Saving the World's Endangered Species

All seven of the world’s sea turtle species are endangered. They are hunted by humans for their meat, eggs and beautiful shells and incidentally captured in commercial fishing equipment. Eco-conscious travelers in the Americas can get a glimpse of sea turtles and contribute to the conservation of their habitats by choosing one of the sustainable tourism businesses listed in our SustainableTrip.org directory.

The Petén region of Guatemala is a population stronghold for jaguars, the only big cat species found in the Americas. To protect this important habitat, the Rainforest Alliance is working with local communities on the sustainable harvest of forest products and approaches to combating climate change. We are also teaching adults and children alike about the importance of conservation.

To combat deforestation and save the Sumatran tiger, the Rainforest Alliance — in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund — is encouraging farmers to move outside of park boundaries where they can legally grow their crops, earn Rainforest Alliance certification and hope to earn a premium for their coffee.

The great green macaw is an intelligent and vibrant bird that inhabits lowland tropical rainforests in Central and South America. Its population has dropped at an alarming rate due to deforestation and capture for the illegal pet trade. Conservationists are working hard to save this beautiful species, and are sharing valuable information with colleagues on our Eco-Index website.

The giant panda, rarest of all the bear species, has been driven out of the lowlands it used to inhabit and into the mountainous forests of central China by agricultural expansion and other human activities. The few giant pandas left in the wild continue to be threatened by loss of habitat. To conserve forestlands in China and promote their sustainable use, the Rainforest Alliance is carrying out a multi-year training initiative to encourage responsible community forestry.

In Uganda, rapid destruction of the mountain gorilla’s natural forest habitat has led to a severe drop in its population – fewer than 800 remain in the wild. The Rainforest Alliance is working with the Environmental Conservation Trust of Uganda on an innovative tree-planting project that has to date added over 1.5 million native trees in critical conservation areas.

Many Neotropical migratory bird species are threatened by the loss of habitats along their transnational journeys. Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms and forests provide critically important habitat for Neotropical migratory birds, including this endangered golden-cheeked warbler.

Sumatran orangutans live up in the trees, climbing from branch to branch and foraging for fruit and insects. They are found only on the island of Sumatra, where illegal logging and conversion of forestland to palm oil plantations has caused this critically endangered population to plummet to an estimated 6,600 individuals. The survival of the orangutan rests on forest conservation and sustainable production, which makes the Rainforest Alliance’s work in palm oil certification and carbon sequestration in Indonesia vitally important.

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