Why It Matters

Wildlife

Tropical forests don’t just store carbon. They’re lavish, interconnected ecosystems that are home to thousands of species of animals, birds, and fish: endangered and stable, rare and common, known and unknown.

Your purchase helps save the world’s most threatened species from extinction by protecting some of the world’s richest biodiversity hotspots.

What we do for wildlife

Our projects have earned special certifications for protecting wildlife. Most, if not all, protect critically endangered species, like the bonobo monkey, forest elephant, orangutan, and lemur, plus others that are threatened or vulnerable. Some projects host glorious birds, like macaws, which have declined across South America due to forest loss. And others host rare fish, insects, and butterflies.

All together, the wildlife in our projects is a who’s who of the animal kingdom: giant river otters, jaguars, birds of paradise, rhinos, cheetahs, lions, leopards, spectacled bears, gibbons, pangolins. There’s even an exceedingly rare bat. (See the biodiversity page for why this is important!)

For the wildlife devotees reading this, you can expand the toggles at the bottom of the page to see the highlights by project.

So how do they do this?

First, by protecting habitat. Many species need large areas of pristine forest or extended migration corridors to thrive. Others are under threat from poaching or were being driven out of their homes by deforestation before the project intervened. Because REDD+ projects by definition involve protecting large areas of forest– our portfolio is collectively larger than many countries, and our largest project, Cordillera Azul National Park in Peru, is 1.5 million hectares – they create the habitat conditions that these endangered species need to survive for the future. Some projects employ rangers to ensure there is no illegal logging or poaching; others operate wildlife sanctuaries and rescue centres. And this has impacts even outside the project areas.

Second, by continuously verifying their successes. Just like they do for carbon storage, our projects must repeatedly prove that they are monitoring wildlife and improving conditions for wildlife’s success. Animals, even endangered animals, are resilient, but they need habitat. They can recover if given the chance. But they can’t do it themselves, and they can’t do it without safe havens. Our projects give them that space.

Buying a Stand For Trees certificate means that you have helped secure the homes of rare animals, and that you have given endangered species a healthier chance of survival.

Our projects and their wildlife

Amazon Forest, Brazil

  • Giant Anteater (population decreased 30% over the last 10 years; threatened by habitat destruction, fire, and poaching)
  • Little Spotted Cat (also known as the oncilla. Rare everywhere, and threatened by deforestation and habitat conversion for agriculture)
  • Pearly Parakeet (threatened by deforestation)
  • Red-Handed Howler (No word yet on whether it is louder than Mrs. Weasley’s)

Amazon Valparaiso, Brazil

  • Jaguar (~20-25% decline in the last ~20 years due to habitat loss and fragmentation, trophy hunting and illegal trade, and human-wildlife conflicts)
  • Lowland tapir (around 30% decline in the past 3 generations (33 years) due to habitat loss, illegal hunting and competition with livestock; expected to continue for the next 33 years.)
  • Short-Eared Dog (Widespread, but rare and uncommonly sighted. Estimated decline of 20-25% in the last 12 years lone, due to habitat loss, lack of prey, and disease)

Brazilian Rosewood, Brazil

  • Golden Parakeet (threatened by deforestation, flooding, and illegal capture for the pet trade)
  • Giant Anteater (classified as vulnerable, and with a population decline of at least 30% in the last 10 years, due to multiple factors including habitat degradation)
  • Giant Otter (has lost as much as 80% of its range; local extinctions mean that populations are no longer connected)
  • Ka’apor Capuchin Monkey (critically endangered; populations have decreased 80% over the last 50 years due to deforestation and hunting)

Congo Basin, DRC

  • Bonobo Chimpanzee (endangered, due to poaching and deforestation)
  • Forest Elephant (smaller than the savanna elephant, and far more endangered, due mostly to the ivory trade: at one point, 65% of the population was lost in 12 years)
  • Giant Pangolin (expected to decline by 40% over the next ~15 years because of poaching for bushmeat)

Cordillera Azul, Peru

  • Spectacled Bear (also known as Paddington) (expected to decline by 30%; around a third of habitat is unsuitable due to fragmentation or threatened by climate change)
  • Cougar (Threatened by habitat loss, fragmentation, and poaching of prey.)
  • Jaguar (as above)

Envira, Brazil

  • Blue-headed Macaw (vulnerable. Expected to decrease by 30% over three generations due to loss of the Amazon rainforest.)
  • Amazonian Parrotlet (threatened by deforestation and development)
  • Rufous-Fronted Antthrush (localized to small areas in the Jurua river. Somewhat safe for now as its habitat is quite remote, but threatened by encroaching development)
  • Spanish Cedar (Vulnerable because of extensive logging)
  • Big Leaf Mahogany (the most commercially important mahogany. Threatened by massive overexploitation.)

Gola, Sierra Leone

  • Western Chimpanzee (critically endangered; population loss estimated to be more than 80% over three generations. Threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, and disease.)
  • Forest Elephant (as above)
  • Tai Toad (endangered, due to rarity within range; area of occupancy suspected to be less than 500 km², with ongoing declines in extent and quality of habitat due to agriculture, timber, and human settlement)

Guatemalan Coast, Guatemala

  • Yellow-Headed Parrot (endangered; very rapid population decline due to illegal trade, poaching, hunting, and habitat loss for cattle grazing)
  • Cerulean Warbler (expected population decline of 25% over the next three generations. Threatened by habitat degradation and forest conversion.)
  • Yucatan Black Howler Monkey (endangered due to deforestation and hunting)
  • Geoffroy’s Spider Monkey (endangered due to habitat loss. Guatemala holds one of the few remaining large areas of continuous habitat.)
  • Baird’s Tapir (endangered, especially due to habitat loss and fragmentation. It likes forests with ponds and streams – prime rainforest.)
  • Chinamococh Stream Frog (critically endangered. A stream frog that is only found in a small area of the Sierra de Santa Cruz, Guatemala. Lives in old-growth elevated rainforest, and is threatened by habitat loss due to human settlement, agriculture, and logging.)
  • Central American River Turtle (critically endangered. Maybe the most endangered turtle in its range, mostly due to hunting for food.)

Isangi Congo, DRC

  • Leopard (estimated > 50% population loss in East and West Africa; range reduced ~30% worldwide in the last 3 generations, due to habitat fragmentation, poaching for body parts or the illegal wildlife trade, and prey declines)
  • Forest Elephant (as above)
  • Bonobo Chimpanzee (endangered, due to current and future population decline of 50% over the current 75-year period. Threatened by illegal poaching for bushmeat and by habitat destruction and degradation)

Kariba, Zimbabwe

  • Black Rhino (critically endangered; population declined by ~97.6% since 1960, mostly from poaching. From 1995 to 2010, numbers doubled to 4,880, but this is still 90% lower than three generations previous)
  • African Elephant (vulnerable due to habitat loss and fragmentation from human population expansion and land conversion, and poaching for ivory and meat)
  • Cheetah (vulnerable due to range collapse from habitat loss, fragmentation, and human-wildlife conflict; declined by 30% in the last three generations)
  • Lion (vulnerable; population decreased by over ~50% in most of its range in the last 20 years, mostly due to human-wildlife conflict, prey depletion, and trophy hunting)
  • Leopard (as above)

Kasigau, Kenya

  • African Elephant (as above)
  • Grevy’s Zebra (endangered; population reduction of 54% over 30 years. Threatened by habitat loss, livestock competition, local hunting, predation, and land conversion for large-scale economic expansion, among others)
  • Cheetah (as above)
  • Lion (as above)

Makira, Madagascar

  • Indri Lemur (critically endangered, with expected population decline of at least 80% in the next three generations. Threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation and illegal hunting)
  • Red Ruffed Lemur (critically endangered and also with a population decline of at least 80% in the next three generations (around 25 years). Threatened by habitat loss and hunting)
  • Silky Sifaka (also critically endangered; less than 250 mature individuals remaining and only found in a tiny area of northeastern Madagascar; threatened by ongoing habitat conversion)

Pacific Forest Network, Colombia

  • Green Poison Frog (critically endangered. Found the western slopes of the Cordillera Occidental of Colombia, and threatened by agriculture, mining and invasive species)
  • Leatherback Turtle (Vulnerable to development, fishing, and pollution)
  • Giant anteater (ongoing decline from habitat loss, roadkills, hunting, and wildfires over the past 10 years)
  • Black-and-chestnut Eagle (endangered. The destruction of its montane forest habitat and direct human persecution, are driving a continuing decline of its population)

Rimba Raya, Indonesia

  • Bornean Orangutan (Critically endangered. Total population decrease of more than 80% over 75 years, until 2025. Threatened by habitat loss and destruction especially from palm oil, illegal hunting, and climate change)
  • Clouded Leopard (natural habitat is closed forest, which in Southeast Asia is extremely threatened. The population has declined 30% in the last three generations from habitat loss and hunting for the illegal wildlife trade)
  • Gibbon (endangered, due to population reduction of over 50% over the past 45 years and ongoing hunting for wildlife trade and for bushmeat)
  • Proboscis Monkey (endangered mostly due to habitat loss, with between 50-80% reduction in the last ~40 years)

Southern Cardamom, Cambodia

  • Asian elephant (endangered, due to habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation)
  • Sun bear (threatened by deforestation and poaching for the illegal wildlife trade)
  • Pileated gibbon (endangered. Major concentration in the Southern Cardamom mountains. Threatened by subsistence hunting and habitat loss.)
  • Dhole (endangered. This is a small wild dog. Threatened by massive loss of viable range due to loss of prey because of hunting. Also threatened by habitat loss.)
  • Mainland clouded leopard (threatened by hunting for skins and bones for the illegal wildlife trade, and by deforestation)
  • Fishing cat (a cat that likes water, who knew? Population decline of 30% in the last three generations, and a further 30% expected in the next three. One of the most vulnerable cats.)
  • Sunda pangolin (Secretive, nocturnal, and elusive, but still critically endangered because of hunting and poaching.)
  • Southern river terrapin (a small river turtle. Critically endangered, with a population decline of 90% over the past three generations. Hunted for food and eggs, threatened by habitat destruction, mining, and dam building.)
  • Giant ibis (critically endangered due to habitat loss)

Tambopata, Peru

  • Jaguar (as above)
  • Giant River Otter (endangered by habitat destruction and degradation; expected population loss of 50% or more over the next 25 years)
  • Great Green Macaw (endangered due to extensive habitat destruction and capture for the pet trade)