September 2013

24 Macaws came Macawling at the Tree!

Hello, Everyone,

Welcome to our latest news update re what’s been happening here in Ecuador……………….

The last viewing of the Green Military Macaws………….. there were 24 to be seen flying into a nearby tree, and then promptly disappear! Their camouflage colours work so really well! It is great to have seen such a flock in close proximity to the new Wildlife Conservation Centre!

At the beginning of the month we received word that a large cat was attacking a farmer’s sheep on the edge of the Sangay National Park – a few kilometres from our land and from Puyo. It was allegedly either a puma or a jaguar (with young). We approached the farmer to see if would be willing for us to try track and trap whatever animal this may be, rather than him shoot it! If we were successful in this, we would hopefully by then have negotiated support and resources from the Ministry of the Environment as we do not have the financial resources to undertake the scale of operation required. This would involve airlifting our trap cages onto the land and then similarly removing them – with or without said animal(s).

He was agreeable, and Glen and Dave tracked and eventually photographed footprints identifying the animal as indeed a large cat. A trap camera (borrowed from Merazonia) has also been left in place to see if we can further identify the animal(s). At the moment, we are awaiting further info, and are yet to find out whether the Ministry has the resources to help. It would be amazing if we are able to undertake this – we were involved in just such an attempt two years ago, and regrettably were not able to save the jaguar involved. It had moved out of the area were we had left the trap cages and someone decided to deal with the issue in other ways………!

Tree planting continues on the land – with more palms and other indigenous endangered trees placed around where there is enough space to enable them to grow successfully. We are also sharing some of the trees with our near neighbours, Glen and Laurence, in order that the species are not growing too closely to each other as there is then a risk of them sharing potential diseases, and environmentally it is more appropriate that they are not just located on a single species´ basis.

A few pineapples, avocadoes and papayas have also been planted around so that we may have something to eat in the future, too!

Sadly we continue to witness destruction of this beautiful environment around us as peoples’ families grow and they need more space for houses and to grow food. Our latest plans include making further funding applications that, if successful, would enable us to help initiate environmental support groups locally, and to also give people other ideas about less destructive means to provide income and housing as well continue to develop the new  Centre.

More bromeliads and orchids have been collected along the road on the way to the land where they are not likely to survive and these are also being settled into appropriate niches around the site.

Many more visitors and residents have been seen around the land – including a Coral Pipe Snake (a very beautiful and harmless snake), another otter, several coatis, and many different varieties of other plants and animals.

Night sounds continue to amaze – there are frogs, cicadas, katydids, nocturnal birds including Nightjars and Potoos (especially vocal on the nights of the full moon!), Owls, amongst other mysterious sounds yet to be identified. And Prawn World should probably be more appropriately named Crayfish World as the residents do seem to be more Crayfish-like than Prawn! Further identification to follow……………………