ZooLab Mission: Operation Ocelot
Updated: Mar 4, 2022
What is Operation Ocelot?
Operation Ocelot is an initiative run by the World Land Trust and their patron Steve Backshall to help raise funds for Rainforest habitats in Guatemala! The project supports the expansion of the Laguna Grande reserve by encouraging children (and adults) to measure their garden, playgroups or local greenspace and fundraise to protect the same amount of area in the Laguna Grande Reserve.
Why is it important?
Caribbean Guatemala has already lost 80% of lowland forest to deforestation for plantations and cattle ranching (ICFC, 2022). Laguna Grande Sarstún Reserve is considered the largest remaining lowland and tropical rainforest in Caribbean Guatemala. The area is a safe haven to an estimated 359 species of birds, over 126 species of mammals, 35 amphibian species and 71 reptile species and is one of the most important sites for the conservation of West Indian Manatee (World Land Trust, ND).
Not only is Laguna Grande important to animals, but the water-holding capacity of the wetland areas of the reserve helps to prevent and mitigate flooding for hurricane-prone Caribbean Guatemala.