“Despite their importance, dry forests are among the most
threatened and least studied of the world’s forested ecosystems
and, as a result, may be at greater risk than humid forests”
(R Blackie, et al 2014)
Some of the last Pacific dry forest remnants, are found scattered along northern Peru’s coastline in the departments of Piura, Tumbes, Lambayeque, with smaller remnants found and La Libertad. A majority of these dry forests in northern Peru have already disappeared and those that remain face extensive devastation and degradation. The Dry Forest Conservation and Restoration Program aims to conserve, protect and restore the dry forest. The program commenced in 2020 with our La Libertad project at the Pacasmayo site, an area greatly impacted by human activity and is in urgent need of being restored.
The program collaborates with local populations immediately surrounding dry forests (smallholder farmers and rural and semi-urban communities). They are trained on the importance of dry forest conservation and on how to sustainably manage dry forest landscapes to improve local livelihoods.
The program reforests dry forest areas with key species: Algarrobo (Prosopis spp), hawthorn (Acacia macracantha) and sapote (Colicodendron scabridum). The Algarrobo is one of the most economically and ecologically important tree species in the dry forests of Peru.
The program helps protect biodiversity by restoring habitats and helping to preserve populations of endemic and vulnerable species, such as the endangered Peruvian plantcutter, the Peruvian fox, desert tegu, and the vulnerable spectacled bear, amongst others.
The program increases our understanding of the dry forest through research on dry forests’ flora, fauna, and ecology. This research is integrated into the Latin American Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest Floristic Network (DryFlor) database.
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