Resting on the back of an olive ridley sea turtle
Greetings from all of your friends here at ARCAS. With this report we would like to share with you some of our accomplishments in this the first half of 2023.
With the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, we have resumed our veterinary education course in Peten and in 2022 counted with the participation of 43 students from the US, UK and Canada in 6 courses. In 2023 we expect that number to surpass 100.
We are celebrating our third year of operations at our Biodiversity Education Center in Peten. We know that education is the most powerful weapon that we can use to end wildlife trafficking and change the world for the better. It is for this reason that we will continue fighting for the conservation of our environment.
The COVID pandemic reminded us all of the importance of wildlife veterinary medicine and conservation and, in general, the interconnectivity of the world in which we live. Under its One Health project, ARCAS continues taking samples of animals received at the Rescue Center and other parts of the Maya Biosphere Reserve, and offering training workshops on One Health, biodiversity conservation and illegal trafficking to our counterparts in Peten.
In November, personnel of the Peten Rescue Center and CONAP relocated a total of 27 mantled howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata) who were stranded in a patch of forest in the Izabal area that had been surrounded by agroindustrial plantations, cutting off their access to food trees. The process took four days with the capture of family groups with darts and the conducting of clinical examinations. These monkeys have been transferred to another area where they will be able to continue their natural life without the threat of changes in land use.
We also continue to make progress on our campaign to establish a permanent rescue center and central offices in the Cerro Alux Reserve on the outskirts of Guatemala City. The ARCAS central office and rescue center is currently housed in San Lucas in a rented house that is much too small for its needs, especially for the needs of the confiscated animals it receives. The San Lucas Municipality has granted us an usufruct for a 2000m2 piece of land in the Cerro Alux Reserve, and to date, we have built the perimeter wall and a guardhouse for the site. (Due to its remote location, security is unfortunately a concern.). We have also installed electricity and water hook ups. We are now in the process of building the main office and animal clinic and soon hope to begin construction of the wildlife enclosures and flight cages. The objective of the new Cerro Alux facility is to give animals received by ARCAS the humane care they need as well as to construct permanent administrative facilities for the ARCAS Central Office. Our many thanks to Michael Bostelmann, Glenda Salazar, Hidrotecnia, Fundacion Luis von Ahn, Humane Society International and other friends in this very important project.
We are also continuing our participation in Loros Sin Fronteras (Parrots Without Borders) focused on saving the last yellow-naped amazon parrots in Central America and Mexico. With our colleagues in that consortium, we carried out a regional social media publicity campaign against wildlife trafficking that reached over 5 million residents of Central America and Mexico. https://lorossinfronteras.com/
On Saturday 15th July we celebrated the inauguration of the marine turtle conservation season in Hawaii Park. More than 120 members of the communities who live inside the Hawaii Multiple Use Area, volunteers, and government representatives participated in this activity to mark the beginning of the sea turtle egg collection season. The event included interactive games, piñatas, raffles and a lunch. Our thanks to the staff of CONAP, CONAPAC, Greg Free and his group of volunteers, to the staff of Parque Hawaii and COLORES for their support in making the inauguration a success. With the support of the communities of the area, this year, we hope to fill the Hawaii Hatchery with more than 30,000 sea turtle eggs. If you would like to help, come visit the Park or donate to sponsor a sea turtle nest.
If you would like more information about these and other ARCAS activities, we just completed our 2022 Annual Report which can be downloaded at https://arcasguatemala.org/wp-content/uploads/ARCAS_Annual_Report_2022.pdf
You can also find updates on our sea turtle population monitoring and yellow-naped amazon conservation efforts.
Thanks very much for your support for our wildlife conservation activities in Guatemala, especially in these difficult times. Your donation helps us continue our efforts to save the wild ones of the earth.
University of Florida River Ecology Course parts.
ARCAS is partnering with the Luis von Ahn Fndtn
Capuchin monkeys rescued in July