A Lasting Gift

Ecuadorian frog. Colombian orchid.Ecuadorian Forest Mouse. Colombian frog. Colombian orchid.Panamanian caecilian (legless amphibian)Colombian frog. Ecuadorian orchid.Ecuadorian ant. Colombian frog. Colombian orchid.

By Callie Broaddus | Photos courtesy of Rainforest Trust

For gift-givers in search of a unique and permanent legacy gift, Warrenton-based conservation nonprofit Rainforest Trust has cued up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Colombian frog.

On and leading up to Dec. 8, Rainforest Trust is holding the world’s largest ever public species naming auction. The honor of naming newly discovered species is the treasured perk of a scientific career, but this holiday season, scientists are donating the rights to name 12 species in order to help save them.

All species featured in the auction were discovered on tropical sites protected by Rainforest Trust and their local partners in Colombia, Ecuador and Panama. The eye-catching newcomers to our known world include a tiny grey forest mouse, a cartoonish salamander, a dazzling yellow frog with bright blue eyes and a range of intricate orchids, among others.

Panamanian caecilian (legless amphibian)

Panamanian caecilian (legless amphibian)

The charity auction, hosted by Freeman’s Auction House, is open for bidding online and by phone leading up to the live auction on Dec. 8, which will take place at 8 p.m. at a private event in Washington, D.C. The funds raised from each species name auctioned will go directly to the reserve each species calls home. According to the Rainforest Trust, “a bid for one of these species’ names is a chance to both save them from extinction and honor someone or something you care about.”

Colombian orchid.

The Rainforest Trust is a 501(c)(3) organization with a 30-year history of purchasing and protecting the most biodiverse and critical habitats on the planet. To date, the group has protected nearly 20 million acres of critical habitat for endangered species.

For more information on the Species Legacy Auction, visit: www.rainforesttrust.org/species-auction. To view the catalog, visit: auctions.freemansauction.com/auction-catalog/1618B.

Callie Broaddus is a member of the Rainforest Trust Council. 

This article first appeared in the December 2018 issue of Middleburg Life.