Threats and Protection

When our founder, Guido Berguido, visted Cerro Chucantí for the first time, the area was under threat of deforestation for timber and agriculture. Guido knew that something had to be done to stop the madness, which eventually led to the creation of the Cerro Chucantí Private Nature Reserve. Although we have protected the area within the reserve, the threat of deforestation persists nearby.

This page focuses on the specific threats around Cerro Chucantí and our management of the reserve. Click here for more information about deforestation generally in Panama.

Wood

The Chucantí reserve almost didn't exist. When Guido tried to buy the first piece of property in Chucantí, he discovered that the owner had already sold a logging concession to deforest the property. While talking with the logging company, Guido made a surprising discovery: they had only paid $12 to cut down each giant, ancient tree!

This experience changed our methods for managing the reserve. The main field station of the reserve was built from the wood of the trees which were cut by the logging company before Guido bought the property, and further construction has used wood sourced from naturally fallen trees. Additionally, we started a donation program where individuals can adopt a tree for $12–the original price that Guido paid–to protect that tree for its life. If you are interested in this program, please contact us.

Agriculture

After the forests near Chucantí are cut down for wood, they are usually burned to create cattle pastures. Although the fields appear green, they are like deserts compared to the diversity of species present in the reserve's forests.

We cannot do much outside of the reserve, but some of our properties were deforested before we purchased them and we can improve these areas. By planting trees and allowing the forests to regrow naturally, important habitats are slowly returning to Chucantí.

But we are not only reforesting Cerro Chucantí! For more information about our efforts to restore habitat throughout Panama, click here.

Trips to Chucantí

Some of our most important supporters are the groups of ecotourists, researchers, and students that visit the reserve. Their passion (and funding) have allowed us to carry out our activities to protect and reforest Chucantí. Additionally, many of our visitors return as volunteers to directly help us in our activities. Thank you to everyone who's visited, past and future!