Fundraising campaign saves Ecuadorian antpitta reserve


A famous Ecuadorian nature reserve has been saved after funds were raised to buy the land.

Refugio Paz de las Aves, near Mindo in the Ecuadorian Andes, was put up for sale in the spring following the death of Angel Paz's mother, who left the property to her nine children.

In order to save the land from being sold off for agriculture, Angel and his brother Rodrigo, who run the bird reserve, needed to raise $155,000 by mid-August. A fundraising campaign was set up and donations began to pour in.

Refugio Paz de las Aves offers the opportunity to see five species of antpitta up close, including Ochre-breasted (Josh Jones).

Thanks to strong support from birders and wildlife-lovers across the globe, the target was surpassed on 19 July and the total donated now stands at more than $162,000.

Angie Drake, who helped to organise the fundraiser, said: "Thank you to everyone who has contributed to save the property. Your support was essential. In the end, it took over 1,300 donations to meet our goal. We are fortunate to have such a giving community to rely upon.

"We will keep the fundraiser open for another few weeks as we transition to a full-fledged non-profit, Fundación Paz de Las Aves. Donations above our initial goal will go towards the creation of the foundation."

Refugio Paz de las Aves offers unique opportunities to see up to five species of antpitta, plus a host of other usually secretive forest species, that have been habituated through feeding practices introduced by Angel and Rodrigo.