Scimitar x Rainforest Concern

Scimitar are delighted to be partnering up with conservation charity Rainforest Concern.

This #EndangeredSpeciesDay and #WorldTurtleDay – we will be running a 20% discount off our sustainable sportswear – with 10% of all sales going directly to the charity. Shop our sustainable best sellers below or click ‘View Full Range’.

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Rainforest Concern has protected over 5 million acres (2.6m hectares) of threatened forest habitat around the world since it was founded 27 years ago. The charity owns rainforest reserves in Ecuador and Chile and has a team of conservationists working on projects in eight countries around the world, including Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Romania and India.

To mark World #EndangeredSpeciesDay, we are taking a look at some of the beautiful creatures whose existence is under threat. Play your part in shopping sustainably and know that you’ll be donating towards the protection of the rainforests – allowing these animals to flourish in their natural habitat.

Andean Cock-of-the-rock

  • Bird native to the Andean cloud forests of South America. It inhabits cloud forest areas at 500-2,400 metres (1,600 – 7,900 feet) in elevation.
  • The national bird of Peru.
  • Listed as Least Concern due to large range. Decline in populations not thought to be rapid enough to be listed as Vulnerable.
  • However, as their habitat is fragile and threatened, can be deduced that with destruction and fragmentation of cloud forests, will drive declines in their populations.

Andean Bear/Spectacled Bear

  • 2,500-10,000 mature individuals left. Populations in decline.
  • The Andean Bear is the only extant bear species in South America and is endemic to the Tropical Andes.
  • Main threat to species = habitat loss, habitat degradation and hunting.
  • Habitat loss and fragmentation is caused by road building, mining, agricultural practices (destruction of forests for the drug trade (crops such as coca and opium poppy), and the use of grazing areas for cattle farming. Mining is becoming an increasing problem for Andean bears and local communities due to land expropriation, habitat loss and contamination of land/water sources.

Brown-Headed Spider Monkey

  • The Brown-headed Spider Monkey is one of the most endangered primates in the world with their population being estimated at just 250 individuals. We are extremely lucky to be able to help protect one of their last remaining populations within the Los Cedros Reserve.
  • The critically endangered Brown-headed Spider Monkey is endemic to the Tumbes-Chocó-Magdalena hotspot in the western lowlands of Ecuador – this region is a spectacular habitat featuring exceptional levels of biodiversity and endemism. However, the area has also witnessed vast and extensive habitat destruction, driving many of the species who rely on this habitat to the brink of extinction.
  • Over the last 45 years, the number of Brown-headed Spider Monkeys has decreased by over 80%, leaving the remaining populations small and fragmented. The Brown-headed Spider Monkey thrives in well-connected, undisturbed forests away from human settlements.
  • Deforestation and other severe threats, such as hunting and mining, has isolated populations of the species, continuing to drive significant declines in their populations.
  • These monkeys play a vital role within their habitat – dispersing seeds as they travel through the forest. In doing this, they maintain forest diversity and allow their home to grow. Without them, the region would see much lower biodiversity, changing this incredible Chocó ecosystem beyond recognition.
  • By actively supporting the conservation of the Los Cedros Reserve, we’re in the unique position of being able to help protect the Brown-headed Spider Monkey as well as the habitat that so many other endangered species rely on. We need your help to do this so please donate today.

Burrowing Owl

  • Listed as Least Concern by IUCN Red List due to large range but populations decreasing.
  • Is distributed throughout the Americas, occurring in Canada, USA, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, the Bahamas, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, the Netherlands Antilles, Venezuela, Guyana, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
  • Burrowing owls can be found in grasslands, rangelands, agricultural areas, deserts, or any other open dry area with low vegetation.
  • Unlike most other owls, Burrowing Owls are active during the day and at night. They tend to hunt insects in daylight and small mammals under the cover of darkness.
  • They live underground in burrows they’ve dug themselves or taken over from a prairie dog, ground squirrel, or tortoise.
  • With the decline of prairie dogs and ground squirrels (species the owl relies on for their own burrows), the populations of burrowing owls have also declined.
  • Another large threat to this species is human alteration of their habitat, pushing them out of their range.

Kodkod/Chilean Cat

  • Vulnerable species with populations declining.
  • The smallest cat species native to the Americas and has the smallest distribution, being found primarily in central and southern Chile from sea level to 2,500 metres.
  • Vegetation cover is an important ecological requirement for the species, as it typically resides in forest areas with heavy understorey, used for dispersion, stalking prey and reproduction.
  • Threats = habitat loss and fragmentation and direct persecution by humans. Human population and deforestation are increasing in the Chilean temperate rainforest – an annual forest loss rate of 4.5% per year was estimated for the period 1975-2000 in Chilean temperate rainforests (equivalent to 67% reduction of total forest area). This trend is continuing, causing further habitat loss and fragmentation which will drive population declines.
  • Another issue associated with fragmented habitats is roadkill.
  • Many people in rural landscapes of central and southern Chile have negative attitudes towards the animal, arguing livestock and poultry losses – retaliatory killings occur because of this.
  • Climate change is also an important potential threat. The distribution range of Kodkods in Chile will decrease under climate change scenarios.
  • This species has been spotted infrequently on camera traps in Nasampullli, Chile.

Longnose Stubfoot Toad/Longnose Harlequin Frog

  • Was thought to be extinct until rediscovered in Intag’s forest, Ecuador, in March 2016. Listed as extinct as it was last seen in 1989!
  • Still listed as extinct by IUCN pending update.
  • Two females and two males discovered. The biologist who discovered them speculated that there would be healthy populations nearby.
  • Great news and hope for amphibians but they were found in a forest threatened by total and irreversible eradication, a forest which holds many more critically endangered and threatened species.

Monkey Puzzle Tree

  • Native to south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina, where it has a relatively limited distribution.
  • The main sub-population is confined to the Andes, where most of it on the western slopes in Chile. In Argentina they are confined to a narrow strip about 200 km in length; the most important forests are 30 to 50 km wide and 150 km long.
  • About 60% of the Argentine Araucaria forests remain after deforestation. These forests are under continual threat and degradation: historically this has been caused by fire, logging and overgrazing.
  • Many forests are subject to intensive human use in the form of seed collecting and animal grazing. Araucaria trees are poor at regenerating, and any regeneration that does occur is principally asexual with trees sprouting from roots.
  • In Chile the main threat is anthropogenic fires – large areas in several national parks have been destroyed within the last 25 years.

Ocelot

  • Population numbers unknown but populations decreasing.
  • Listed as Least Concern due to its large distribution.
  • The species occupies a wide spectrum of habitat types, ranging from scrublands to tropical rainforests. What all these habitats have in common is a well-structured vegetation cover.
  • Major threats = habitat loss and fragmentation, retaliatory killing due to predation of poultry and illegal trade of pets and pelts.
  • The Ocelot has been described as being tolerant in some degree to habitat disturbs and persists in wooded patches near human settlements. However, Ocelot abundance is negatively affected by anthropogenic effects like poaching and logging. Therefore, if these practices continue at their current rate, populations will continue to decline.
  • Ocelots have been spotted in our Neblina Reserve and in Los Cedros, Ecuador.

Olinguito

  • The Olinguito resides from 1,500 to 2,800 metres along the slopes of the northern Andes in Colombia and Ecuador.
  • While there are no figures for their remaining population size, populations are declining. This is assumed due to the rate of deforestation.
  • Largest threat = habitat loss.
  • Of the entire land area predicted to be suitable for Olinguito occurrence, 42% has been converted to agriculture or urban areas and 21% comprises other unforested landscapes; only 37% (40,760 km²) of this land area is currently forested.

Oncilla/Northern Tiger Cat

  • Populations estimated to be between 8,000-10,000 and decreasing.
  • Found primarily in South America and have been recorded in elevations ranging from sea level to 3200 m. They prefer forested habitats and are found in a wide variety of forests ecosystems, from the lowland semi-arid Caatinga to cloud forests in the Andes.
  • One of the smallest wild cats in South America, ranging in mass from 1.5 kg to 3 kg.
  • Very rarely spotted and as such, little information is known about their behaviour.
  • Their population was significantly decreased during the 1970s and 80s due to overhunting, and current threats include habitat loss, fragmentation, illegal trade (pets and pelts), and retaliatory killing by poultry farmers.
  • By and large, the greatest threat is the rampant rate of habitat loss, fragmentation and isolation. This reduces their range, causing it to be increasingly fragmented and isolates populations.
  • Oncillas are found within the Neblina Reserve, Ecuador and have been spotted on camera traps.

Pampas Cat

  • Named after the Argentine grasslands (from which it is now considered to be extinct).
  • The Pampas Cat has a wide distribution outside the moist forests of South America, being associated with more open habitats. It typically inhabits dry scrub and grassland, but can also be found in dry woodland as well as swampy wetland and rocky areas.
  • The most recent information indicates that this species is rare throughout a very large portion of its distribution range.
  • Threats = habitat loss (to agricultural cropland) and degradation (by livestock grazing). As anthropogenic modification increases, habitat quality decreases, threatening this species further.
  • Retaliatory killing for poultry depredation is also a large threat (especially in Peru), as are roadkills.

Pudu 

  • Near Threatened and declining.
  • The Southern Pudu is a small-sized deer endemic to the South American Temperate forests.
  • The population of this species is inferred to have declined as native forest (its primary habitat) has declined almost 50% in the last 500 years.
  • The Southern Pudu lives between the sea level and 1,700 metres.
  • Threats = habitat loss, domestic dog attacks, invasive species and roads (causing roadkill and blocking movement). As habitat loss and fragmentation increases, Pudu encounters with dogs and roads will only increase. Invasive deer and wild boar (Sus scrofa) are present in part of Pudu distribution. These non-native herbivores lead to habitat degradation, affecting understory and forest regeneration (again, reducing habitat suitable for Pudus).
  • Found within Nasampulli Reserve, Chile.

Puma

  • Populations in decline.
  • This species is found in a broad range of habitats, in all forest types, as well as lowland and montane desert. May prefer dense forest but can also live in open habitats with minimal vegetation.
  • The geographic range of the Puma is the largest of any terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere, from Canada through the US, Central and South America to the southern tip of Chile.
  • Main threats = habitat loss and fragmentation. Busy roads and human settlements are barriers to puma movement.
  • Also in decline due to the persecution of their prey and due to hunting. They are persecuted across their range by retaliatory hunting due to livestock depredation, and due to fear that they pose a threat to human life.
  • While listed as Least Concern (due to wide distribution), populations are declining but information is lacking on population numbers/patterns.
  • As a large carnivore, intrinsically linked to other wildlife in the ecosystem and significantly affected by changes within their ecosystem.
  • Often spotted on camera traps in Neblina Reserve (Ecuador) and Nasampulli (Chile).

Tiger

  • Endangered on IUCN Red List and declining.
  • Population of mature individuals estimated to be between 2,154-3,159.
  • The Tiger once ranged widely across Asia, from Turkey in the west to the eastern coast of Russia.
  • Tigers inhabit less than 6% of their historic range with a 42% decline since 2006.
  • Availability of a sufficient prey base of large ungulates is the Tiger’s major habitat requirement: wild pigs and deer of various species are the two prey types that make up the bulk of the Tiger’s diet, and in general Tigers require a good population of these species in order to survive and reproduce.
  • Threats = poaching, human development and retaliatory killing due to tiger attacks on livestock and people.
  • Poaching for illegal trade in high-value Tiger products including skins, bones, meat and tonics is a primary threat to Tigers, which has led to their recent disappearance from broad areas of otherwise suitable habitat, and continues at unsustainable rates. That there are roughly one million square kilometres of unoccupied Tiger habitat is a clear indication that poaching is the greatest threat to Tigers range-wide.
  • Asia is a densely populated and rapidly developing region, bringing huge pressures to bear on the large wild areas required for viable Tiger populations. Conversion of forest land to agriculture and silviculture, commercial logging, and human settlement are the main drivers of Tiger habitat loss. With their substantial dietary requirements, Tigers require a healthy large ungulate prey base, but these species are also under heavy human subsistence hunting pressure and competition from domestic livestock.
  • Tiger attacks on livestock and people can lead to intolerance of Tigers by neighbouring communities and presents an ongoing challenge to managers to build local support for Tiger conservation and can lead to high rates of retaliatory killing of Tigers. In some areas there have been many human deaths – for example, about 40 people were killed by Tigers in the Sundarbans mangrove forest of Bangladesh and India in 2000-2010.

There are a number of ways that individuals and businesses can get involved and help protect the world’s threatened forest habitats. To learn more visit Rainforest Concern – Protecting the World’s Habitats or email the team at info@rainforestconcern.org.

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