Header photo: Araripe Manakin © Ciro Albano

One million plant and animal species face the threat of extinction worldwide [1]IPBES (2019): Global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. E. S. Brondizio, J. Settele, S. … Continue reading. The main cause is the loss or degradation of their habitat. Deforestation results in the habitat of many animal species being systematically reduced, or fragmented. This is also called habitat fragmentation. It makes it increasingly difficult for the animals that live in such a habitat to, for example, find enough food, or reproduce, thus threatening the survival of endangered animal species, such as the blue-throated macaw and the cotton-top tamarin.

Connecting habitats

However, there is a solution to this problem: by purchasing land in strategic places we can safeguard key areas and reconnect isolated pieces of habitat. These nature connections, also known as corridors, keep the natural migration routes of many animal species intact and thus their populations healthy.

If we want to overcome such threats there is only one option: the purchase and permanent protection of these areas in association with local NGOs and communities.

Arjan Dwarshuis, ambassador of the Land Acquisition Fund

Effective way of protecting nature

The strategic acquisition of small patches of land is an extremely targeted and cost effective tool to protect nature. It takes only a few hectares of land to create a corridor between two isolated forests, thereby greatly increasing the living space for wide ranging species such as parrots, elephants, monkeys and jaguars.

The IUCN NL Land Acquisition Fund enables nature organisations all over the world to purchase endangered natural habitats and, in exceptional cases, to lease them for a long period. Businesses and private individuals can also contribute, through a one-off donation to our Land Acquisition Fund or by means of a periodic donation.

Long-term nature conservation

Working with nature organisations is a crucial element of the Land Acquisition Fund. The ownership of and responsibility for the nature reserves purchased is placed in the hands of a local nature organisation. This is important, because these organisations are highly familiar with the local context and are in close contact with the local community. By working together with the communities in the area, the nature organisations ensure the long-term conservation of species and their habitats, as well as benefits for the people depending on these natural areas.

Local nature organisations make all the difference

Since 2001, we have funded over 135 projects in 39 countries and have protected 42,000 hectares of nature in doing so. Together with local partner organisations we have been able to make a difference for countless endangered animal species, such as the golden lion tamarin in Brazil, the maleo bird on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi and the Indian elephant.

Read more about the initiatives supported by the IUCN NL Land Acquisition Fund:

Guidelines for privately protected areas

Privately protected areas are powerful tools to restore and conserve natural habitats, protect species and create wildlife corridors. They are among the most effective ways for civil societies get involved in the climate and biodiversity crises. As the urgency to protect our planet grows, awareness about the value of privately protected land, in addition to protected areas managed by governments, is increasing. The IUCN NL Land Acquisition Fund and American Bird Conservancy developed practical guidelines for people managing these reserves. The manual is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Become a donor

Want to join us in making a difference for endangered species? Become a donor to our Land Acquisition Fund. You can support us in different ways to help improve protection for endangered species and their habitats.

Become a partner – Apply for funding

The Land Acquisition Fund supports local conservation NGOs in acquiring threatened nature, creating reserves and connecting wildlife habitats for endangered species.

Deadline for proposals: 1 May, 2024

Learn more?


1 IPBES (2019): Global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. E. S. Brondizio, J. Settele, S. Díaz, and H. T. Ngo (editors). IPBES secretariat, Bonn, Germany.