Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – Since its founding in 2004, the Vallarta Botanical Garden has focused on preserving the unspoiled tropical forest and the unique habitat just south of Puerto Vallarta. One of the most biodiverse areas in the world and home to many endangered plant and animal species, its protection is of international importance.
The Vallarta Botanical Garden is now embarking on its most ambitious conservation and fundraising campaign yet! An initial 85 hectares of densely forested land just south of the Garden was purchased to establish a Forest Preserve. As part of its Conservation in Action Plan, this territory will be protected and preserved for future generations. The Vallarta Botanical Garden is announcing that these first 85 hectares of forest are home to the world’s first Ocelot Sanctuary, raising awareness of this endangered cat and the importance of habitat continuity.
A New Safe Haven for Wildlife in Mexico – Ocelot Sanctuary (Santuario de los Ocelotes)
The ocelot is a medium-sized wild cat with a distinct and unique spotted coat and a long ringed tail. As the ocelot is associated with areas of dense cover, a night camera trap study on this newly acquired land captured images of numerous different ocelots foraging for prey. The presence of this elusive cat had not been previously documented at this location; this finding brought the project to life.
The ocelots’ fine, soft fur has made them the target of poachers and the population has suffered. Ocelots are now protected in the United States and most other countries where they live. With a decreasing population worldwide, mainly due to habitat fragmentation, the Ocelot Sanctuary delivers the habiitat necessary for the ocelots’ survival.
Vallarta Botanical Garden Founder and Curator, Bob Price reinforced this key point and said “The establishment of the new Ocelot Sanctuary shows the Garden’s commitment to conservation in Mexico. The only way to preserve species is by preserving their habitat.”
The Vallarta Botanical Garden is proud to create a safe space for this elusive cat that can swim, climb, run and jump its way through the jungle. Plans are underway to give conservationists access to the Sanctuary, with designated trails for accompanied hikes to educate and bring more awareness to the importance of habitat protection.
You can support the Vallarta Botanical Garden and Conservation in Action Land Preservation Campaign by making a tax-deductible donation at vbg.wildapricot.org.
About Vallarta Botanical Garden
A world-renowned Botanical Garden and conservation leader in Mexico, the Vallarta Botanical Garden is a special place recognized for horticultural excellence and successful conservation projects. Located just south of Puerto Vallarta, the Garden is a top tourism generator for the region. Since its founding in 2004, the Garden has focused on preserving the unique and unspoiled tropical dry forest that surrounds it in Jalisco. One of the most biodiverse areas in the world and home to several endangered plant and animal species, the protection of this habitat is of international importance, and its deforestation could have dramatic effects on climate.
About The Ocelot Sanctuary
A conservation project of the Vallarta Botanical Garden and its members, the Ocelot Sanctuary is located on 85 hectares (210 acres) in Cabo Corrientes, just 6 km south of the Garden in Mexico, and a half-hour drive from Puerto Vallarta. Located approximately 500 meters above sea level and situated in a Mexican oak-pine forest, the Ocelot Sanctuary is not open to the public and will be preserved in perpetuity for the ocelot and wildlife to live freely. The Garden is working with local landowners and conservation organizations to spread habitat preservation ideas throughout Mexico and is also reaching out to international sources for additional support.
Visit the internationally famous Vallarta Botanical Garden located just 30 minutes south of Old Town at Km. 24 on Highway 200 and easily accessible by public transportation and taxi. This 74 acre wildlife preserve and botanical garden have something fun for everyone. Over 200 species of birds have been observed on the Garden’s grounds. Don’t forget to bring your swimsuit for a refreshing dip in the jungle river. See plantings of vanilla, chocolate, and hundreds of other botanical delights! Authentic Mexican Cuisine is served in the Hacienda de Oro Restaurant from 10 am to 5 pm. The Garden is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm (closed Mondays from April 1 to December 1). Garden admission is just $200 pesos. For more information, call (322) 223-6182 or visit vbgardens.org.