Latin American farms that grow coffee and bananas in an environmentally sustainable manner are serving as biological corridors and even habitat for various species of wildlife, according to a new report by the Rainforest Alliance.
The study, presented in Costa Rica, found that a range of wild species are living on Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee farms, including the vulnerable Colombian night monkey.
The organization's communications manager for Latin America, Milagro Espinoza, told Efe that practically all of the region's RA-certified coffee farms are inhabited by wildlife.
The RA also has documented cases of wild species living on banana farms in Costa Rica.
"The standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network, the tool used in the Rainforest Alliance certification process, include the protection of wild areas as part of their guidelines," she said.
"That measure has led the coffee farms to become a refuge option or corridor for birds that have been seeing their nesting or migration areas disappear," Espinoza said.
Colombia is a special case because of the presence in that country of the Colombian night monkey.
"It's rare to spot night monkeys because they are nocturnal and live in trees," Deanna Newsom, a senior evaluation and research analyst for the Rainforest Alliance, said.
"By placing tags with a radio signal on a group of Colombian night monkeys, we discovered that they spend almost as much time feeding at the coffee farms under dense shade as in the rainforest," she added.
Researchers found 12 different species living on coffee farms in Colombia, including the kinkajou, or honey bear; bushy-tailed olingo; and the South American coati.
To obtain the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal, farmers must comply with a set a standards that protect the environment and promote the rights and wellbeing of workers, their families and their communities. EFE