Logs, Fire, and Cows
When our founder, Guido Berguido, first discovered Cerro Chucantí in the early 2000s, it was under severe threat of deforestation. High value trees were sold to logging companies before the remaining forest was burned down to create space for cattle pastures. Although the pastures appear green and full of life, they are more like “desert” ecosystems. Only a fraction of native species can survive in agricultural areas. Deforestation activities also contribute to soil degradation, water contamination and local droughts that continue to threaten the livelihoods of local farmers.
Something had to be done to stop the madness!
What We’re Doing
The Cerro Chucantí private nature reserve protects more than 1,500 acres of land from poaching, timber harvesting, and other destructive activities that are otherwise common in the surrounding landscape. Previously deforested areas of the reserve are also being actively reforested with the help of volunteers.
Ongoing research in the reserve is improving our understanding of the local environment. This information allows us to better focus our efforts on the most vulnerable species and habitats. Studies over the last decade have already provided critical results, including the discovery of over a dozen species new to science!
ADOPTA was first created to protect the unique species in Cerro Chucantí. Our story shows how environments around the world are affected in both positive and negative ways by people, and how much impact an individual can have on conservation. Hopefully, the story of Chucantí will encourage others to adopt and protect their own local ecosystems!
Local communities depend heavily on the ecosystem services provided by Chucantí and the Majé mountains, but these services are not always obvious. Holding community events and outreach in the area around Cerro Chucantí helps local residents engage with the natural world in positive ways and encourages support of conservation efforts in the area.