Zone 5: Nature Reserve

Within Permaculture circles there is some discussion if having a zone 5 is useful or possible. We think it is and we feel quite strongly that our land needs to provide space to other life as it does to us. So we designated the entire mountain slope at the west and northwest side of the farm as zone 5. That’s 5 hectares (12 acres) which is about half of the land of the farm. It’s better like this, because it’s mostly steep slopes, so it should be forested anyway.

Wildlife obviously doesn’t always limit itself to the zones we identify. That leads to a nice encounter every now and then. Like this turtle below:

1_turtle

Water turtles live in our dams. We have no idea how they got there. A few weeks ago after our dams started to fill up again I could take this picture. We’re happy to see they survived the drought.

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Armadillos are said to be active at night, but sometimes we see one during the day.

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A clearer picture from wikipedia:

4_Armadillo-wiki

Frogs and toads are everywhere. A dozen toads patrol around the house every night eating as many bugs as they can.

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We’ve got a few house lizards as well. They sometimes chase each other on the walls of our house.

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We don’t always have a camera with us, so the following pictures we took of the internet. About a year ago I first had an encounter with an adult tapir. Normally they’re quite shy and they will flee when they notice you. This time however we checked each other out for about 5 minutes before the tapir turned around and calmly walked back up the mountain. They more or less look like the one below:

7_mountain_tapir

Opossums, called chucha here, are night creatures and they are very difficult to photograph.

8_Chucha-opossum

Opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) by GaryKramer.net, 530-934-3873, gkramer@cwo.com

Behind the dams, on the mountain side we have seen Iguanas. There is also a more colorful variety, but the ones we’ve seen looked like this:

9_Iguana

To give an idea about the zones on our land, see the image below which is part of our Permaculture design for the farm.

map_with_zones

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