Welcome again, to the latest news and info from Fundacion Fauna de la Amazonia in Colonia 24 de Mayo – from the newly developing Wildlife Conservation Centre on 37.5 hectares of mostly primary/secondary jungle land. On the rest of the land, we are reforesting, allowing regrowth of endemic plants and growing some fruits etc. for ourselves in the future, and planning and marking out where we are going to be constructing the first buildings – the quarantine, clinic, and reception area for endangered endemic animals.
The Search for the Big Cat! Well, since our last update there have been no acknowledged further sightings of the large carnivorous animal which has been taking livestock from sites not too far from where we are based. However, the park ranger responsible for the territory has seen signs that the cat has moved to the other side of Sangay National Park, and is perhaps in safer ground for the moment. We went to check on the trap camera two weeks ago, and not only was there no evidence of the cat; there was no evidence of the camera either!! It had been stolen – our guess is by local hunters – as the camera was hidden far from view and covered up, as well. This is a great loss – particularly as it was borrowed and will now have to be replaced, ho hum much! We will continue to keep in contact with the local finqueros (landowners) to see whether there is any further sign of the cat, and whether we can help in any way to avoid the potential threat to its life.
We continue to see amazing plants and animals around the land on a walk up a nearby stream, we came across a large pile of excrement and we are reasonably certain that, after close inspection(!) it was left by a tapir – which is great news. Some of the neighbours here have mentioned recent evidence of having seen a mother tapir and her offspring in the area and this is further confirmation of at least one being close by. More snakes have been encountered and removed from the areas we are working in, without harming them, and a on a recent walk in more interesting birds were seen – including swallow-tailed kites, roadside hawks and a small group of fascinated tiger herons.
Also, we are really pleased to welcome the return of two volunteers this month – both of which have been supporting us for many years and have been with us on our adventures in the past. Miriam has travelled from Switzerland to be with us again, and Pete from the United States! They have both rapidly reintegrated into the team and are helping in various ways to help move the show along its path. Thanks, guys! It’s great to have you here.
Some of the other amazing sights around the land amongst the many are the tree ferns – some of which are several metres high. Their leaves are fantastically intricate, and their ‘buds’ form in mysterious ways.
Also this month we have continued work on both clearing land for the site of the new quarantine and clinic area, and the base of the small dam, which will likely form the basis for our water supply. We plan to start work on these very shortly, watch this space…