Hello to a belated update from the Fundación this month!
We are a slightly reduced team at the moment as both Glen and myself are back in the UK for short visits……..
General maintenance work has continued on the land and Pete has begun clearance and investigation activities on his own land – and at the same time spotting many more interesting animal and plant species endemic to the area! He is also reforesting – planting trees and clearing grass; and planning a water supply for the future.
A noisy group of Caracaras (Phalcoboenus sp) has been seen flying and heard, and a giant land snail with a shell of around 20 centimetres in length also. Also, a very large (around two metres in length) Equis was seen on the roadway!
We await support from the Consejo (Council) to help with the new entrance to the land – it is unfortunately delayed at the moment due to a lack of available machinery.
Sadly, we are regularly hearing tree-cutting activities in the area although not on the Fundación or Peter’s lands – making it all the more important to keep reforesting where we can. Many thanks, Pete, for the use of some of your photos this month.
Recently, there have been some introductory meetings held for the local community by oil extraction companies planning on working in the area. Much of Ecuador is zoned for oil exploration/extraction and the Fundación is located in one such ‘block’. We hope that we will not be directly affected by the first planned, exploratory drilling (likely to be located about not much more than eight kilometres away!); however there are possible indirect affects – like light and noise pollution. The reality is this work will take place and the Fundación hopes to work positively with the company(ies) involved, as well as the local and national government, to help mitigate any negative environmental impacts of such work.
On a more positive note, we would like to mention the work being carried out by the Andean Bear Project and in particular the involvement of our secretary and very active volunteer, Dave Jackson, who has recently been filming the activities of a female Andean Spectacled Bear and its cubs in the north of Ecuador. This bear, unique to South America, is threatened due to loss of habitat and hunting and it is great news that there is positive work being undertaken to help protect this species and support its long-term survival.