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The Orchid Conservation Alliance Require Urgent Donations to Protect the OCA Dracula Reserve

The Dracula reserve is a conservation area in Northern Ecuador, near the border to Colombia. This lush green landscape of forests and mountains currently covers over 2800 acres. This region is the centre of diversity for the genus Dracula.

Since the Dracula reserve was established in 2015, conservationists have discovered an incredible diversity of flora and fauna, many of which are endemic to the Dracula reserve's valley. Early surveys of the Dracula reserve identified over 160 different orchid species from 55 different genera, with more orchids waiting to be discovered.

Recent discoveries include two new mouse species (Pattonimus ecominga and Chilomys georgeledecii), shrew opossums, new frogs (e.g. Hyloscirtus consciencia, and Pristimantis sp.), toads, and lizards (Anolis dracula and Echinosaurus fischeri).

The Orchid Conservation Alliance is particularly interested in new orchid species that have been discovered growing in the Dracula reserve, including Scaphosepalum zieglerae, Pleurothallis chicalensis, Trevora sp., Pseudolepanthes bihuae, Lepanthes tulcanensis as well as several new Lepanthes and Pleurothallis sp. yet to be described. Biological field research is currently being carried out here by several national and foreign institutions, and there are sure to be more exciting discoveries as they explore this incredible place. Today, the very survival of this reserve is threatened by illegal mining and the Orchid Conservation Alliance are urgently seeking funds to protect this species-rich, vital habitat.

All donations will be gratefully received. If you are interested in making a transformative donation, there are several new species of orchids available for a species naming donation ($15,000/donation). For more information about newsletter content or transformative donations, please contact Mary Gerritsen.

Read more and find information on how to donate to protect this vital habitat for orchids, on the Orchid Conservation Alliance's website.

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