Conservationists and Peruvian villagers join forces to save endangered monkey
For immediate release
New research shows a critically endangered species of monkey is flourishing thanks to the combined efforts of local communities and a conservation charity in Peru.
Neotropical Primate Conservation (NPC) began working with farming communities in Yambrasbamba to protect the yellow tailed woolly monkey in 2007.
The innovative projects, which include voluntary pledges by local villagers to control hunting and forest clearance, have proved a success with a growth in the monkey population and significant increases seen in infants.
Dr Sam Shanee, of Neotropical Primate Conservation said: “The idea of our work, and community conservation as a whole, is that protecting the environment isn't something that only governments and big NGO's can do, it is something that benefits all people and is within reach of all people”.
The yellow tailed woolly monkey has been listed as one of the world’s 25 most threatened primate species and there are thought to be only thousands left in the wild.
Deforestation, commercial and subsistence hunting, the pet trade, local development and resource exploitation have all contributed to its demise.
The research also showed that while deforestation was still occurring in the area, it was happening at a lower rate than the regional and national averages.
Dr Shanee said the cause of deforestation and biodiversity loss was often blamed on local people who were portrayed as the “bad guys”.
He said: “What we continue to find is that with effective discussion of the importance of forests and wildlife many local people not only understand the need for conservation but also become great conservationists leading their communities and, as seen in this study, succeeding in protecting some of the most threatened species and habitats through simple cost effective solutions where many larger projects/institutions have failed”.
The success of the project has prompted the charity to call on other conservation practitioners to involve local communities in their work.
“Our results provide compelling evidence that Community Conservation projects can be successful in highly populated areas, and we urge conservation practitioners to involve local actors when planning and implementing initiatives” they said.
Notes for Editors
- Photos available on request
- Interviews available on request
- The full publication can be found here: http://tropicalconservationscience.mongabay.com/content/v8/tcs_v8i1_169-186_Shanee.pdf
Two new scientific publications
Short and successful campaign
Buena noticia, Ayer en la noche nos hemos enterado que la Administración Técnica Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre de Cajamarca está invitando a la gente de Cajamarca a registrar los animales silvestres que ellos mantengan como mascotas. Esta iniciativa nos pareció muy extraña, porque es contradictorio a las leyes Peruanas y a las políticas del Servicio Nacional Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre (SERFOR). Obviamente que estamos completamente contra la legitimización de la tenencia fauna silvestre conociendo los muy graves efectos de este tráfico a las poblaciones silvestres y al bienestar de los animales mantenidos en cautiverio, y así es que hemos sacado una pequeña y rápida campaña en las redes sociales y contactamos al SERFOR para entender lo que esta pasando y para pronunciar esta iniciativa. Estuvimos muy felices al ver que muchas otras ONGs de conservación y derecho de animales se nos unieron en esta campaña. Comunicando con SERFOR nos hemos enterado que ésta acción fue una iniciativa propia de la ATFFS de Cajamarca y no fue coordinado previamente con SERFOR, que como nosotros estaban en contra de ella. Felicitamos y agradecemos a Jessica Galvez y Mirbel Epiquien de SERFOR por su rápida y correcta acción en comunicar con la ATFFS de Cajamarca a primera hora del día de hoy y exigir la cancelación de esta dañina iniciativa.
An official complaint about the Colombian company "On Vacation"
This week we made an official complaint to the Environmental Public Prosecutor’s office about the Colombian tourism company "On Vacation" who are trafficking Peruvian animals to Colombia. The company has two hotels, one in Puerto Alegria, Peru and another in Leticia, Colombia; both hotels have captive wild animals including many protected and endangered species such as manatees, woolly monkeys and matamata turtles. It is estimated that in the Colombian side there are over a hundred animals. According to interviews with workers all have been illegally exported from Peru to Colombia. The company is also carrying tourists (200-500 people a day) to an Association for Women in Puerto Alegria where tourists take pictures with wild animals extracted from the forest for the sole purpose of attracting tourists. Many children are exploited in this business which is also against Peruvian law.
Other violations found in our research are that the hotel on the Peruvian side of the border is built entirely of illegally harvested wood, and that the waste of these 200-500 tourists a day, which consists mostly of non-degradable materials, are dumped directly into the river daily. We hope that the authorities take this complaint seriously and act with all seriousness and to the full extant of the law to stop these activities which are so damaging to the environment and to Peruvian wildlife. We would like to thank the informants for their important and thorough research that will hopefully bring justice to these animals.
NPC Newsletter Vol. 30
Click here to download our latest newsletter volume 30 for January 2015.