WHY REFORESTATION IS NEEDED NOW
The island of Cayo Santiago took a direct hit from Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017. The storm decimated the vegetation across the entire island. Many describe the landscape to a bombsite. To this date approximately 60% of the vegetation has not recovered. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and to this day, the lack of vegetation created great stress, not only on the primate population, but over the ecological viability of Cayo Santiago. Due to aggravated coastal erosion. the 38-acre island has seen a loss of almost 3 acres and is in a vulnerable state. This, along with extensive soil loss and a great reduction of shade, the food and foraging grounds for the fauna is not enough to sustain even a fraction of the Rhesus colony. Reforestation in combination with a series of soil stabilization alternatives, is the answer. Our reforestation project includes a little something extra that other reforestation projects lack…the development of structures that will protect newly planted vegetation from the access and disturbance our rhesus macaques will undoubtedly cause prior to the plants’ natural adaptation process. Without these plant area enclosures, the monkeys will destroy the newly planted vegetation. Reforestation and soil stabilization will allow for the accelerated development of forest structure, species composition, and canopy that provides many benefits including habitat, water, nutrients, foraging and maintenance of soil productivity through soil erosion reduction. Additionally, the funding will support a facility that is currently conducting active research that can address emerging questions associated to climate change in a mammalian species that is used as a model for conditions that affect humans. We have received the commitment and support of Foundation for Puerto Rico, the Department of Natural Resources, the USDA NRCS Caribbean division, and the non-profit Para La Naturaleza either by the donation of seeds, materials, and expertise. Reforestation – in combination with a series of soil stabilization alternatives – is needed immediately We need your support to launch our 12-month reforestation pilot project! Help us reach our first goal of planting 1,000 trees and mangrove seeds!
Reforestation Donation Options