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Rescue and liberation

Aotus miconax, rescued and released. Photo: Ana Peralta/NPCLast week during fieldwork on the endemic Peruvian night monkey (Aotus miconax) in Campo redondo, Amazonas department, we recieved two reports of illegally held wildlife. With the help of the public prosecutors Dr. Juan Carlos Cabanillas Novoa and Dr. Pedro Herrera Odar the police NPC’s researchers Ana Peralta Aguilar y Raquel Quiroz Pozo were able to rescue both animals. In one case the owners cooperated with the authorities and voluntarily handed over the animal, an adult male Aotus miconax that they had caught in their plantation, to our researchers.  The second animal, another adult male Aotus miconax, was harder to confiscate as the owners had illegally paid S/. 170.00 (about $65.00) for it. After they were told about the laws protecting this species and the possible consequences of not cooperating they opened the cage and let the animal escape in their house. Luckily our researchers were able to catch it again quickly before it could hurt itself or cause any damage. The owners thought it was a female as when they caught it it was carrying an infant, unfortunately the infant did not survive it’s fathers capture. After being given a medical exam and ensuring that both animals were wild caught in the same area we decided it was best to release both animals back to the wild. On the 6th of April both animals were released in a local forest owned by Sr. Tobias, a local man who is protecting his forests and their wildlife. The release was a success and hopefully both these animals will rapidly adapt to their new home, finding partners and breeding. We would like to thank all the people involved in these rescues and hope that this action will discourage other people in the area from buying, selling or keeping wild animals as pets in the future.

DECRETO SUPREMO Nº 004-2014-MINAGRI – Amenaza a la fauna silvestre

Ayer salió el Decreto Supremo que aprueba el listado de especies amenazadas y protegidas por la ley Peruana (DS N°004-2014-MINAGRI). Según la vigente Ley Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre (27308), este DS debe ser actualizado cada 2 años, sin embargo, esta es la primera actualización desde 2004, una tardanza de 8 años. Los talleres dedicados a la actualización de esta lista de especies amenazadas se realizaron en 2009 y recién ahora se publicaron los resultados. Eso significa que se está publicado algo que ya no está actualizado y debe salir de vigencia, no entrar. La actualización de este DS es extremamente importante porque es esencial para los procesos administrativos y penales contra los traficantes de animales.

Carne de motelo- esta especies no esta protegida por la ley Peruana. Foto: NPCNos  alegra ver que el mono choro cola amarilla (Oreonax/lagothrix flavicauda) y el mono tocón de San Martín (Callicebus oenanthe), especies con las que trabajamos, ya están consideradas como especies en Peligro Crítico de extinción. Esperamos que pertenecer oficialmente a esta categoría ayudará en la protección real contra la caza y la destrucción de su hábitat.  También felicitamos el aumento de especies categorizadas como protegidas (el DS 034-2004-AG tenía 301 especies protegidas y el actual tiene 535) y la inclusión por primera vez del grupo de los invertebradas.

Sin embargo, estamos muy preocupados por la categorización de muchos otras especies que todavía no figuran en la lista o que figuran en categorías de menor peligro que en el último DS. Por ejemplo:

  • El mono nocturno Peruano (Aotus miconax), una especie endémica, mayormente San Martin y Amazonas, cambió de En peligro a la categoría de menor peligro Vulnerable.
  • El Oso Andino (Tremarctos ornatus) cambió de En peligro a la categoría de menor peligro Vulnerable.
  • La sachavaca (Tapirus terrestris) cambió de Vulnerable a la categoría de menor peligro Casi Amenazado.
  • El Manati (Trichechus inunguis) cambió de En peligro a la categoría de menor peligro Vulnerable.
  • El pudu (Pudu mephistophiles) cambió de En peligro a la categoría de  menor peligro Vulnerable.
  • La Pacarana (Dynomis branickii) cambió de En peligro a la categoría de menor peligro Vulnerable.
  • El guacamayo rojo verde (Ara chloropterus) cambió de Vulnerable a la categoría de menor peligro Casi Amenazado.
  • Ara macao (Guacamayo escarlata) cambió de Vulnerable a la categoría de menor peligro Casi Amenazado.

Las especies de primates como los machines (Cebus spp.) y los monos nocturnos (Aotus spp. menos A. miconax), las culebras grandes como las anacondas (eunectes murinus) y la mayoría de las boas (Boa spp.), el venado gris (mazama gouazoubira), el venado cola blanca (Odocoileus virginiatus), el sajino (Pecari tajacu), los loros como la mayoría de las especies de aurora (Amazonas pp.) y el Guacamayo azul y amarillo (Ara ararauna), la motelo (Chelonoidis denticulata) y muchas especies más están totalmente ausentes en esta lista, es decir que no están protegidas por la ley Peruana y sus persecución no puede ser castigada penalmente.

Estas especies son fuertemente perseguidas por el tráfico ilegal de fauna, y/o son muy deseadas por los cazadores deportivos y comerciantes ilegales de mascotas. Estas especies sufren de las mismas, si no más fuertes amenazas y presiones por caza y pérdida de hábitat que han sufrido en el 2004 y hasta donde conocemos no fueron sujetos de estudios adecuados y suficientemente detallados, para determinar que su nivel de amenaza realmente disminuyó. Además, según la organización internacional IUCN, la población de todas estas especies presenta una tendencia decreciente.

Tememos de que el retraso en la actualización del DS y la reducción de la protección de muchas especies que sufren alta presión por caza, y tráfico no se debe a razones científicas y a reales situaciones de conservación  sino que puede responder a la presión ejercida por parte de cazadores y criadores de fauna Silvestre, que buscan explotar estas especies económicamente, y por lo tanto buscan la reducción de su nivel de protección. 

Oso Andino rescatado. Foto: Noga Shanee/NPC

 

Well Done APALP

Spider monkey in la primavera. Photo: Shachar Alterman/NPCThis week we visited our local group Asociacion de Productores Agropecuarias La Primavera (APALP) in La Primavera. The group recently signed a contract with the regional government of San Marin which officially makes them the legal administrators of the 7400 ha Conservation Concession Sun-Angel’s Gardens. We had the first meeting for the elaboration of the management plan, a document in which they decide how the area will be managed (vigilance, investigation, signalization, social and economic projects in the surrounding villages, etc.).

During the meeting we were extremely happy to hear that the association members are seeing a great increase in wildlife around their village, La Primavera. The most encouraging sign was their report of two different white-bellied spider monkey (Ateles belzebuth) groups just an hour walk from the village centre, next to the fields and out of the officially protected area. This is great news because this species, due to  its large body size and slow reproduction, is very vulnerable to hunting and therefore categorized as an Endangered species by IUCN. When we started working in the area the only known group was reported to live more than 4 hours walk from the village. The growth in numbers and the lack of fear of people this species has recently shown, is the best indication that the community conservation methods and the hard work of APALP are making a real change, transforming La Primavera from one of the most hunted areas we worked into a beautiful, safe place for monkeys to live in.

Our battle against wildlife traffic

Since 2007 NPC was involved with the rescue, re-homing, rehabilitation and release of 1495 wild animals of 52 different species. These included 87 Mammals, of them 63 primate; 1391 Birds; and 17 Reptiles. 52 of these animals are classed as threatened by IUCN, 46 are protected under Peruvian law, 10 are listed in the Appendix I of CITES and 1458 listed as Appendix II.

More advances in our campaign to change the new Forestry and Wildlife Law

NPC talk organized by APECOThe 28th of February was the last day to hand in comments about the regulations for the new Forestry and Wildlife Law, a law which we believe has the potential of putting Peruvian wildlife in great danger. We were very busy in the last few weeks promoting involvement of people concerned for wildlife in the participative process of designing the regulations. We gave talks in the NGO APECO, the US governmental organization USAID-Peru and at the Ronda Campesina regional congress in Amazonas. We spoke on the national TV station Panamericana as well as on the radio and interviews in local newspapers. We also took part in a two day participative meeting organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, which is in charge of making the regulations. In all these opportunities we called for transparency in the participative process and environmental responsibility from the government. We also handed in more of our own comments about the proposal as well as suggested new articles that can benefit the conservation of threatened species.    

It is important to understand that although this law, which was enacted in 2011, and the proposal for its regulations, which are now being elaborated, are not fundamentally different from the laws in force, they could increase threats to wildlife. This law was a requirement of the US government to update Peruvian policies as part of the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries. It liberalizes and simplifies trade of species and trophy hunting as well as forestry plantations, such as palm oil. For example, it allows trophy hunting and commercial breeding of threatened species, as well as the introduction of exotic animals for hunting, for the first time in Peru. It also complicates the bureaucratic process involving the wildlife authorities as well as the creation of private conservation reserves, processes which are anyway extremely complicated and inefficient. The wildlife authorities in Peru are extremely inefficient and are worsening. There is also a severe lack of studies on the actual conservation status of many Peruvian species, but according to the IUCN, Peru has 318 threatened species, of which 39 are Critically Endangered. In these circumstances the new law with its further liberalization of wildlife exploitation and land use changes could be disastrous to many species.

The legal loopholes and lack of precautions are the result of very strong pressure from interest groups such as hunters, wildlife breeders, loggers, etc. Our campaign aims to make sure that these pressures will be evened out to protect biodiversity, facilitate conservation initiatives and promote social equality. Therefore, we were very happy to see many organizations and private individuals responding to the campaign and making the effort to revise the new regulations and comment on its threats to biodiversity. Although the time to hand in comments is over we will keep a close eye on the way the comments are taken into account, and will keep pressuring the government for responsibility and transparency.

  NPC talk in a Ronda Campesina meeting

New reserve “El Triunfo”

Today, the 28th of February, we handed in the paperwork for another community protected area. This new area “El Triunfo” (Triumph in English) is in the heart of the San Martin region and will protect over 3,300 ha of primary forest for the Critically Endangered San Martin titi monkey (Callicebus oenanthe), a species which is also considered one of the 25 most endangered primate species in the world! This area is also home to a large population of howler monkeys and tamarins, as well as many other wonderful species of plants and animals. 

If the application is successful the area will be managed by a group of local coffee farmers from the area “Asociacion Campesina de Caficultores Alianza Ambiental”. The group began protecting the area informally a few years ago and asked us for help in getting the area formally recognized. Now that the initial application has been started we can begin the social and biological inventories of the area, where we are sure to find many more primates and their friends!

Field work in El Triunfo

Launch of New Community Tourism Website

www.communitytourism.co/Building on our work in Peru today we launched www.communitytourism.co. This new site showcases the different attractions and services offered by the communities and reserves we are working with. With a focus on community and wildlife tourism, especially birding, tourists will now be able to visit and experience first hand the amazing wildlife, beautiful landscapes and interesting cultures of northern Peru's cloud forest regions.
 
Rates are very competitive and we hope this initiative will help bring some measure of financial sustainability and independence to these communities conservation work. Please look over the site and contact us for any bookings or further information and pass this on to all your friends and families.
 
We would like to especially thank Coen Commijs at Black Bike Media for the website design. 
 
 
 
 

Advances in our Campaign against the New Forestry and Wildlife Law

NPC talk in the 'Revolucion de la Cuchara' Our press release and observations of the new law and its implementing regulations are accepted with much interest in many private and governmental organizations in Peru. 

We have been interviewed in two TV shows in San Martin and in RPP, a national TV station calling people to get involved in the elaboration of this law through formal inputs and public protests.  The vegan organization ‘la Revolucion de la Cuchara’ invited us to give a talk to animal right and environmental activists. Through this talk we have met a group of people which made a petition against trophy hunting as proposed in this law. We are now working with them on preparation of a new Facebook page, a letter to the relevant ministers and a protest march in the 23rd of February in Lima.

We also met with the dean of the Peruvian School of Biologists, and the lawyers NGO Peruvian Society for Environmental Law (SPDA), to present our observations as an example which they are going to use to elaborate theirs. The School of Biologists and the School of Veterinarians are now planning a press conference for the 24th of February, which will include the participation of a few interested congressmen. We are taking part in organizing and will participate in this event.   

We met with the ministerial office in charge of the process of elaboration of this law, explained our objections and learned more about the process itself to be able to influence it towards transparency and true participation in the most effective way. 

Noga Shanee of NPC in RPP

NPC newsletter No. 26

Click here to download our latest newsletter, Volume 26 for January 2014. 

The Monkeys' Jungle/ Photo: NPC

More Articles...

  1. NPC helps public enquiry into UK primate pet trade
  2. NPC Annual Report for 2013
  3. Press Release - New Forestry And Wildlife Law Puts Peruvian Wildlife at Risk
  4. Nota de prensa - La nueva Ley Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre (Nº 29763) pone a la fauna peruana en peligro
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