Education Activities in Santa Cecelia, Colombia

During September and November the NPC Colombia team were in Santa Cecilia Colombia developing the ground work for future environmental education work focused on primate conservation, as well as helping in the biodiversity festival organized each year by the Pio XII school. All the activites were led by our volunteers Jennifer Rey-Goyeneche and Rosie Street, giving all their love and energy to the project. Many thanks to them both and to the community of Santa Cecilia.

We hope you enjoy the short video presentation they made covering the amazing project.

Yellow Tailed Woolly Monkey Festival

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.

New Population of Yellow Tailed Woolly Monkeys Found!

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 BritainInternational Primatological Society,
American Society of Primatologists (Members of the American Society of Primatologists) and Primate Conservation Inc. for funding the study.

Reptile Rescue

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.

Spider Monkey Rescue

This week we rescued two Endangered black spider monkeys (Ateles chamek) from a rural bar in Uchiza, southern San Martin. The two animals, a male and a female, were tied to posts by ropes around their necks. Thanks to NPC’s Laura and Gabo who assisted the police and wildlife authorities with the confiscation. The animals are now on their way to RAREC rescue centre in Loreto where they will join others of their species.

New Seeds Bring Hope to Reforestation Project

Thousands of new seeds have arrived to the tree nurseries in Uchiza, San Martin. Great work by the local Bosques del Sinaí association in their reforestation work that we are supporting. Also, the reforestation work in Simacache continues with many new seedlings almost ready for transplanting to the deforested areas.

New Species Action Plan

At the end of last week NPC Colombia, The Ministry of the Environment (Colombia) and WCS Colombia held a workshop for the making of the national species action plan for the Critically Endangered Colombia black spider monkey (Ateles fusciceps), in Pereira. The workshop was attended by 25 representative of universities, NGOs, government departments and community groups. A huge thank you to UKUMARI biopark for hosting the event and to Luz Dary Acevedo (WCS), Andrés Link (Fundación Proyecto Primates), Andrea Echeverry (ACOPAZOA) and to Nick Davis (Chester Zoo). After many intense sessions we were able to form the basis of the action plan and start a collaborative network of institutions to work for the conservation of the species. We thank Chester Zoo, EAZA and the Primate Action Fund for their generous help supporting this workshop.

Planting for the Future

Our native species reforestation efforts with local communities continue. The local community groups protecting the Gran Simacache and Bosques de Sinaí Conservation Concessions each have new tree nurseries producing local species to be given for free to farmers in the buffer zones of the concessions and to reforest degraded areas of the reserves, we will continue to update you on progress of this work as the trees grow and mature.