Global Tree Conservation

Montane Cloud Forest Conservation in Mesoamerica

Content Detail

Quercus insignis is an endangered oak that occurs in the montane cloud forest, a habitat that is exceptionally biodiverse but also one of the most threatened on earth. While Q. insignis has a historically wide range from Mexico to Panama, its highly selective habitat requirement, isolated and decreasing populations, and multiple threats—that include land-use change, logging, fire, and disease—call for immediate conservation action to prevent the extinction of this ecologically and culturally important species.

This project uses Q. insignis as a flagship species to promote the conservation of montane cloud forest habitat by bringing together a group of local scientists and conservation leaders from Costa Rica to Mexico with a larger network of globally recognized botanic gardens and arboreta.

Project partners are developing and implementing a sustainable and integrative conservation and management plan that will combine:

  • Prioritization of conservation areas using spatial modeling at regional and local scales
  • Tree planting and capacity building within the Amistosa Biological Corridor in Costa Rica
  • Documentation of traditional use and management Q. insignis by local communities to promote its sustainable use

Expected outputs include: 

  • A clear understanding of the threats to Q. insignis
  • Reinforced populations in the wild
  • Local capacity building
  • A scientifically informed conservation and management plan implemented in partnership with local communities and stakeholders.

Funding Sources

  • Franklinia Foundation
  • National Geographic Explorers


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