They protect threatened, biodiverse upland habitat, contribute to knowledge in conservation biology on rare and endangered species, and educate the public about Florida’s biodiversity and natural resources.
Ashton’s work includes:
Gopher tortoises earn their name and keystone species status by digging burrows which can be up to 67 feet long and 45 feet in depth. They protect and shelter over 350 diverse species of animal. That includes the endangered gopher frog, eastern diamondback rattlesnake, eastern indigo snake, mammals like the Florida mouse, many species of invertebrates, and even birds like the burrowing owl. Without the gopher tortoise, many of these animals would be in deep trouble, and the tortoises themselves can't survive without the upland habitats which face threats from development across Florida. By protecting these habitats, Ashton Biological Preserve is helping to keep the roots of this chain of interdependence on solid ground.
Ashton's work breeding critically endangered reptiles contributes to the genetic integrity of captive populations around the United States. Their radiated tortoise breeding program is among the best in the world, and they are currently working on breeding and education programs for other endangered species.
With the Ashton Biological Preserve’s on-site & off-site educational programs, collaboration with private landowners, conservation breeding programs, and habitat restoration projects, they are addressing conservation from all sides.
The ASA’s projects are based in Madre de Dios, Peru, which is home to vast tracts of primary rainforest that contain more species of plants and animals than almost anywhere else on Earth.
In collaboration with those from the region, the ASA's work includes:
The Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon's work provides an important service to the biodiversity and people of Madre de Dios.