This month there was another land turtle rescue from Puyo. A relatively large, yellow-footed turtle (aka tortoise!) wandered into a garden close to one of the rivers flowing at the edge of town, and very fortunately, the house-owners made contact with the Fundación and asked for our assistance in removing and relocating the turtle. It was approximately 40 centimetres in length, and although in generally good health, its shell was in poor condition. It was transferred to Merazonia Animal Rescue Centre for treatment and short-term care and will shortly be on its way to another centre which has other turtles of the same species released around their land, including the turtle rescued by ourselves a couple of months ago! The turtle is likely one that has either escaped from captivity in town, or has been allowed to wander away.
On the land, work continues on keeping the recovering areas under control – the rate of growth and re-growth of some of the tree and other plant species is extraordinarily fast. It has become time to start removing some of the smaller, more common, endemic species, in order to permit some of the rarer, or more important food-wise (for endangered animals) to be planted or allowed to grow through.
Eight of the recently planted bananas (not native plants!) have sprouted, out of ten corms planted, and are doing well; and there are now around thirty-five pineapples growing – some of which are starting to develop flowers. The pineapple is of the bromeliad family and is native to South America. There are also two Guayusa trees growing – the leaves of this local plant are used to make a refreshing and stimulating drink; there are also a few small lemon trees planted, and some avocadoes. All of these are for future human consumption and are on areas not suitable for constructions.
Some estimates have been obtained for the windows and doors to be put in the quarantine/clinic, and hopefully it will be possible to have these made to our specifications soon, and then installed. This will then be used as our base on the land until the volunteer accommodation is funded and constructed, as well as the toilet/shower area.
Amongst the myriad of animals and plants seen on the land recently have been visits from Tamarin monkeys, many species of humming birds, armadillos amongst other animals, are snuffling around, and night visits to prawn world continue (the freshwater crustaceans found in the rivers here!) A large freshwater crab has taken up residency in the dam for the water supply system also!
Not much more than eight kilometres in a straight line from the Fundacion’s land, is Merazonia Animal Rescue Centre ( http://www.merazonia.org/ ), also on the edge of the Llanganates National Park. Do have a look at this most amazing footage of a melanistic (‘black’) jaguar (Panthera onca) taken on one of their trap cameras recently…………………
Finally, we would like to thank Delia L Sant (aka Ecuadorian poet, artist and author Silvia Campaña) http://www.silviacampana.com/ so much for donating 10% of the proceeds of her latest publication in Italy – “Avventure nei Colori dell’ Arcobaleno “ (“Adventures in the Colours of the Rainbow”) to the Fundación. Fantastic – thank you so much, Silvia!