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Amazing two weeks of fighting against wildlife trafficking in Pucallpa

Between the 19th and 31st of August, we assisted the planning and execution of 11 different operations to eradicate wildlife trafficking in Pucallpa, Ucayali.

These included road blocks, raids on three different markets selling live animals, bushmeat and witchcraft/handicrafts shops, private houses and restaurants, etc. 97 live animals 82 Kg. of bush meat and parts of hundreds of animals were seized.

These two weeks of concentrated interventions and the starting of legal processes against wildlife traffickers, together with an intensive campaign with the local media, has given a very strong message that wildlife crimes are tackled and punished.    

The most encouraging news is that the Bellavista market, which until recently was the biggest active wildlife market in Peru, selling hundreds of animals a day, and more on weekends, is close to its end! Our undercover group had informed us that this weekend there were only 6 small parakeets for sale in this market, an extraordinary result for the effort to shut this market down. Also, as a result of our campaigning and the great work of the office of the environmental prosecutor, the municipality of Pucallpa has decided that the Market should be evicted from its current location. Bellavista will be formally relocated to a new market building, which will be monitored by municipal guards, making sure that no wild animals are sold in any form! The eviction should take place within a month.

Pucallpa is still the city which suffers from the highest levels of wildlife traffic in Peru, and there is still a lot of work to be done, but we are increasingly confident in the commitment and capacity of all the environmental authorities in Pucallpa to keep fighting to protect wildlife. As always, we give our special thank you to Particia Lucano Gomez of the 2nd Environmental Public Prosecutors office of Ucayali, who, with her exceptional energies, talent and commitment, made all of this amazing work possible.   

Photos: Noga Shanee/NPC 

To read more about the last two weeks activities:


Urgent - Wildlife Authorities of Amazonas encouraging wildlife traffic

Aotus miconax en malas condicionesde cutiverio. Foto: Carolina Ortega/NPCOn the 11th of August 2014 we made an official complaint to the Environmental Public Prosecutors office in Chachapoyas, about a night monkey and parrot kept in a nursery inside the city, both animals were being kept en terrible conditions and suffered from health and behavioural problems, the cord the monkey was tied with was just 40 cm long.

The required protocol is that the Environmental public Prosecutor confiscates the animals and then hands them over the Regional Environmental Authorities (ARA), so that they can hand the animals over, as quickly as possible, to the closest adequate rescue centre to improve the conditions for the animal depending on the species and its state of health.

For an un-known reason, the officials of the Regional Environmental Authority of Amazons, in this case decide to return the animals to their previous owners, without any explanation either technical or legal, and against the official recommendations of the Environmental Public Prosecutors office. When we offered to transport the animals, free of charge to an adequate rescue centre we were treated very rudely and told that as NPC is not Peruvian we have no right or understandable reason to be involved in this case.

We are very worried about the health of these animals and hope that the Regional Environmental Authority of Amazonas finds and adequate, and legal, solution as quickly as possible.

These are the contact details of the Amazonas regional Government and the regional Environmental Authority. Please write to them and explain that wild animals SHOULD NOT be pets. Also that their function as the Regional Environmental Authority is to stop wildlife trafficking and not ignore or encourage it.


New conservation area "El Quinillal"

We are very happy to announce the good news that the Asociación de Protección Ambiental del Bosque El Quinillal (APABOQUI) has handed in the technical proposal for the creation of the “El Quinillal” conservation concession. This area covers 10,696 ha of tropical dry forest in San Martin Department Peru. The area is home to many primates including: night monkeys (Aotus nigriceps), howler monkeys (Alouatta seniculus), tamarins (Saguinus fuscicollis), Capuchins (Cebus albifrons and Sapajus Macrocephalus), Sakis (Pithecia monachus) and titi monkeys (Callicebus discolor). The area is also possibly home to the San Martin tit monkey (Callicebus oenanthe) one of the 25 most threatened primate species in the world. NPC, together with Peruvian NGO AMPA, was able to help the association with biological inventories and coordination’s and we will continue our help for this conservation initiative.

El Quinillal

The Regional Environmental Authority of Amazonas endangers regional wildlife

Neotropical Primate Conservation (NPC) regularly works with various Peruvian Authorities in the confiscation and rehoming of illegally kept wildlife found in markets, hotels and private homes.  The working relationship is generally very positive; with each side carefully considering the next move in terms of what will be best for the animals involved.  Unfortunately, in July, the Regional Environmental Authority (ARA) of Amazonas made the hasty and irresponsible decision to release hundreds of parakeets  just hours after confiscation, regardless of the fact that the birds’ species and origin had not been confirmed, nor had health checks been performed, and in contravention of both the recommendations of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Peruvian Law. 

According to a statement made by the Counsel for the ARA, the release took place as it did because the birds were “dying all the time; 30 died every 5 minutes”.   The extremely high and swift rate of death amongst these parrots could well indicate that they had been exposed to virulent disease and could be devastating for local parrot populations. 

There is some suggestion that the wings of at least some of the released bird had been clipped, meaning that those individuals that do not succumb to whatever was killing many others in the group are sure to die terrifying deaths, totally vulnerable to predators, unable to forage for food or to seek appropriate roosting areas or shelter. 

In the seven years that it has been working in the region, NPC has identified some of the most serious barriers to effective protection of wildlife from illegal trade.  These include high staff turnover and inexperience and insufficient funding (often resulting in prolonged periods without pay).  These often result in minimal presence in the field, minimal effectiveness and poor animal care.  Further difficulties are caused by the absence of an official protocol about how to work with wild animals, and the lack of information about suitable rescue centres.

Last week, NPC submitted an official complaint to the regional and national authorities about the illegal and irresponsible action of the ARA, asking for a review of the process by which decisions such as the ARA’s are made; and encouraging better inter-institutional cooperation. 

The full letter can be read (in Spanish) here.



Press Release - Charity Demands Action From Peruvian Government on Illegal Wildlife Trade

Hundreds of  wild animals are being held in illegal captivity across Peru, according to NGO Neotropical Primate Conservation (NPC). In response to a recent campaign, dozens of tip- offs have been received from concerned members of the public over the last month.

The organisation has handed the details over to the Peruvian government and is calling for action to stop wild animal trafficking.

Dr Noga Shanee, project director, said: “We hope that this campaign results in the rescue of the animals identified by our informants and in the prosecution of the traffickers.”

Many of the species involved are considered threatened and are protected by Peruvian law.

They range from endangered black spider monkeys to the Andean cock of the rock – the national bird of Peru - found kept illegally in a small cage as a tourist attraction.

The complaints, from thirty seven anonymous informants, reveal the whereabouts of animals kept by tourist centres, markets, roadside merchants and private homes in multiple regions of Peru (Amazonas, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Chiclayo, Junin, Lima, Ucayalli, San Martin and Tumbes).

In all cases, according to Dr. Shanee, the animals are suffering in terrible conditions and the owners do not have legal permits.

Peru has some of the richest biodiversity on the planet, but the country’s abundant wildlife is threatened by unsustainable practices, such as the destruction of habitats and wildlife trafficking. The sale of bush meat and wild animals as pets is also a major concern and some animals are now at risk of extinction.

Because funding is scarce, Peru lacks sufficient infrastructure (trained staff; rescue centres) to tackle the problem. Ill-equipped to deal with illegal traffickers, the authorities often turn a blind eye and take no action.

Internationally, the illegal wildlife trade is the third most valuable illicit trade after drugs and arms. 

Dr Shanee says that anti-trafficking operations and prosecutions are “very important, not only to rescue the animals but also to educate the population and send a clear message to the wildlife traffickers that they will be punished for their actions. It is necessary that interventions take place at all stages of trafficking; during capture, transport, sale or when kept as pets or attractions and including the sale of bush meat or keepsakes.”

NPC hopes that the current campaign will highlight the lack of infrastructure and educate the public that wild animals are not pets.  They are asking for public’s help in saving Peruvian wildlife. Visitors to Peru who are asked to have their photos taken with a wild animal, invited to consume bush meat, or with any other information about wild animals being sold or kept illegally in Peru can send information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



For more information and interviews please contact Dr Noga Shanee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +51 941 800 784.


Photographs available:


 Two black spider monkeys, an endangered species, have been rescued thanks to information generated by the campaign.


 A three toed sloth that was rescued and released back into the wild.


Parakeets, victims of wildlife trafficking. Traffickers transport hundreds of these birds in small crates from the jungle to the coast, a journey which can take up to a week.  To keep the birds quiet and avoid detection the animals are transported soaking wet, leading to the death of many en-route, while many more die from the stress of capture and transport.


An Andean cock of the rock, the National bird of Peru, kept illegally in a small cage as a tourist attraction. The dull colour of its feathers indicates poor health.


 A red Uakari, two tamarins, twelve turtles, a macaw and two parrots for sale in the Bellavista market in Pucallpa. All these animals were found sick and the Uakari died just hours after this photo was taken.






Adorable and rare cat rescued

Leopardus colocolo rescued. Photo: Ana Peralta/NPCYesterday we were called by the authorities of Amazonas to help transport a rescued wild cat. At first we were told it was an ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), a species we have a lot of experience with, however when we received it we were surprised to see it was not an ocelot but a pampas cat (Leopardus colocolo). This is the first time we have come across this species in our area. The pampas cat’s conservation status is listed by Peruvian law as Data Deficient as so little is known about their ecology and conservation so this is an important record. This individual is still very young and has an injured hind leg. We are currently speaking with the national authorities to find a centre with experience in looking after these cats. 

Thanks to Dr. Daniel Cossios for helping identify the species.

Leopardus colocolo rescued. Photo: Ana Peralta/NPC









NPC Newsletter Vol 28

Click here to download our latest newsletter volume 28 for July 2014. 

NPC Newsletter Vol. 28

Nota de Prensa – Denuncia pública general de casos de fauna silvestre en cautiverio


La denuncia pública general, es el resultado del número creciente de información acerca de fauna silvestre en cautiverio que la ONG Neotropical Primate Conservation (NPC) está recibiendo constantemente de personas preocupadas sobre este tema, informando sobre animales silvestres mantenidos en cautiverio en todas las regiones del Perú. Esta campaña tiene el objetivo de colectar información para elaborar una denuncia colectiva para ser entregada a las autoridades a nivel de las regiones y a nivel nacional; así como también, a los medios de comunicación con la finalidad de llamar la atención pública con respecto al tráfico de fauna silvestre en el Perú.

Dos monos maquisapa negro, especie en peligro de extincion, fueron rescatados gracias a una denuncia que habíamos recibido. Los dos monos se encontraban amarrados con una cadena de menos de 1 metro de espacio para poder moverse, bajo el fuerte sol de Bagua Grande.Hasta ahora, a través de la campaña, hemos recibido de forma confidencial, 36 denuncias; los cuales en total, involucran a cientos de animales silvestres mantenidos y comercializados ilegalmente en diferentes partes del Perú (Amazonas, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Junín, Lima, Pucallpa, San Martín y Tumbes). Todos estos cientos de animales tienen los mismos denominadores en común: mantenidos en cautiverio en pésimas condiciones y presuntamente sin ninguna autorización. Las denuncias incluyen animales que se encuentran en centros de recreación, mercados, en poder de vendedores ambulantes y en casas privadas. Muchos de estos animales se encuentra categorizados como especies amenazadas y protegidas por la ley Peruana. 

A nivel internacional, el comercio ilegal de fauna silvestre es el tercer comercio ilegal más valioso detrás de las drogas y las armas. El Perú está entre los países más biodiversos del planeta por su gran riqueza de especies, subespecies y variedades de fauna y flora silvestre; sin embargo, el Perú sufre de niveles extremos en la práctica de actividades no sostenibles, así como de la destrucción de hábitats y el tráfico de fauna silvestre. El comercio de carne de monte y el tráfico de especies silvestres como mascotas pone a la fauna silvestre peruana en mayor peligro de extinción y trae graves consecuencias sociales.

Lamentablemente, como resultado de la falta de recursos y personal capacitado en temas de fauna, la falta frecuente de centros de rescate y otras carencias, las autoridades ambientales muchas veces cierran los ojos y no dan respuesta eficiente ni drástica a esta situación, dando esto como consecuencia a su vez que la mayor parte de la población peruana no esté consciente de la problemática ni de las consecuencias del tráfico ilícito de fauna; siendo los traficantes de fauna los únicos beneficiados de este estado de abandono y trabajan libremente y en muchos casos hasta abiertamente.

Decomiso de carne de monte por la Fiscalia Especializada en Materia Ambiental de UcayaliLas intervenciones y sanciones por tráfico de fauna son muy importantes, no sólo por el rescate de los animales traficados; sino también para educar a la población acerca de que, comprar fauna silvestre, en realidad es participar en esta práctica ilegal; además, sirve para dar un fuerte y claro mensaje a los traficantes de fauna silvestre diciendo que esta práctica es penada por la ley. Por eso, para disminuir la demanda de fauna silvestre, las intervenciones deben realizarse en cualquiera de las etapas del tráfico; ya sea cuando capturan a los animales en el bosque; cuando estos son transportados; cuando se les encuentran siendo vendidos en los mercados y cuando son hallados como mascota viviendo con una familia o como atracción en centros turísticos e inclusive cuando son vendidos como carne de monte en restaurantes o como adornos en partes o disecados.

Esperamos que esta campaña, resulte en el decomiso de los animales identificados y el proceso penal de los traficantes de estas especies. Además, esperamos que la campaña promueva el urgente fortalecimiento de las autoridades ambientales en el Perú, poniendo al descubierto los pocos fondos que son asignados al tema de fauna y la grave falta de centros de rescate en el país. Además, esperamos que esta campaña ayude a sensibilizar al público en general y los haga comprender que ¡los animales silvestres NO son mascotas! 

Invitamos a todo el público a informarnos sobre el avistamiento de animales silvestres en estado de cautiverio en cualquier parte del Perú al correo electrónico: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Invocamos a los diversos medios de comunicación social su valiosa colaboración para difundir este importante mensaje y ayudar en salvar la fauna peruana. Para mayor información y coordinación de entrevistas contactarse con Dra. Noga Shanee Correo electrónico:, Teléf.: 941-800784



NPC's participation in the elaboration of the Forestry and Wildlife Law regulations

In the last weeks NPC’s Noga Shanee participated in 3 workshops for the classification of observations on the regulations of the new Peruvian Forestry and Wildlife Law (No. 29763). Two of these workshops were held in Amazonas and the third was a macro-regional meeting held in Tarapoto, San Martin on the 3rd and 4th of July, with the participation of authorities and professionals from Amazonas, San Martin, Loreto, Ucayali and Madre de Dios.

Our involvement in the elaboration process for this new law began at the end of 2013 during the public consultation period for observations about the regulations of this new law. In the first draft of the new law we found many fundamental problems that put additional pressures on Peruvian wildlife through legal loopholes that could allow over exploitation, illegality and corruption to prosper. Many articles of the new law were written by those with a vested interest in exploitation of wildlife such as trophy hunters and zoo and breeding centre owners amongst others, whose intention was to reduce protection and facilitate their own enterprises, through commercial extraction, trophy hunting of endangered species and the introduction of exotic species to the wild.

In general the law gives preference to and encourages extractive or exploitative projects and discriminates against conservation initiatives. Also we were concerned that the ‘public’ consultation was not public enough and that the wildlife received minimum attention and very few observations were made.

For these reasons we made extensive observations about the law in areas concerning wildlife and conservation, also publishing press releases about the problems this law could produce to further inform the public and involve it in the process to demand better protection for wildlife. We were happily surprised by the interest shown in our campaign, where we received a lot of press attention and invitations to meetings in many regions. As a result over 700 additional observations were received by the Ministry of Agriculture concerning wildlife, a much larger amount than was received concerning other aspects of the law.

During these last 3 meetings we saw that many of our observations are being considered to be included in the new regulations of the law, offering greater protection to Peruvian wildlife. Unfortunately the actual law was already approved in 2011 and many of the problems inherent in its design cannot be changed. All we can hope for now is that the current process, and our observations, will ensure the implementation of additional safe guards and controls to avoid problems of over exploitation and corruption. We continue to follow the process closely and will continue to pressure the government to ensure that adequate protection for wildlife is provided in the final version of the regulations.

Taller Macro-Regional de la Amazonía- caterorizacion de aportes al RLLFS

More Articles...

  1. Thousands of school children in Ucayali, Peru say "No to animal trafficking"
  2. Press Release - Two new publications describe the communal conservation initiatives in northeastern Peru; reasoning, challenges and successes
  3. A new publication - Effectiveness of locally run conservation initiatives in north-east Peru
  4. 102 animals rescued from the Bella Vista Market in Pucallpa!

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