Mexican prairiedog

These projects were supported by the IUCN NL Land Acquisition Fund in 2021

Saving species by protecting and connecting important habitat? It works! Since 2001, the IUCN NL Land Acquisition Fund, supported by the Dutch Postcode Lottery, has been enabling NGOs to purchase or lease on a long-term basis important natural areas to expand, connect and secure habitat for endangered species. This year, we selected these initiatives in Mexico, the Philippines and Brazil from nearly 100 applications.

Photo: © Protección de la Fauna Mexicana A.C.

Grasslands for the Mexican prairie dog

Prairie dogs live in several groups in one area, a so-called prairie dog colony, underground. As large-scale agriculture is increasing, the habitat of the Mexican prairie dog (Cynomys mexicanus) is becoming fragmented and the groups are separated. As a result, this endangered species, which is only found in Mexico, is rapidly declining.

That is why we enable the nature organisation Protección de la Fauna Mexicana A.C. to lease no less than 700 hectares of grasslands for 10 years. The area is an important corridor between two protected areas that are key to the survival of the Mexican prairie dog.

Several bird species, such as the prairie plover (Charadrius montanus), curlew (Numenius americanus) and prairie pipit (Anthus spragueii), also depend on these vast grasslands.

Mexican prairie dog
Photo: © Protección de la Fauna Mexicana A.C.

Safe habitat for the Philippine forest turtle and pangolin

Palawan pangolin
Photo: Gregg Yann © Shukran888, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Philippine forest turtle (Siebenrockiella leytensis) is Critically Endangered due to habitat loss. It also captured for the national and international market to serve as pets, food or raw material for traditional medicines.

The second largest known population Philippine forest turtle lives in the Palawan Forest Turtle Reserve (11.5 hectares) on the island group of the Palawan Province. The Land Acquisition Fund enables the Katala Foundation to expand this reserve by 17 hectares.

In addition, the foundation is establishing a forest reserve of 73 hectares together with the local government, creating a contiguous protected area of 101.5 hectares. This will benefit about 200 species, including endangered and vulnerable species such as the Critically Endangered Palawan pangolin, which is only found in the Province of Palawan.

Green haven near Rio de Janeiro

The Brazilian organisation Sinal do Vale will secure 92 hectares of tropical forest. This land purchase is part of a widely supported initiative to maintain a ‘green belt’ around the metropolis of Rio de Janeiro, where nature is under heavy pressure.

The new reserve creates a safe habitat for locally endangered species, including the cougar and golden lion tamarin. In addition, the nature reserve protects the water supply for the people living downstream.

We will keep you informed

Our support to the initiatives above has already been confirmed. In 2022, we will announce more information about other initiatives that receive support in the purchase of land for the protection of endangered species.

Golden lion tamarin
Photo: Sinal do Vale ©

Thank you for your support!

In addition to the support of the Dutch Postcode Lottery, we also received generous donations from private individuals in 2021. These donations enabled us to grant the work of the following organisations:

  • Paso Pacifico in Nicaragua for their work to protecting sea turtles through women’s empowerment;
  • Ecominga in Ecuador for conservation measures in their nature reserves;
  • Regua in Brazil for reforestation;
  • Proyecto Titi in Colombia to protect the cotton-top tamarin;
  • Nature Iraq for protection of the Persian Leopard;
  • Fundación Biodiversa for conservation measures in the forests of Northern Colombia;
  • Nativa Bolivia for conservation measures in the Natural Palo Santo Reserve; Araguaia, Brazil for conservation measures; and
  • Third Millenium Alliance in Ecuador for agroforestry to reforest 10-hectares of degraded land.

We also received several donations for land acquisition, which were directed to the land purchases mentioned above. We thank all our donors for their support!

More information?

Marc Hoogeslag
Senior Expert Nature Conservation
Frederique Holle
Expert Environmental Justice
Caspar Verwer
Senior Expert Nature Conservation