The Foundation is continuing its UNESCO recognised co-sponsorship programme with ANIA this time in Iquitos in the Amazon basin. A Childens Forest project will be initiated combined with the CREA sponsored Amazon Manatee Rescue Programme already in existence since 2008 and which is run with recognition from the Dallas Zoo and other environmental bodies. The educational programme is expected to host up to 25,000 visitors many of them children. A plot of about 1 1/2 acres will be dedicated to this project which will include the classic Childrens Forest aims of instilling conservation, environmental knowledge, recycling etc with turtle and otter conservation and above all a rescue centre for the endangered AMAZON MANATEE, a smaller cousin to the Gulf of Florida manatee. These friendly animals which graze on weed are hunted by some Indios villagers for food, captured as pets and injured by river traffic.
‘Today, it’s among the most endangered marine mammals in South America, classified as Vulnerable (VU A1cd) on the 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Illegal hunting is considered to be the main threat to the survival of this specie both for subsistence and commercial hunters – the use of harpoons is the most widespread technique for hunting.
In dry season, when water recedes, they become stranded in lakes, an easy prey for hunters.
Other threats include incidental capture in commercial (gill) nets, degradation of food supplies by soil erosion due to deforestation and other environmental impacts such as drought.
It’s prohibited to hunt the Amazonian manatee since 1972.’
For furthur information on river manatees please paste these links into your browser|: http://www.unique-southamerica-travel-experience.com/amazonian-manatee.html
It is hoped that the initial plot will be extended by up to two hectares to include a natural deep water pond. Rescued manatees are rehabilitated, pampered until fit, even bottle fed and subsequently released into the Amazon
To see full details of the manatee rescue project below