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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Another monkey rescued. this week NPC is helping with the care and transport of a rescued Andean saddle backed tamarin. The animal was confiscated by authorities at the Coral Quemado check point on the highway from the northern Peruvian Amazon to the Pacific coast. Aside from his captivity and capture from the wild he also suffers from a permanent malformation of his jaw, probably the result of a previously broken jaw sustained during capture and that has now set badly. We see animals suffering like this every week, please do not buy wildlife or frequent attractions that use wild animals.
For two weeks we have been enjoying the start of our latest environmental education program in rural schools in Uchiza and Saposoa, Peru. The program is running in primary and secondary schools, through workshops focused on biodiversity conservation; using varied activities including painting, theatre, reading, games, stories, and group discussions, among others. The program is designed to promote awareness of the importance of caring for and preserving the different ecosystems that surround the villages, whilst taking into account the reality that each student lives.
NPC staff and local teachers in the Bosque del Sinai Conservation Concession area have been working hard on our environmental education programme. Getting the next generation excited about conservation is an important part of what we do.
Today we were involved in the rescue of two endangered white bellied spider monkeys and a scarlet macaw from a tourist bar in the city of Yurimaguas. Thanks to the professionalism of the authorities involved (The environmental public prosecutor, the regional government of Loreto and the police) the operation went very smoothly and now the animals are on their way to a rescue centre where they will recover and eventually be released back to the wild.