The Gran Simacache conservation association just returned from 2 weeks mapping the limits of the reserve together with villagers from nuevo Esperanza.
Although the trip was not free from trouble, this marks the first activity since the signing of an agreement between the two parties to try and bring an end to the conflict which has beset this area since its creation.
Last Saturday we finished the first of our public reforestation days in Pabloyacu, near Moyobamba, Peru.
This was organized together with the Ecology faculty of the San Martin national University and local student group Jurcuna. In total 30 people came to our team with planting activities, all of whom also received training in planting and how best to ensure survival of the trees, especially important in sandy and hilly areas like Pabloyacu.
The main activity consisted of re-planting trees where previously planted saplings had not survived the dry season, and then planting in new areas which had been damaged by fires in previous years. We are very satisfied with how the day went, and will be carrying out a second day of planting with public help next Saturday, the 2nd of October. We hope to see you there!!
Camacho, the rescued baby capuchin monkey, died on the 29th of August while in the temporary custody of the wildlife authorities. This happened just before he was supposed to be sent to a rescue centre where he would have begun his rehabilitation.
While in custody, he received lots of medical attention but still succumbed to his illness, which had caused intestinal ulcers and perforations. We cannot be sure what caused these issues, but it is likely that the illness began before his rescue.
Camacho was a 4-5 month old baby that had been kept as a pet, having been taken from his mother in the forest. In the wild, capuchin monkeys stay with their mothers for approximately 2 years, during which time they are carried, fed, and taught how to survive, as well as cleaned and shown the group territory.
Keeping primates as pets is very traumatic, especially the maternal separation when captured. In the majority of cases the mother, and sometimes other group members, are shot.
On top of this, it is very hard to provide adequate conditions for the infant’s survival. It is estimated that for every animal which survives to become a pet, 8 or 9 others died during different parts of the illegal traffic stream. For these and other reasons the trade and keeping of wildlife is illegal!
Yesterday we received a call for the Regional Environmental Authorities in Moyobamba, asking our help in rescuing a tamarin (Leontocebus sp.), which appeared to have been abandoned and tied to an avocado tree in the city.
Together with officials from the regional authority, our team caught and untied the animal, transporting it to the nearby offices of the authorities. The animal is now receiving its veterinary evaluations, while we try and find a suitable rescue centre for re-homing. We hope that this sad tale will at least serve as a reminder to everyone that wild animals are not pets!
Last Saturday our volunteers alerted us to a large headed capuchin monkey (Sapajus macrocephalus) on the roof of a house in Moyobamba. The monkey was possibly a pet that had escaped from a nearby house.
We informed the Regional Environmental Authorities, who immediately seized the animal. The same day, the authorities also received a squirrel monkey (Saimiri sp.) which was handed in voluntarily by the person who found it.
For now, both monkeys are being kept by ARA until an appropriate rescue centre is able to receive them. We have been helping feed and care for both animals as well as taking them for their veterinary checks.
Luckily both monkeys are in good health, although they are very attached to people. We are very grateful to the team of ARA – Moyobamba for her quick and decisive action in this case.
Since last week NPC Peru hosted independent French film makers Alexandrine Cabarbaÿe and Firmin Jondot from Rêv-Earth.
The couple is travelling Latin America, documenting conservation initiatives to call attention to the different projects. A few weeks ago they visited our team at NPC Colombia.
During their stay with us, they accompanied our team during all of our activities, filming our work and interviewing us about conservation in northern Peru. We are very thankful to Rêv-Earth for the invitation to take part in the documentary.
As soon as we have the edited version in hand we will share it here, and remember to check out the Rêv-Earth page to learn more about their work.
We’ve had some great camera trap photos lately, this time from Pabloyacu, Moyobamba. This is the site where we are starting reforestation work with the Universidad Nacional de San Martín.
The camera traps are part of our effort to get baseline information on species diversity and abundance in the area, for comparisons with future monitoring to see what impact reforestation has on local wildlife.
The star of the show for us this time is the Tamandua (ant eater)! It’s also really great to see peccaries, these species show that although the area is very near to the city and heavily impacted, hunting pressure is low.
After 10 years of fighting we have finally managed to broker a peace between the local conservation association protecting the 40,000 ha Gran Simacache conservation concession and a group of land invaders who entered the are at the same time the area was being declared.
This process has been at times very difficult and even dangerous, involving threats against ourselves and the local conservationists, many fruitless attempts to force the environmental authorities and prosecutors to act against the invaders, and a halt to most protection activities in large parts of the reserve due to safety issues.
In 2017 we changed our approach, looking to work together with the invaders as allies in protection of the area in exchange for an end to all legal process against them. After many false starts and the turmoil caused by the pandemic, at 4:00 pm yesterday afternoon, Franklin Panduro, the president of the local conservation association and, Lorenzo Vela, the president of the invaders group, accompanied by about 60 villagers and association members, and witnessed by representatives of the regional environmental authorities and NPC, finally signed an agreement which puts an end to the conflict!
The agreement includes the ceding of a portion of the area for the invaders to use for their family farms, and the offer of work as park guards on patrols or participation in reforestation and other social development projects.
In exchange, there will be an immediate and permanent cessation of hunting and deforesting in the entire reserve as well as unhindered access to the area by the conservation association. We are very grateful to all those who have helped and supported us in this fight, and we are now looking forward to continuing to protect this amazing area and all the species that call it home.