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Celebrating conservation in Delta

On the 1st of November we celebrated the official opening of the Conservation Concession Iguahuana- Dry Forests of Delta. About 70 people took part including adults, children and many of the local and regional authorities. The head of the project, Sr. Rosas Torres Guerrero, who will be administrating the area for the next 40 years, gave the welcoming words. Later, many shared experiences and opinions about the local ecosystem and conservation. The event was covered in the local media, increasing awareness of this conservation initiative and the need for many more similar activities.

Toasting for Iguahuana

INVITATION - Celebrating Conservation: "Hocicón" The First Conservation Area Run by the Ronda Campesina of Peru

Hocion from a distanceWe invite you to celebrate the launch of Hocicón, the first Ronda Campesina Conservation area worldwide, under a new model of conservation through protected areas, administered and managed by this grassroots organization. The event will be held on the 22 of November 2012, starting at 10 am, in the village of Libano, province of Rodriguez de Mendoza, Amazonas.

The Ronda Campesina (Peasant Patrol) is a network of autonomous, civil organizations, aimed at self-protection. They practice vigilance and civil justice in the rural Peruvian countryside where state control is insufficient. It is the largest and most influential grassroots movement inNortheastern Peru. In 2009 the Peruvian Supreme Court recognized the legitimacy and autonomy of the Ronda Campesina to administer justice in a parallel justice system to that administered by the state. This means that the Ronda have the legal power to convert lands in rural areas into conservation areas. The Rondas Campesinas of Amazonas and San Martin regions have demonstrated extraordinary environmental responsibility, confronting environmental issues are that are mostly ignored by the Peruvian government, such as wildlife and land trafficking.

Field trip to Hocicon

The Peruvian state presents itself as an enthusiastic promoter of conservation and public participation in environmental issues, taking pride in legislation that allows private and community conservation. However, the process of legally registering Private Conservation Areas and Conservation Concession is extremely complicated, expensive, slow and difficult, requiring teams of specialists and cost on average 20 to 30 thousand dollars. Additionally, the bureaucratic process is unnecessarily complicated and time consuming, worsened by the inexperience of the officials in charge of these procedures. After completing the arduous process, the Government does not provide any support for the conservation initiators; on the contrary, they require additional reports and economic investments. Therefore, this process is inaccessible to most of the rural population creating inequality and wasting a great opportunity to really improve the environmental situation.

The idea for these reserves was born thanks to the long and successful collaboration between the Ronda Campesina and British NGO Neotropical Primate Conservation (NPC). Together we have developed a detailed Instruction Manual for the creation of these conservation areas. The project and its manual were approved in June, 2012 by the National Assembly of the Rondas Campesinas of Peru (CUNARC-P). These conservation areas will be registered with the local, regional and national Ronda bases, which will be in charge of protecting them. Meanwhile NPC will be responsible for mapping and biological inventories in these areas. These reserves have the potential to fill critical gaps in the regional and national protected area system of Peru. Hocicón is an area of 510 ha that has been protected since 2009 by the Ronda Campesina of Libano and surrounding villages. They have decided to recognize this area as the first Ronda run conservation area, aiming to set a positive example of conservation initiatives with low economic outlay and high environmental efficiency. We aim to encourage similar projects and hopefully call the governments attention to the current unnecessarily complicated legislation in the hope that they will simplify procedures as protecting the environment is everyone's responsibility.

The Ronda members of Libano choosing conservation

NPC newsletter Vol. 21

 Click here to download our latest newsletter, Volume 21 for October 2012.Perla the puma. Photo: Sam Shanee/NPC










Goodbye Waimak

Waimak in the forest of BerlinWaimak, a yellow tailed woolly monkey who was in our care, died this week. We rescued Waimak four years ago after he was caught while passing through a coffee plantation near the village of Buenos Aires. To catch him the owner of the plantation brutally hit Waimak on the head, leaving him paralyzed on his right side. We took Waimak to the IKAMA Peru rescue centre in Moyobamba where he received extensive, excellent treatments for his injuries for the last four years. At IKAMA he lived with other rescued monkeys and explored the forests near the rescue centre. Although he never regained full function of his right leg, he did so well in the forest we hoped to reintroduce him. Also, Helene and Carlos of IKAMA Peru felt that Waimak was not happy in captivity and were starting to worry as showed increasing signs of depression.They asked our help to find him a new home in the forest where he would be safe from hunters as well as other males of his species. 

Waimak coming out of the release cage for the first time

The biologist Leyda Rimarachin offered a small forest patch her family owns near their Private Conservation Area ‘Berlin’. We immediately built him a big release cage in the forest and were hoping to release him a few days after his arrival. However, the trip was very hard for him and he showed signs of emotional and physical distress, so we waited an extra two weeks with the release. Even when he was free, he showed many problems in adapting to the new environment and required full time support and care. After a few days spent partially in the cage and in the trees, he seemed to just give up and his health quickly deteriorated. Although he got a 24 hours care from all in our group, he died three days later.

Waimak’s story is especially important to us. Firstly, he had an amazing personality, although he was caught in the wild when he was already a sub adult, he knew when people tried to help him and was always calm throughout his treatments. Secondly, he was one of our first rescued animals in Peru and we regularly use his story in education activities which have had a huge impact on people in the area. One effect of this has been a great reduction in hunting rates in the area. Thirdly, it shows that even with the best intentions and a huge effort, not all cruel and careless things done by people can be repaired and therefore much more effort must be put into prevention and education. 

A new Concession for Conservation, Iguahuana-Dry Forests of Delta, is now created!

Iguahuana- Dry Forests of Delta. Photo: Noga Shanee/NPCToday, the long process of creation and registration of the Concession for Conservation, Iguahuana - Dry Forests of Delta, has come to a very successful conclusion. The reserve is officially registered with the Regional Government of Amazonas under resolution: RDRS No. 388 2012-GRA/GRDE/DRA/D.

Iguahuana is a 423 ha protected area located in an area of dry forest near the village of Delta, Amazonas department. This is the first ever area that protects the dry forests of the Marañon River Valley, a rare and endangered ecosystem unique to this part of Peru and contains many rare and endemic species. A local farmer, Mr. Rosas Torres Guerrero, has been unofficially protecting this area for the last 10 years. Recently he asked the government to give him formal administration of the area to conserve for the next 40 years. We at NPC have been the main NGO involved in creating this area, in charge of the technical and legal process as well as building awareness of the area in the surrounding villages. We thank all who were involved in the creation of this reserve especially the grassroots organization 'Ronda Campesina' and the NGO Peruvian Society for Environmental Law (SPDA).

Great news from the forest - preliminary results show a large increase in the primate populations of La Esperanza

Oreonax flavicauda in the forest. Photo: Sam Shanee

In 2008 NPC undertook the first long term census of any yellow tailed woolly monkey population. From this study we were able to calculate the density of this species in the forests of La Esperanza. This year we started our second census to be able to accurately determine how the population size has changed since we started our conservation efforts. Preliminary results from the first four months of this study show that groups sizes of this species increased by almost 40% since our first study. Capuchin monkey populations increased even more and they are now 50% larger then in 2008.

We also found out that the community members are respecting their own decision to halt deforestation in this part of the community and almost no new forests where cleared since 2008. Many of the areas that were cleared before are now growing into secondary forests which will soon become primate habitat again. 

These preliminary results are extremely important as they prove that methodologies of community conservation give tangible results for the conservation of endangered species. This methodology respects and stimulates local people’s connection to their neighboring forests. It encourages the community itself to make decisions of how and what to conserve, decisions that are based on stewardship and respect for nature rather then on direct economic benefit.   

2012 International Primatological Society meeting 2012 – Cancun Mexico

Nicola Campbell presenting NPC poster in the IPS meeting, CancunFor the first time NPC were able to attend the bi-annual International Primatological Society meeting, held this year in Cancun, Mexico. NPC’s Sam Shanee, Nestor Allgas and Nicola Campbell all attended the 6 day meeting. We presented our work in Community Conservation in a talk given by Sam on the first day of the conference and also presented three posters detailing results of our research on the yellow tailed woolly monkey, Andean night monkey and our fight against the illegal pet trade inPeru. During the meeting we were also able to participate in updating the list of the worlds 25 most endangered primate species. The yellow tailed woolly monkey has been on four of the last five lists, but thanks to our conservation work, and the work of others, it is probable that this Critically Endangered species will be taken off the list as there new protected areas, education projects and anti hunting initiatives underway throughout its range. We also proposed that to replace this species the San Martin tit monkey be added to the new list as it faces great pressures from deforestation and is the focus of very little conservation attention. This species in found only in the region of San Martin in north easternPeru. We are currently working in San Martin with different Peruvian NGO’s and local associations in the creation of four new protected areas, these will be the first officially protected areas that contain populations of this Critically Endangered species.

Please see our facebook page for photos and more details of this meeting.

Offical launch of Environmental Education text book

School children, representative of the Regional Government and Noga Shanee of NPCOn Tuesday 10th, we officially launched our new Environmental Education school text book “Nuestra Selva y su Sentir”.  The event, held in the Chachapoyas municipality, was attended by representatives of the local government, university and ministry of education as well as students and teachers from local schools. After the event we began distributing free copies of the text book to local schools and will continue to do so over the next few months. The aim is to have copies of this book used in the curriculum throughout Amazonas and San Martin.  

With the publication of this book we have tried to fill a gap in how the environmental sciences are taught in rural areas with chapters covering a wide range of subjects focusing on local environmental realities. We are also in discussion with the ministry of Education and the Universidad Nacional Toribio Rodriguez de Mendoza to begin work on a second edition of the text with an even broader scope that will hopefully be suitable for use throughout Peru’s Amazonian regions. The book can be downloaded from the publications section of this site in PDF. 

Field trip to Gran Simacache

Last week we had an amazing trip to carry out the first studies of wildlife in the new Gran Simacache Reserve we have begun in Peru. This 51,000 ha reserve is about 8 hours up river from the city of Juanjui in San Martin and holds some of the least spoilt forests in the region. While there we found a very healthy and dense population of the Critically Endangered Andean titi monkey (Callicebus oenanthe), which means that this will be the biggest protected area available for this species. We also found tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella), red howler monkey (Alouatta seniculus) and the little, beautiful pygmy marmosets (Cebuella pygmaea). We found a great abundance of tapirs, jaguars and deer. Un-fortunately, even in this remote forest, we found evidence of illegal hunting and logging making it even more important to continue with this work and ensure the protection of this area.

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More Articles...

  1. Renewal of our agreement with UNTRM
  2. A new mammal census in Peru…what’s changed after 5 years of conservation?

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