At the beginning of this year, the park warden teams are reinforcing their vigilance tools and setting up floating barriers at the entrances to the reserve, the most coveted of which is undoubtedly located in the Romayna sector.
The Romayna is a breeding ground for arahuana paiche, an endemic fish whose size and price attract many fishermen to this isolated and particularly well-preserved area. The fish grow happily and the paiche sometimes reach more than 1.5m. In this area there are still trees, often centuries old, of species that unfortunately no longer exist outside the reserve. The shihuahuaco and the mahogany are the first victims of this intensive and uncontrolled pruning.
This year the pressure on the area is greater than ever, the country’s economic situation is weakened by the ongoing health crisis and many people in the region are looking for ways to make a living. To date, several park guard expeditions have already taken place to dislodge the offenders, all with success.
The future of the forest lies (also) with the younger generation
More than 65 children took part in Steffanny’s afternoon of discovery and relaxation around the theme of conservation. The children of Mahuizo and Santa Lucia were able to share their feelings and their vision of the environments they live in during collective awareness-raising activities in the open air.
From an early age they are aware of the world around them and their interdependence with the biodiversity present. The parents, often hunters, fishermen, farmers or foresters, all live off what the forest offers them. A relationship that sometimes tends to diminish the present resources that are essential for the survival of local communities.
Over the course of several afternoons we were able to laugh and exchange life stories with them, highlighting their relationship with nature. A moment of playful reflection to highlight the richness of the exceptional environment of the reserve and the economic and social interest that its conservation represents for these villages.
The end of the year is approaching and the rain is coming; an ideal time to raise awareness of the reserve’s conservation and its usefulness in providing resources essential to their well-being.
This month, several activities were proposed to the 4 communities bordering the Concession: discovery of economic alternatives to conservation, debate on the preservation of forest resources, environmental animation for children and visits to plots for farmers aiming to valorise the available resources. A varied programme which reached around 70 adults and 50 children and which notably allowed the planting of 430 endangered trees in schools or on the plots of interested producers: quinilla colorada (Manilkara bidentata) cedro (Cedrela odorata) cumala colorada (Virola sebifera).
Steffanny (forestry engineer) spent a month with them and will return next year to continue the work in a sustainable way.
The team of park rangers recently renovated the signage at each entrance to the concession, a major effort to make it easier to monitor the area and properly inform offenders.
Armed with paint and a machete, the local team set about the annual renovation of the entry points and boundaries of the concession. This is a repetitive and tedious job that takes place over several days and requires the deployment of a wilderness camp in the middle of the rainforest each evening to spend the night.
This operation, which is essential for monitoring the site, is made compulsory by agreements with the Peruvian government and is an indispensable tool in this area, which is increasingly frequented as the poaching season approaches.
In the coming years, we hope to gradually strengthen the infrastructure to deter potential offenders ever more effectively.
For Taricaya turtles (Podocnemis unifilis), the month of August corresponds to the laying period. This is a time that is eagerly awaited by the communities who collect them for self-consumption or sale…sometimes excessively so. For several years now, we have observed a drop in populations, a clear enough message for the park rangers of the concession who have deployed 3 artificial beaches this year to accommodate about ten nests. We are impatiently waiting for the hatching of these 400 small protected birds so that they can be released in their original nesting site. To complete this initiative, the park rangers are involved in raising awareness among local residents and schools in order to encourage a sustainable change in practices.
Anecdote from the field
“It was about 5 o’clock in the afternoon, Ivan was sitting on the hill, a few meters from the gatehouse (Yanayacu) looking at the river and he saw someone passing by in a boat that was probably going to Juancito. They greeted each other and suddenly he saw that the person stopped his engine and prepared his gun, the ranger asked him, “what are you doing? The person tells him that there is a tiger about 30 meters away from Ivan, it is assumed that the tiger was going to drink water but Ivan could not see it, it went into the forest before being shot. The boatman was surprised to see that Ivan did not run to hide and said, “you are not afraid, you do not kill him? “To which the ranger replied, “we protect the tigers here“. Extracto del diario de Lotty Morey
This month, the project joined a network of national Conservation Concessions. The AMPA association, which federates many private conservation initiatives in Peru, facilitated the integration of CC Yanayacu Maquia into the network active in the San Martin region. This was an excellent way to learn together and to share their respective initiatives.
The partnership has already borne fruit and Lotty has already attended her first group training session on digital satellite monitoring tools. It was MPAA that provided the training and thus enabled the whole network to use the Global Forest Watch platform, a very powerful tool that monitors and warns in real time of possible forest degradation activities.
In the future, we hope to be able to jointly develop sustainable economic alternatives linked to the non-timber resources of the concession. This is a key step for the sustainability of the project.
More information on AMPA and the event that took place here (in Spanish only) > http://ampaperu.info/tecnologias-frente-a-la-deforestacion-en-tiempos-de-pandemia-capacitacion-virtual-con-la-red-de-conservacion-de-san-martin/