Last week we visited the community of La Esperanza and the forests where we carry out the bulk of our research. This was the first time we have been able to visit since the national lock down began in March. We were very happy to see that no new deforestation has occurred in the area.
At the end of last week we were called to help with the rescue of an adult male black spider monkey (Ateles Chamek), an Endangered species that was being kept in a small cage in Tocache in Southern San Martin, Peru.
Once the operation started the authorities also found another baby black spider monkey and a Critically Endangered yellow tailed woolly monkey (Lagothrix flavicauda)! These last two were being kept together in a hanging bird cage.
None of the animals had any enrichment and the cages were far too small. Thanks to the quick work of the San Martin regional environmental authority and our long time collaborator Gabriel Garcia, who was working nearby at the time, the three animals were rescued and have all now been sent to rescue centres.
As these are all endangered species the punishment under Peruvian law is more severe and we hope that the wildlife authorities will use this power to properly prosecute the criminals involved.
Many thanks to IPPL and our private donors for continuing to fund our rescue and anti-trafficking work, without this support we wouldn’t be able to help animals like these.
Thanks to a generous donation from one of our supporters, we have been able to send much needed economic help to the local conservation association who are protecting the Gran Simacache Conservation Concession in San Martin, Peru. For 2 months Peru has been in lock down and the association members haven’t been able to get to their fields or open their businesses. Thankfully we have now been able to help them buy essential foods and other goods to keep them going until the current crisis ends.
Yesterday, we had a shocking call about a juvenile ocelot that had been attacked by dogs in the street. It seems the animal was an escaped pet that someone had been keeping illegally. The initial surgery went well, and we are hoping that he will respond well to treatment.
And just two weeks into the year and another rescued animal. This time a young woolly monkey bought in a local market and kept as a pet. We are still trying to find a permanent home for him, but until then we need to make sure he’s fed and cared for, as well as getting all his health checks done. Please keep up your support so we can keep helping animals like him.
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It’s only the 5th of January and we already have our first rescue of the year, a baby Ocelot. We don’t know his story yet, but tomorrow we will start with the paperwork and with finding him a good home in a rescue centre.
He is doing well but his test results came back positive for multiple types of intestinal and skin parasites, most probably due to poor care after his capture and proximity to domestic animals. We have just given him his first treatment and hope he will fully recover soon.
You can check out our latest publication “Occupancy Modeling for the Conservation Assessment of the Peruvian Night Monkey (Aotus miconax)” free from the IUCN Primate Specialist Group website. Thanks to Nicola Campbell and all the co-authors for their efforts.
Yesterday and today we have been carrying out Environmental Education workshops with secondary school students in Uchiza, San Martin, during the 3rd annual Yellow Tailed Woolly Monkey festival. The students wrote and acted in plays about wildlife trafficking and it’s effect on animals, helping generate empathy and awareness.
During the third annual yellow tailed woolly monkey festival in Uchiza, Peru, we have also given talks and practical workshops to students of the Instituto Tecnológico Francisco Vigo Caballero, studying the environment and natural resources course. During the theory sessions we discussed community conservation, the illegal wildlife trade, methods to evaluate wildlife populations, and of course the ecology and conservation of the yellow tailed woolly monkey. The practical part of the course was helping in the Bosques de Sinai Conservation Concession, where students were able to put into practice the methods they learnt to monitor flora and fauna.
Amazing news! Last year Sean McHugh passed us information about a new population of yellow tailed woolly monkeys far to the south of their known distribution (Recently published in the journal Oryx, McHugh et al 2019). Since then, together with the Equipo Primate Loreto, We have been surveying the areas between the previously known distribution and the new sighting. Now, thanks to Elvis Charpentier Uraco, we have been able to find them, and even further south than the previous sighting. Our survey work will continue until we know the limits of their distribution in these new areas. This is really good news for the species as it means their population size may be significantly larger than thought, helping protect them against extinction.
In the photos below you can see the clear phenotypic differences between the southern population (upper) and the northern population (lower).
Photos thanks to Elvis Charpentier and Andrew Walmsley
Thanks to Primate Society of Great Britain, International Primatological Society,
American Society of Primatologists (Members of the American Society of Primatologists) and Primate Conservation Inc. for funding the study.
Introducing yet another victim of the illegal wildlife trade…
On Saturday 26th of October, the Regional Environmental Authority (ARA in Spanish) of San Martín, Moyobamba office, confiscated two false monitor lizards (Callopistes flavipunctatus). This is a species of lizard that lives in the dry equatorial forest of the Peruvian coast and is categorized as Near Threatened under Peruvian law (D.S. Nº 004-2014-MINAGRI).
The animals arrived dehydrated, hungry and very very cold (low body temperature). The ARA of San Martín asked for our help caring for the animals while finding a suitable rescue centre. Unfortunately, one of the lizards died due to internal bleeding, probably as a result of blows at the moment of capture.
However, together with ARA and the Ecological Police, we coordinated the transfer of the surviving individual to the ARA of Lambayeque, on the coast in Chiclayo, where it will be properly screened and, hopefully, released back to the wild. We want to thank engineer Andreína De La Cruz of ARA San Martín and officer Flores and Rivas of the Ecological Police for their outstanding work as wildlife authorities.