Well, although it is nearly winter here in Scotland, in Ecuador, at least in the area in which Fundacion Fauna de la Amazonia is based, it is often not easy to tell whether it is summer or winter.
There are only two seasons in this part of the world (the Amazonas area of Ecuador) and the difference between the two often seems to be that it rains every day in ‘winter’, and every other day in ‘summer’. It’s usually always warm though.
Planning is continuing regarding the developments to begin early next year when the team is back together again. Glen, our long-term volunteer who is living very close to the Fundacion land, and the site of the new Wildlife Conservation Centre, has been investigating the use of sustainable bamboo to be used in the initial construction phase of the accommodation block. This bamboo, one of the many species of bamboo growing in Ecuador, is also known as ‘vegetable steel’ and is a sustainable, endemic plant growing in the area. We plan to encourage members of the local indigenous communities to grow this product as a possible income-generating opportunity which will allow them to protect other parts of the environment under threat of destruction.
In addition, Glen has been working with the Department of Environment staff and they have rescued a number of turtles and tortoises from several locations and he is nursing them back to health so that they may be released into appropriate areas in the near future. People take them from their natural environments and sell them in the illegal pet trade. They are often kept in very poor conditions, are mistreated, and need a great deal of care and often medication before they may be ready for release. There are at least three species involved including the snapper turtle (which does what its name suggests – don’t put your fingers close!) and the yellow-footed tortoise.Over the last month, members of the Flor de la Amazonia Group have been continuing to give illustrated talks to interested groups here in Edinburgh, and there has been a lot of positive feedback about our work both here, and in Ecuador by the Fundacion Fauna de la Amazonia. We have had contact with a number of people who are interested in joining us as volunteers in Ecuador in the future! If anyone knows of any groups or individuals who may be interested in a talk, please let me know on firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, we have our Annual General Meeting coming up on the 17th November in Edinburgh at 2.00pm at Redhall Walled Garden, 97, Lanark Road, EH14 2LZ . If anyone would like to join us, please come along.
The picture attached shows Glen surveying one of the larger trees on the land and you are able to see that by protecting this tree, we are also protecting the whole micro-environment that the tree itself provides to a huge range of other plants and animals. If there is space, there will also be a photograph of one of the damaged turtles showing the extent of infection to the shell. It is possible to treat this, however.