Archive for January, 2016

YOU can protect more rainforest!

Dear Friends of the Rainforest:

There have been many exciting developments at the Santa Cruz Forest Reserve over the last year and a half, and the most recent is the opportunity to permanently protect 63 acres of rainforest – adding it to the 540 acres that we already care for.

To date, over 2000 hardwood, fruit, and medicinal-use trees have been planted in former pasture and agricultural areas and are growing rapidly. Hundreds more are ready to plant. The arboretum of fruit and timber trees is shooting upward, and the riverside support house (The Taj) is now 100% energy and water independent through the use of a filtered rainwater system and solar / battery electricity –- zero carbon footprint.

The Santa Cruz site has become a mecca for researchers and avid herpetologists, entomologists, birders and fish collectors, who confirm that the site is a biological hotspot. Recently, papers were published documenting the first Peruvian record of a species of frog (Pristimantis orphnolaemus) and caecilian (a legless amphibian) on the site, and there have been several sightings of birds that are normally absent or very rare in the region. We’ve also encountered naturally occurring Brazil nut trees, not previously known from the area.

Due to the proximity of the half-million inhabitant city of Iquitos, Peru, the remaining rainforest is being destroyed at an alarming rate. We have witnessed this as acres after acres are burned for slash-and-burn agriculture. In unprotected areas, there is high hunting pressure for bushmeat (monkeys, sloths, agoutis, and other sources of protein) as well as rampant and mostly illegal harvesting of valuable trees. In the past two years, three new sawmills have been built on the Mazan River alone, and rafts of dozens or hundreds of logs float by the reserve daily on their way to the sawmills.


Location of Santa Cruz Field Station Relative to Iquitos

It isn’t all doom and gloom though. Our reserve currently protects 540 acres, including very high quality rainforest, and our replanting of degraded areas is actively restoring rainforest.

For some time now, we’ve had our eye on an adjoining lot that would add to our river frontage on the Mazan River, and widen our forested corridor from the river to our protected lands further inland. Lot 53 is 63 acres in area, most of which is forested and about half is primary rainforest. Very recently the landowner decided to sell, backing off his plans to turn it into pasture. We put a deposit down to hold the property and the bill of sale was signed, notarized and registered on in August 2015. Now we are raising funds to complete the transaction. Including all costs, we are looking at $250 an acre for tropical rainforest! As of January 2016, over forty of the acres have been funded.


Lot 53 location. The already protected lands are bordered in white, and our two facilities (Taj River House and the inland JT Research Station) are noted. Real, tangible land – GPS coordinates shown from Google Earth.

We are offering friends and supporters of Project Amazonas the opportunity to save an acre of Amazon rainforest for $250. Here is a chance for you, your class, your club, your business, your colleagues and friends to make a real difference and preserve a genuine piece of the rainforest.   Want to honor someone? Want to give a unique Christmas gift to someone who has “everything”? This is the time!

With a “purchase” one or more acres of land, we’ll send a certificate of “ownership”, complete with the GPS coordinates of the acre of land that was purchased. If funds over and above the purchase price come in, the owner of the adjacent Lot 54 also wants to sell – Lot 54 is smaller (~20 acres).

This is real rainforest with GPS coordinates; you can even look at it via satellite thanks to GoogleEarth and you’ll always be welcome to visit in person. US donors will also receive a receipt for US tax-deduction purposes. Title of the land will reside with Asociación Civil Proyecto Amazonas (Project Amazonas’ Peruvian legal entity, but we’ll have a plaque on site recognizing those who made the acquisition of the additional acreage possible).

We hope that you’ll join us in expanding our protected lands at Santa Cruz, with the resulting protection of tens of thousands of species of plants and animals. The reserve is a valuable resource right now, but it will soon be priceless.

Thank you for your support!

Devon Graham (President and Scientific Director, Project Amazonas)

Don Dean (Board member, Project Amazonas)

How to finance your acre(s) of rainforest

Option 1 – send check for $250 (or multiples thereof) made out to Project Amazonas with Santa Cruz land purchase in the subject line to:

Treasurer, Project Amazonas, 701 E Commercial Blvd, #200, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33334

Option 2 – send a wire transfer for $250 (or multiples thereof) to our bank account – please send us an email letting us know as well so we can properly credit the transfer.

Name of Account: Project Amazonas, Inc.

Bank Address: Bank of America, 4901 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33308

Account #: 3604081289, Routing #: 063100277, SWIFT: BOFAUS3N

Option 3 – Send $250 (or multiples thereof) via PayPal to – add a note to specify that the funds are for Santa Cruz land purchase.