Connected Gardens: facilitating the peaceful co-existence of sloths and people.
The Connected Gardens Project empowers community members to ensure that every single property in a given area maintains canopy connectivity with neighboring properties.
This network of connected gardens provides a safe route of passage for sloths and other arboreal animals and increases habitat availability in disturbed areas.
Sloths are particularly sensitive to the effects of habitat fragmentation because they cannot jump across gaps in the forest canopy.
If they cannot travel from tree-to-tree, sloths are forced to crawl across the ground where they are extremely vulnerable.
The aim of the Connected Gardens Project is to address the issues of habitat fragmentation and degradation: when once-continuous ecosystems are split up into smaller pieces and trees become increasingly isolated.
We have learned that the majority of people would like to make their land as wildlife-friendly as possible; they just lack the knowledge, resources or motivation to do so.
Through the Connected Gardens Project, we provide people in Costa Rica with everything that they need to make this happen – for free!
- We build and install Sloth Crossing canopy bridges to connect isolated trees and forest fragments.
- We cultivate and plant sloth-friendly trees in target areas to restore natural corridors while providing essential resources for wildlife.
Every single property or garden has the potential to provide safe habitat and food for wild animals.
Property owners are taught how to care for the trees and how to monitor the usage of the Sloth Crossing bridges by different species.
By utilizing citizen science in this way we are able to gain valuable data on the impact of the project, and community members are empowered to become partners in conservation.
All business owners who participate in the Connected Gardens Project are rewarded with accreditation to the Sloth Friendly Network.
This creates a win-win situation in which property owners benefit through an increased presence of wildlife on their land and an increased income from visitors.
Over the next 10 years, the 30 species of native trees that we have planted over an area of 30 km2 will absorb over 12,500 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere every single year.