The Honduran Emerald and other birds will benefit from a new program to provide incentives for conservation. Local communities benefit, too, as they receive payments for maintaining and improving habitat on their lands.
The Honduran Emerald
The Honduran Emerald is found only in the small Central American country of Honduras, where it is the country’s only endemic bird species. This, combined with its endangered status, makes it a high priority for us and our local partner ASIDE.
Part of the hummingbird population occurs in remnant tropical dry forest habitat in the Agalta Valley, where most of the habitat suitable for the hummingbird has been cleared for cattle grazing and other agricultural purposes such as fruit production.
Road Project Sparks Conservation in the Agalta Valley
Interestingly, a road improvement project in the Agalta Valley created a funding opportunity to advance conservation of the Honduran Emerald and its dry forest habitat.
We are working with ASIDE to develop a payment scheme to incentivize private landowners to maintain and improve habitat on their lands for the emerald and other wildlife.
Payments for Ecosystem Services
A payment program can be a very effective tool for conservation if implemented correctly. The concept is rather simple: paying landowners in return for their protection or restoration of habitat on their land for wildlife, carbon sequestration, or water resources.
The payments could be in the form of cash or by providing something else of value to the landowner, such as training on how to improve soil quality on their pasturelands. In this way, landowners are encouraged toward activities that help the environment, rather than degrade it.
Support the Honduran Emerald Project