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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.

ENDS

 

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: nogashanee-at-gmail.com, 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

Thousands of school children in Ucayali, Peru say "No to animal trafficking"

Children say no to animal trafficking Today in the city of Pucallpa, a march was held for world environment day against the wildlife trade in Ucayali region, one of the regions that suffers from the highest levels of wildlife trafficking in Peru.
 
Thousands of local school children from dozens of schools took part in the event, some dressed as animals, others carrying banners, many dancing and playing traditional songs. The children showed amazing talent, interest and innovation as well as knowledge about the problems of keeping wild animals as pets and all gave their commitment to protect them.
 
Ucayali is known as one of the worst regions for wildlife trafficking in Peru. Because of its central location, Ucayali serves as a crossroads for wildlife from illicit hunting in Ucayali, loreto and even Brazil. From here the animals are smuggled to Lima and abroad. The problem of wildlife trafficking in the region was given little attention until November 2013, when we began our first education campaigns in the media and at schools and also began helping the local authorities rescuing animals. We are overjoyed, and very happily surprised, to see the rapid changes that are occurring in the region with respect to education and application of wildlife laws. Together with the dozens of rescues, this march proves a real commitment by the public and authorities towards protecting and conserving wildlife.
 
We congratulate every single one of the school children, schools, teachers, parents and general public that participated in today's event and the Regional Government for organising it. We are committed to continue our work in local conservation initiatives for the wildlife of Ucayali region and the rest of Peru.
 
For more photos from the march click here
 
Thousands of children marching against wildlife traffic: Sam Shanee/NPC

Press Release - Two new publications describe the communal conservation initiatives in northeastern Peru; reasoning, challenges and successes

Northeastern Peru is considered a global conservation priority due to high biodiversity and acute threats to natural habitats, species and resources. Its non-indigenous migrant populations, known as “campesinos”, are presented by mainstream conservation agents as a major threat to this area, as environmentally destructive, apathetic to nature and only responsive to economic and material incentives. 

El Gran Simacache, a 41,000 ha conservation area run by local conservationistsResults from new studies, published in Oryx and the Journal of Political Ecology, show that far from being a problem for conservation many rural communities actively promote or participate in conservation initiatives on a local scale with landscape-level impacts. These initiatives include land protection, hunting control and reduced deforestation, often providing effective solutions to threats. The main obstacles to campesino conservation are often a lack of assistance from governmental and non-governmental institutions and the economic resources to fund the extensive bureaucratic processes of registering protected areas. Many campesino communities bypass these restrictions through informal conservation initiatives. For many poor, local populations, conservation is not a 'dirty word.' Rural people in north eastern Peru find nature and biodiversity conservation attractive to their intrinsic, social, aesthetic and moral values, as well as being a measure to ensure their own future. In most cases the prospect of economic benefits is perceived as a welcome, but secondary, outcome and occasionally even as a hindrance.

These two articles highlight shortcomings of mainstream conservationists who often see local people as an obstacle for conservation. They also challenge the political ecology paradigm that stresses the conflicts between local people and conservation. We suggest that although local people often do not agree with the way conservation is administrated by the state or by outside conservation agencies, they do initiate parallel projects, following similar objectives and justifications. Therefore, the conflict between local people and conservation projects is not related to the fundamental nature of conservation, rather it is the result of the way conservation is administered, resulting in antagonism between local people and institutions.

There is an urgent need to inform conservation practitioners and the general public about the potential of locally run conservation, a potential that might be deliberately obscured by mainstream conservation institutions to secure their continuous funding. A more informed public could provide more funding to small, locally run projects as well as encouraging highly biodiverse countries to simplify their conservation policies to give local people equal opportunities to lead conservation initiatives and projects themselves.

Shanee, N., Shanee, S., and Horwich, R.H. (2014), 'Effectiveness of locally run conservation initiatives in north-east Peru ', Oryx, Online early addition.

Shanee, N. (2013), 'Campesino Justification for Self Initiated Conservation Actions - a Challenge to Mainstream Conservation', Journal of Political Ecology, (20), 413-28.

For more information please contact us

The forests of La Esperanza are informally protected by the community

 

 

A new publication - Effectiveness of locally run conservation initiatives in north-east Peru

Our latest article: Shanee, N., Shanee, S. & Horwich, R. H. (2014) Effectiveness of locally run conservation initiatives in north-east Peru. Oryx: Online edition.


Amazonas and San Martin are two of the most densely populated regions in rural Peru. They are also home to many threatened and endemic species. Under Peruvian law individuals and community groups can create private conservation areas and conservation concessions. We evaluated the successes and challenges in the creation and management of such areas. Our results show that many rural communities are actively promoting or participating in conservation initiatives. These initiatives include land protection, hunting control and reduced deforestation. The main obstacles identified were lack of support from governmental and non-governmental institutions and to economic resources. Many local initiatives bypass these restrictions through informal conservation initiatives.

The PDF can be downloaded through our publications page or from the publishers website

Effectiveness of locally run conservation initiatives in north-east Peru

 

 

 

 

102 animals rescued from the Bella Vista Market in Pucallpa!

Bella Vista market, Pucallpa. Photo Noga Shanee/NPCLast week we published photos taken in the dreadful Bella Vista Market, Pucallpa, Peru, where hundreds of animals were kept in appalling conditions to be sold as pets or bushmeat. This is probably the biggest wildlife market active in Peru, and definitely the biggest one where live animals are sold openly. Our official complaint against the market plus the campaigning to close it immediately were rapidly answered by the local state authorities and the first confiscation took place last Saturday at 5am. 

One hundred and two animals including parrots, macaws, tortoises, turtles and monkeys were found in their storage cages, where conditions were even worse. We even found some of them dead or dying. For us this was a great opportunity to take part in both the organization and the actual confiscation. We also helped these animals settling into the rescue center in the quickest least stressful way, providing them with the best, tastiest first breakfast in their new home. 

We would like to give a super special thank you to Patricia Lucano Gómez – Provincial Environmental Prosecutor of Ucayali for leading this action and to congratulate her commitment for what has now became our joint mission to close this horrendous market once and for all. We would also like to congratulate the Ucayali wildlife authorities, the police force and many others who took part in this confiscation and made it so safe and successful. 

To see more photos from the rescue please click here.

Wildlife rescue in the Bella Vista market, Pucallpa. Photo NPC

More Articles...

  1. Our campaigning worked!
  2. Denuncia pública general de casos de fauna silvestre en cautiverio
  3. NPC newsletter No. 27
  4. Rescue and liberation

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