e-Newsletter signup        
We have a choice.
Safeguard tropical nature for future generations.
Or not.
Join us — we're doing it!

ICFC conserves nature in the tropics and other priority areas worldwide.

Why the tropics? Biodiversity abounds in the tropics and this is where it is most under threat. Tropical nature benefits the entire world by regulating climate, preserving biodiversity, and supplying fresh water, rainfall, pollinators, and much else.   [>] More about us...

Number of countries ICFC has worked in Land area protected Marine area protected Threatened species known at
ICFC project areas
14 151,200 km2 46,000 km2 35


ICFC is proud to announce the creation of the new Amphibian Conservation Reserve of San Isidro in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. Together with local partner FUNDAECO, World Land Trust, Global Wildlife Conservation, the Amphibian Survival Alliance, and Rainforest Trust, ICFC supported the acquisition of a 922-hectare property that will be managed by FUNDAECO as a private nature reserve. Located in the lush subtropical forest of the Cuchumatanes mountain range, the area is a global priority (and was recognized as such by the Alliance for Zero Extinction) for harbouring no fewer than eleven Threatened amphibians. It is also home to three Threatened bird species.   [>] Further info   [>] Project page

How much room for nature?
Famed Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson calls for setting aside half the world for nature, and cites Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (which ICFC supports) in Costa Rica as an model for integrating local people into protected areas as environmental educators, managers and rangers. Others have independently put forward the same idea, notably WILD Foundation, with its "Nature Needs Half"campaign .

Camera trap reveals jaguar, ocelot, puma, tapir white-lipped peccary and more at our Kayapo project area in the Amazon. See slideshow.

The human asteroid: Sixth mass extinction underway
If there was any doubt about this before, a recent study has provided further evidence that we have entered a period of mass extinction — the sixth in the Earth's history. Gerardo Ceballos, from Universidad Autónoma de México, and colleagues published a paper in the journal Science Advances in which, through rigorous analysis and conservative assumptions, they examine whether humans are in fact driving a mass extinction. They found that in the last century vertebrates (mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians) underwent extinctions at up to 114 times the conservatively estimated background rate. By our calculation, at this rate half of existing vertebrate species would be extinct in 30 centuries, a depletion that could only be replenished through millions of years of evolution. But such a dramatic loss is not inevitable. We can and must take greater action to conserve nature now.

Observing deforestation near real time: How a remote-sensing monitoring program is being used to inform policy decisions in Peru
With ICFC support, partners Amazon Conservation Association (ACA) and Asociación para la Conservación de la Cuenca Amazónica (ACCA) have recently published a first policy brief on the use and results of implementing a remote sensing monitoring program in the Peruvian Andean Amazon to monitor deforestation. This brief documents how areas subject to deforestation due to various causes (illegal mining, monoculture crop production, new roads) can be clearly identified, monitored and quantified, even in relatively short periods of time. This tool will be critical to inform policy decisions at the governmental level in Peru and beyond. To access the brief (in Spanish), [>] click here.
[>] related ICFC project page

Protected areas worldwide: a report card
An article soon to be published in Conservation Letters, a journal of the Society for Conservation Biology, takes stock of what countries have actually achieved relative to their commitment to conserve at least 17% of terrestrial and 10% of marine environments through ecologically representative protected areas (PAs). The commitment, made under the Convention on Biological Diversity, emphasized protecting "areas of particular important for biodiversity". We are falling far short of this goal, especially in poorer countries, and for all taxonomic groups. The authors, who include ICFC's Ariadne Angulo, call for better targeted PA expansion and other approaches including community- and privately managed sites and "effective area-based conservation measures".

New staff at ICFC
ICFC has welcomed two key new staff members recently. Ariadne Angulo is ICFC's new Director of Conservation (and has a cross appointment with IUCN) and Michelle Colero is Managing Director, Development. Each brings valuable experience in the conservation world, Ariadne from the science and program side, and Michelle in developing partnerships and support for international conservation. ICFC has also welcomed as a program development Associate, Anton Struchkov, a Russian born Canadian conservationist living near Halifax. Michelle, Ariadne and Anton join a keen small group of staff and associates united by a passion for conservation and the determination to optimize our conservation impact. [>] Read more about ICFC personnel

Window on Kayapo life, deep in the Amazon:
Few of us will have the opportunity to make the long journey (and get the necessary permits) to visit a remote Kayapo community in the Brazilian Amazon. But PURE Energies, a generous supporter of the Kayapo Conservation Program, has just returned from such a journey. Check out the wonderful video and blogs at KayapoJourney.com for a personal perspective of the way of life of these heroes of nature conservation.

Allan Baker, eminent scientist and shorebird conservationist. Canada and the world lost a leader in shorebird conservation with the death on November 20th of Dr. Allan Baker. Dr. Baker was Senior Curator of Ornithology and head of the Natural History Department at the Royal Ontario Museum. In addition to his research in molecular evolution, he was actively involved in conservation at key staging and wintering areas for migratory shorebirds throughout the Americas and was co-founder of the Global Flyway Network. Allan was a friend and Advisor to ICFC and he helped us to develop our Shorebird Conservation Initiative this year (a webpage for the initiative is in the works). His influence will continue for years to come in our work and that of others committed to shorebird conservation.

Art exhibit of portraits aids Kayapo program
On November 13th, Terrin Art held its "Kayapo Guardians of the Rain Forest Exhibition" with ten original paintings by Belgian artist Peter Terrin, from which the gallery is generously donating half the proceeds in support of ICFC's Kayapo conservation program. Thank you, Peter Terrin!

Focus on shorebirds
Shorebird species, like the Red Knot, which breeds in the Canadian Arctic and migrates 15,000 km to Tierra del Fuego at the southern end of South America to winter, are in decline. Semipalmated Sandpiper is another Arctic-breeding species in decline. Protected at key migration key sites on the Bay of Fundy, it faces threats at wintering sites along the north coast of South America in the Guyanas, Suriname and northern Brazil. ICFC is talking to shorebird experts and developing project plans to address problems that shorebirds face at key wintering and migration stopover sites in South America. Stay tuned!

Success in foiling mink boosts Hooded Grebe breeding success.
This just in: During the 2013-2014 breeding season, guardians at Hooded Grebe nesting colonies reported zero incidents of mink predation, indicating that enhanced mink control efforts were highly successful. Predation by introduced American mink has been a key factor causing population decline for this Critically Endangered Species.  [>] Project page

Protecting the Amazon: Interview with Grand Chief Megaron
A Kayapo leader talks about threats to Kayapo lands, their motivation for protecting their lands, carbon credits, cultural survival, and Toronto's winter weather!   [>] Interview

Grand Chief Megaron's visit to Toronto spotlights Canadian assistance in Amazonian conservation

© Jason van Bruggen/ICFC
The Kayapo people of Brazil perform a service to the world in protecting a vast area of the southeastern Amazon from illegal logging, mining and land clearing for agriculture. But in Toronto recently a Kayapo leader pointed to the key role played by their foreign partners, ICFC chief among them. The Amazonian rainforest benefits the world by supporting about a third of the planet's terrestrial species and providing hugely valuable ecosystem services such as climate and water regulation. Grand Chief Megaron explained through a translator that their land means everything to the Kayapo and that support from international conservation organizations is crucial in enabling them to continue to protect their lands from increasing threats.
[>] Related Globe and Mail story, Jan. 20, 2014.

Susan Canney gives TED talk on Mali elephant project
In a newly posted TED talk, Susan outlines the innovative approach taken by our Mali elephant project that has resulted in continued conservation gains through Mali's period of crisis. (Follow Susan on Twitter: @CanneySusan)

Kayapo cover story in National Geographic!
ICFC's flagship program receives world attention through a cover story ("Defenders of the Amazon") on the Kayapo in the January 2014 issue of National Geographic. And see the online companion article, Rain Forest Warriors: How Indigenous Tribes Protect the Amazon by Barbara Zimmerman.
[>] Read more

WILD10: ICFC at the World Wilderness Congress
ICFC staff gave presentations to hundreds of conservation professionals from around the world this October at the tenth World Wilderness Congress in Salamanca, Spain. Susan Canney, Director of the Mali Elephant Project, presented on Community Conservation During Rebellion, War, and Global Terrorism, and Barbara Zimmerman, Director of the Kayapo Program, led a session on Keeping Primary Forests Intact: Why and How

Special report on biodiversity in The Economist
The September 14th issue of The Economist  takes an in-depth look at biodiversity that is cautiously optimistic, but overlooks key concerns. [>] Read more

Kayapo expedition expels illegal goldminers
In a dramatic surveillance expedition this summer, 46 Kayapo warriers backed by ICFC's partner organization expelled illegal goldminers from a remote location in Kayapo territories. [>] Read more

New maps identify global conservation priorities
An important contribution for prioritizing conservation was made this year with the publication of a new analysis of the geographic distributions of three vertebrate taxa, with maps showing where these species — and the most vulnerable among them — are concentrated. [>] Read more

Consevationists meet in Ottawa for the BirdLife International World Congress
Conservationists from 122 countries convened in Ottawa June 19-22 for the 2013 BirdLife International World Congress. ICFC was there... [>] Read more

Mali — Elephant conservation hinders recruitment of young men to armed groups
Our elephant conservation work in Mali has continued through the recent occupation by Tuareg rebels and Islamic militants in the north Gourma, and — in a striking result — has offered young men an alternative to joining armed groups. They preferred to work for the project creating firebreaks and in anti-poaching brigades.
[>] Read more.

Peru — Reserve becomes more crucial for "uncontacted indigenous people"
Reserve guards were startled recently to encounter uncontacted indigenous people deep within the Los Amigos Conservation Concession in the Peruvian Amazon. These tribal people generally avoid contact with civilization and are protected by a large, remote reserve for indigenous people "in voluntary isolation". [>] Read more

Ecuador — ICFC joins effort to enlarge Buenaventura reserve
Half the world's known population of the El Oro Parakeet is found in the small Buenaventura reserve in Ecuador. There is an excellent opportunity now to expand the reserve. ICFC and other conservation organizations joined partner Fundación Jocotoco in raising funds to purchase an adjacent high-value property. This acquisition is now complete! [>] Read more.

ICFC Annual Report for 2012 now out
View a digital version of the report or for a printed copy.

Argentina — Newly declared Patagonia National Park to protect the hooded grebe
Thanks to the work of Aves Argentina and (ICFC partner) Ambiente Sur, a new national park was recently declared that will protect the core breeding population of the Critically Endangered hooded grebe, Podiceps gallardoi, on the Buenos Aires Plateau in Argentina's Santa Cruz province. Field work is underway to survey the breeding population and address the causes of the species' decline. See our project page.

Bruce Babbitt addresses ICFC gathering in Toronto
At a November reception in Toronto, we welcomed as speaker Bruce Babbitt, former U.S. Secretary of the Interior in the Clinton Administration and former governor of Arizona. Mr. Babbitt, an active conservationist and director of ICFC partner Amazon Conservation Association (ACA), talked about ACA's Los Amigos Conservation Concession in Peru, which is located in "the last, best, most pristine undisturbed biologically intact part of the Amazon". He lauded ICFC's new trust fund for Los Amigos as "a model for elevating protection" of public and private protected areas. We also heard how he became involved in tropical conservation and his take on current conservation priorities. [>] Read more

ICFC Project Locations
Red dots: ongoing projects
Green dots: deforestation sites identified in our Andean Amazon prioject
Yellow stars: locations of ICFC staff

Note to our supporters and friends: Yes, ICFC has a new logo! Our long-tailed manakin logo served us well and we retain a soft spot for manakins.
In coming weeks we're going to redesign our website — same rich content, but improved look and feel and will display well on hand-held devices and desktops.

Photo credits: ICFC/Anne Lambert (top); FUNDAECO (land area and threatened species images); Cristina Mittermeier (marine area image).

About ICFC
Board and Staff
Annual Reports & Publications
The Buzz about ICFC
Contact us

Our projects
Project Selection Criteria
Our project partners

For prospective partners
Guide for our Agents


Conservation Fast Facts
ICFC on YouTube


Donate or volunteer
Reserve Fund

Wish list
Projects awaiting funding

International Conservation Fund of Canada Copyright © 2009-2015