, and helped extend the land under protection by 2,500 acres (1,000 hectares).

WorldLand Trust also helps fund reserve rangers through their Keepers of the Wild programme.

Keepers of the Wild | World Land Trust

WorldLand Trust is a registered charity: 1001291

Patrons:  Sir David Attenborough, David Gower & Chris Packham



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World Land Trust needs your votes to help its Caucasian Leopard project!

WLT could win a €30,000 grant from National Geographic Germany for its Caucasian Leopard project and you can help by casting your vote! 

National Geographic Germany is a member of the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA), who shortlisted the World Land Trust’s (WLT) project for this public vote. Nikwax, a long standing WLT corporate supporter, nominated the charity’s Caucasian Leopard project and asks that anyone who cares for our great outdoors takes a few moments to register their vote for this amazing cause.

Voting period opened on 17 March and closes on 31 March 2014. To vote go online

  • WLT’s project – Saving Armenia’s Leopard – is up against five other projects, which is why the charity needs your help! People can only register one vote, so WLT is hoping it’s supporter will encourage their friends and family to vote too

About the Caucasian Leopard project 

    • WLT’s project – Saving Armenia’s Leopard – is up against five other projects, which is why the charity needs your help! People can only register one vote, so WLT is hoping it’s supporter will encourage their friends and family to vote too
  • WLT has developed the project proposal in partnership with the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) with the intention of strengthening existing habitat protection for the Caucasian Leopard in the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge (CWR). There are fewer than 1,300 Caucasian leopards left in the wild. Most are in Iran, with as few as 10-15 remaining in Armenia

Building on existing conservation measures in the CWR, the project will enable scientific research and monitoring at 15 sites within the CWR. Each site will have a camera trap with GSM (mobile networking) capability.

Equipment and field guides are essential and the project will also provide funding to equip FPWC’s ranger team to help them better monitor wildlife in the CWR.

Restoring native habitat is a key component of the project, which has a programme to plant 4,000 native trees.

Ecotourism, when carefully managed, can complement conservation measures and the project proposes to extend five recreational trails, to develop and print flora and fauna brochures and hiking maps, and to support hospitality initiatives.

Please help spread the word amongst your family, friends and colleagues!

For more information visit:

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Nikwax supports World Land Trust urgent land purchase and protection projects

Nikwax and Páramo have been offsetting their unavoidable carbon emissions through World Land Trust (WLT) for over a decade. Alongside this Nikwax and Páramo donate a matched amount to contribute towards WLT’s urgent land purchase and protection projects.

Between June 2008 and August 2013 Nikwax and Páramo donated a fantastic £44,819.61 to land purchase and protection.

These funds were used for WLT’s project priorities at the time, working with the charity’s overseas project partners. Nikwax/Páramo funds have been used to purchase a reserve area in Ecuador, protect vital grasslands in Kenya, fund the purchase of critical parcels of land in Borneo and helped defend the Dry Chaco of Paraguay.

In Ecuador, working with Fundacion Jocotoco, Nikwax/Páramo funds enabled the purchase of a parcel of land that is now incorporated into the Buenaventura Reserve. This reserve now covers 3,721 acres (1,506 hectares) and is known as the richest sit for birds in south-west Ecuador. This is where the threatened El Oro Parakeet was discovered in 1980; it protects the habitat of at least 30 threatened or Endemic bird species, plus the Puma, Ocelot, Howler monkey and sloth are known to occur on the reserve.

The Kinangop Grasslands of Kenya, between the Kenyan Rift Valley to the west and the Aberdare Range to the east, are critically threatened by over grazing, and the tussock grassland so important for breeding and migrating birds is being lost to drainage and agriculture. Working with Nature Kenya, WLT has helped create the Leleshwa Reserve, protecting the tussock grassland in the Kinangop Plateau. This is the last stronghold for Sharpe’s Longclaw, and the grasslands and savanna of sub-saharan Africa are a short-term home for millions of European migrant birds that fly south from Europe every autumn as the weather gets colder. Over 180 Palearctic land-bird species migrate south across the Mediterranean and vast Sahara to feed on the flush of food stimulated by the rainy season south of the Sahara, making the Kinangop highlands an important stopping place for them.

The Borneo Rainforest project was launched in 2008 when WLT formed a partnership with two non-government organisations in Malaysian Borneo: Leap Spiral and Hutan. The threats to wildlife of the region, which include some of the last populations of Orang-utans and Pygmy Elephants, are threatened by the onslaught of oil palm plantations. WLT is working with partners to connect forest ‘islands’ in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Nikwax/Páramo were one of the original supporters of this project and were instrumental in the first land purchase in 2011. WLT has recently launched its Million Pound Appeal to raise funds to protect other threatened parcels of land along the Kinabatangan River: Big Match Fortnight.

The other project supported by Nikwax/Páramo is Defending the Chaco. WLT’s project partner in Paraguay protects a mosaic of threatened habitats including Pantanal wetland, Chaco-Pantanal and Atlantic Rainforest, but it is the Dry Chaco that covers a large proportion of the country. The Dry Chaco is part of a larger eco-region known as the Gran Chaco, which translates in the Quechua language as ‘productive hunting grounds’. As its name suggests, this confluence of unique habitats supports a large variety of wildlife, including many mammal species. Whilst much attention has been placed on the tropical forests of South America, the Chaco, in the very heart of the continent, has been largely overlooked. However, it is home to a diverse range of wildlife, with more large mammals than the AmazonForest, including the Puma, Lowland Tapir, Giant Anteater and the World’s greatest diversity of armadillos. It is critically threatened by clearance for ranching and dry-resistant crops such as soya, and because of its size it is difficult to protect. Consequently the Defenders of the Chaco funds reserve rangers whose task it protect reserve areas.

Please help support WLT’s Big Match Fortnight to raise urgent funds for Bornean Rainforest.