February 2013

Since our last update, progress has been limited on the land, although the planning continues to gather pace.

One of our long-term volunteers has been back in the United Kingdom for a while and has been involved in some fund-raising and awareness-raising activities on behalf of the Fundacion under the auspices of the Flor de la Amazonia Group. Just this week he gave a final talk on our work past, present and future in Ecuador, and shortly will be returning to assist with the next stage of development on the land in the construction of the new Wildlife Conservation Centre.

Another of our long-term volunteers, and main co-ordinator, Gloudina, has been in Spain for a time – also fund-raising and engaging in raising awareness of environmental issues in Ecuador and the work we are involved in. She will be returning to continue her involvement in the new Centre shortly, also.

In the meantime, some rescue work has been continuing. One of our volunteers found a Banded Amphisbaena lying at the edge of a road close to the centre of Puyo. (Puyo is the capital of the Province (Pastaza) in which the Fundacion is based, and main base currently for the administration of the Fundacion.)

Amphisbaenians are legless, burrowing lizards with a superficial resemblance to earthworms(see photograph and video link). They are rarely seen, and it was with some surprise it was found writhing in the sunshine. As said, they are usually living underground – we suspect it was driven to the surface by recent heavy rainfall and would not have lived long in the hot daylight. Many local people believe that these animals are dangerous and kill them on sight. They are in fact harmless and live on small insects, etc.

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This fortunate animal was immediately removed from the heat, and kept overnight in a small box.

Early the next day it was taken to the safety of the jungle and released in an area where there was soft soil and no obvious predators. It was shortly able to make good its escape and returned to invisibility!

 Here is a link to a video of a specimen similar to the one released.