Conservation projects of the Association for Tropical Lepidoptera are funded only through dedicated contributions; ATL dues monies are not used for conservation projects. The goal of any ATL conservation project is to protect habitats of moths and butterflies.


1. Rondonia, Brazil - Fundacion FAUTRON at Rancho Grande
One of the main ATL conservation projects since 1991 has been in Rondonia, Brazil. This project is made possible by specific contributions from members for this project. A site south of Porto Velho, called Fazenda Rancho Grande, has been enlarged through the purchase of over 6,000 acres of additional rainforest. A laboratory field station has been built and other facilities improved for the use of visiting students and scientists. General facilities for visitors have also been improved during 1995. Many visitors have already been to Rancho Grande to study Lepidoptera in this exceedingly rich habitat. Estimates of Lepidoptera diversity include over 1800 species of butterflies within the Rancho Grande area!
Contributions: over 100 ATL members and friends have contributed to this effort, with gifts from school classes across the United States as well. One member in particular has donated large amounts of stocks that have been sold to provide a total of over $200,000 since 1993 for Rancho Grande funding and land purchases. Lands purchased through ATL are assigned to the Fundacion FAUTRON in Brazil, which provides for continued protection of these valuable rainforests.

2. Florida, USA - Project Ponceanus
Another ATL conservation project, started in 1996 with special contributions, continues the captive propagation program and restoration of the endangered Schaus swallowtail (Papilio aristodemus ponceanus), a species of Papilionidae living only in south Florida. The project will continue attempts to increase the numbers of Schaus swallowtail butterflies in its native range from the Miami mainland area of south Florida through the Floridaa Keys. This project is directed by Dr. Thomas C. Emmel, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Contributions: support has come, in part, through private contributions to the ATL Lepidoptera Research Fund specifically for this project from ATL members. Private support became critical in 1996 to replace funding eliminated by U.S. government cutbacks, yet a successful release program was completed in parts of Miami, Key Largo, four islands in Biscayne Bay, and several islands in the Middle Keys.

3. Bahia, Brazil
Under the leadership of Dr. Vitor O. Becker, a special project to peserve a significant area of the highly endangered Atlantic Tropical Rainforest habitat has been started (as of late 2000). Tracts of primary and secondary rain forest are being purchased with donations from ATL members and other sources. Laboatory facilities and visitor cabins for researchers are being constructed.
Contributions: over $15,000 has been donated since December 2000 to the ATL Rainforest Fund for this nw conservation project.

4. Yasuní National Park, Ecuador
In 1997, the ATL Rainforest Fund began support of the Yasuní Biological Research Station, located in the vast Amazonian lowland rainforests of eastern Ecuador's Yasuní National Park. Originally an oil company camp facility turned over to the Catholic University of Quito to manage, this small complex of buildings (research laboratories, collection rooms, dormitories, and dining hall) provides an incredibly valuable scientific base wich is surrounded by virtually undisturbed primary rainforest in the midst of over 1 million hectares of park and Indian reservation lands. Funds are urgently needed, however, to maintain and improve these facilities, especially to move the buildings out of their existing location on the edge of the local flood plain. Dr. William Patricio Ponce, entomologist of the Universidad Catolica, in Quito, is responsible for seeing that ATL contributions are used in the most effective way possible to help ensure the continued existence of this vitally important rainforest field station. Without it and the intense scientific interest and use of this forest, the continual preservation of Yasuní National Park could well be jeopardized ver quickly in Ecuador.
Contributions: over $10,000 has been donated since 1997 to the ATL Rainforest Fund for this Amazonian rainforest preservation project.

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