Land Purchase and Protection
Since its founding in 2008, The White Hawk Foundation's main function has involved raising funds to purchase land that is critical in the protection of the wildlife on the Osa Peninsula. To date the foundation has raised funds for the purchase of two large properties, is in negotiation to purchase another large piece (247 acres) held with donated funds, and is also in negotiations with several other large property owners.
How is the White Hawk Foundation Helping?
The White Hawk Foundation is supporting national efforts to protect the buffer zones adjacent to Corcovado National Park through the purchase of land for sale. Currently, the entire valley that buffers the park in Carate is for sale. If put in the wrong hands we could see unsustainable development on a large scale, ruining the most wild place on the peninsula where wildlife is still abundant. The purchase of these lands agreements are made with the previous owners, called 'Conservation Easements'.
Why do we need to protect the land around our National Parks?
Costa Rica currently protects around 25% of its land designated as national parks, reserves, and other protected areas. Within these protected lands, deforestation is generally very low. It is outside of these parks that real habitat loss is occurring. Corcovado and Piedras Blancas National Parks currently exist within a matrix of unprotected land used for agriculture, urban areas, and plantations of rice, palm oil and teak.
This existing matrix of unprotected land leads to the national parks functioning as islands, reducing their ability to support the wildlife they were designed to protect. Nationally, one of the main objectives for the protection of the Osa Peninsula is to increase protected land around and in between these national parks. This would increase the amount of habitat available for wildlife and enable the migration of wildlife throughout the peninsula and ultimately increase the density and health of the wildlife populations.