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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Abusador de animales violento agrede a hombre y a tigrillo (PRECAUCION IMAGEN VIOLENTA)

Cuando la gente ve a un animal en venta como mascota en plena calle, muchas veces no piensa nada malo esté pasando. Hay vendedores de perros de raza en las cunetas de diferentes puntos de Managua, por ejemplo detrás de MetroCentro. Hay que cuestionar las condiciones de vida de estos pobres animales que pasan el día en la calle y quién sabe qué condiciones en la noche.


trafico ilegal
Esta persona repugnante vende una lapa pintada. No basta que este animal se encuentre en peligro de extinción, sino que hay que pintarle de varios colores para que parezca algo distinto. El hombre es el mismo que abusa violentamente del tigrillo en el video presentado abajo. Foto Matthias Geiger.
Peor aún es el caso del vendedor ambulante de animales silvestres. El punto más reconocido de la venta en la calle dentro de la capital se ubica entre los semáforos del Hospital Militar y PriceSmart. Mientras uno puede quejarse de la venta de perros en la calle, esa gente se ampara en la ley, pero los hombres que laboran en la venta de loras y otros animales silvestres en este punto saben bien que lo que hacen es prohibido.

Otro punto es del km 67 en la Carretera Panamericana Norte. Justo al norte de la jurisdicción de municipio Managua, los residentes de este punto conocido como Playitas-Moyua se amparan en implicancias y disinterés entre los oficiales de Ciudad Darío. A lo largo de más de dos décadas, esta gente se dedica a vender animales del bosque como loras, lapas, monos, tucanes, cusucos, y tigrillos. Diario se encuentran varias personas de un caserío pegado a la carretera con sus animales en palos o colgando de sus brazos, mientras pasa el tráfico entre el norte en Managua. Obviamente las personas con dinero que andan en vehículos privados son los motores del tráfico ilícito de estos pobres animales, o bien los vendedores hubieran buscado otro oficio hace años.


mono cara blanca
Esta misma persona vende un mono cara blanca, con loras y chocoyos. Cuándo van a actuar para frenar a esta actividad en contra del patrimonio natural de los nicas? Foto Maggie Folkesson. 
Aunque en muchos respetos la situación ambiental es mejor en Costa Rica que en Nicaragua, los mismos ticos y los extranjeros que dominan las escenas de las periferias y las playas del país semi-permanente refugios consideran igualmente que la vida es mejor acompañado por un mono en una cadena, o un par de loras o una lapa en una jaula. La vida silvestre de ambos países sufre por la casa furtiva para suplir a la demanda de mascotas coloridas que se convierten en símbolos de poder. 

Pero como se aprecia en el vídeo abajo, esta persona que vive y ejerce el oficio de pirata de animales silvestres en el km 67 de la Carretera Norte se pasa de toda expectativa entre los seres humanos. Entendemos que él puede no estar de acuerdo con la venta de animales, pero no podemos aceptar aguantar ni un día más el actuar de esta persona ni la falta de coacción en su contra de parte de las autoridades municipales y del gobierno central. Este hombre, cuyo nombre y apellido son conocidos, abusa a un tigrillo (Felix wiedii) delante de varias personas como se demuestra en la foto abajo y el vídeo publicado en La Prensa


trafico ilegal
Parece ser un objeto ocupado como látigo, pero es un ser vivo. Esta persona repugnante golpea a Ernesto López con un tigrillo (Feliz wiedii), en la Carretera Norte, km 67. Apelamos a las autoridades a rescatar a este animal y castigar a esta persona que ha reincidido en la venta y abuso de animales silvestres sobre muchos años.
Sabemos que las autoridades en MARENA conocen a esta persona y sabemos que ellos tienen una historia dedicándose en buscar alternativas de vida para él y para otros que también viven en ese mismo caserío en la Carretera Norte. Pero no aguantamos más los abusos de esta persona. Insistimos en un acción inmediata y precisa a favor del pobre gato, que es una especie en peligro de extinción y merece un trato totalmente diferente a lo visto aquí. Gracias a La Prensa por compartir sus sentimientos en dos reportajes. 




En FUNDECI/GAIA, pensamos que los animales silvestres deben vivir y morir en el bosque, no en una jaula. Obviamente, muchas personas piensan diferente, pero contamos en que nuestros lectores se sumen a las voces que reclaman los derechos para los animales silvestres. Estos animales se deben de considerarse como patrimonio nacional para crear un mecanismo especial de protección de ellos y de su hábitat.
trafico ilegal
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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Papal suspension against Miguel d'Escoto is lifted

Miguel d'Escoto was ordained as a priest of the Roman Catholic Church more than fifty years ago. As a Nicaraguan, he was the first non-US citizen to join the Maryknoll order. Like many other Maryknoll priests of the day, Miguel confronted a violent, oppresive social order in the world. As an adherent and contributor to the set of ideas known today as liberation theology, Miguel identified with the oppressed people and lived cruel, violent opposition, along with many others in the Maryknoll order. But unlike the other priests of his order, his experiences were in his home country. Nicaragua lived under a right-wing dictatorship which crushed opposition violently, and maintained social structures that kept education levels and life expectancies abysmal for the majority of its citizens.
Miguel d'Escoto

Miguel participated in the social processes which eventually led to the abdication and departure of the Nicaraguan dictator, Anastasio Somoza Debayle, and he served the Nicaraguan government more than ten years as foreign minister. The revolutionary government that succeeded the dictatorship faced a civil war in which the US government provided the principal financial and material support for the contra opposition. As a priest in Roman Catholic Church and an active member of the Sandinista government of Nicaragua, Miguel also faced the opposition of the hierarchy of his church. Pope John Paul II applied a suspension a divinis to Miguel, twenty-nine years ago, in the darkest moments of the cold war.

Today, Miguel is celebrating the lifting of his supension. Pope Francis recently lifted the papal order against Miguel, and Nicaragua is celebrating with him. Today, 26 August 2014, there will be a celebration at the First Baptist Church (on the grounds of the Baptist Hospital) in his honor.
nicaraguan revolution


miguel d'escoto



Sunday, August 24, 2014

Animal Rescue XVI: Wild animals deserve to live free

Capturing an animal in the wild to make a pet of it is doubly insidious. The pressure on some animal species by the pet trade has caused the complete elimination of their populations in large areas. Macaws are a good example of this. We care for two macaws at Estacion Biologica Laguna de Apoyo, both were wild animals that suffered capture and brutal treatment in captivity.
Great Green Macaw
Bumbelina is a Great Green Macaw. Photo Pablo Somarriba.
Both the macaws have broken wings, as a result of the rough treatment given to them in captivity. These poor animals will never fly again. Because of the cruelty of the commerce in wild animals in Nicaragua, they are permanently condemned to live with humans. At least we can give them natural surroundings where they can be happy. The have large enclosures which permit them to move around and see in all directions, into the sky and the forest. They are allowed to leave their enclosures daily, and they get an ample, varied diet, with lots of interactions with people and other birds.

We kept the two macaws in a common enclosure several months. The Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao), however, has developed a common ailment among captive new world parrots-feather plucking. She plucks not only her own feathers, but also the feathers of her best friend Bumbelina, the Great Green Macaw (Ara ambiguus). We have placed a mesh divider between them, so they can see each other and even touch through the mesh, but no more plucking! Feather plucking is one of many pathological manifestations of wild animals in captivity when they should be free in their natural habitats.

wild animals
These baby opossums were brought to us by kind-hearted folks who found them abandoned. Photo Pablo Somarriba.
We at FUNDECI/GAIA provide shelter for wild animals that have been found injured or unable to survive in the wild without rehabilitation, and pets that owners request to return to the wild. Recently, we received two young common opossums (Didelphis virginianus). These animals were found by a Nicaraguan family who gave them lots of care while they grew. But they found that the animals were needing more space and soon should be ready to be liberated. We took them and quickly returned them to the wild. They lived a few weeks in a hollow tree on our property, before moving on to the forest behind Estacion Biologica.

wild animals'
This White-throated Magpie-Jay (Calocitta formosa) chick was raised at Estacion Biologica and released into the wild, where he continues to live happily. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.
We have great plans to continue, to improve and amplify our capacity to handle wild animals. We need your help. Would you like to volunteer some time to care for wild animals? Or donate food or money to pay for their well-being? We need lots of cashews, fresh fruit, and materials for cages, among other things. Please contact us if you would like to volunteer or make la donation.

wild animal
Contact us to participate in animal rescue!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A circus without animals

When I was a child, I loved the circus. Part of the attraction was the large animals, lions, tigers, and elephants that performed all the while appearing to teeter on the edge between obedience and deadly defiance. Only much later had it occurred to me that these animals are not like dogs, cats, and livestock, which have evolved in close association with us and no longer can live in the wild. Lions, tigers, and several other animals that are part of the spectacle of many circuses do not depend on humans for their lives and do not seek human companionship naturally.

circus
Tigers are part of many circuses, but in the end, they are not pets, they are wild animals.
Later, it occurred to me that tigers are in their natural habitat are in danger of disappearing from the face of the earth. Hunting, the international trade in wild animals for spectacles and exotic food, and habitat reduction have reduced tiger populations to the point of extinction. I was appalled that the world continued to act as always, with very little concern for this dramatic news. The contradiction between being able to place humans on the moon but unable to save such emblematic animals as tigers speaks poorly for our century. 

Tigers are not only rare, endangered species, they are wild animals that merit life according to their nature. Wild animals like tigers should live and die in the jungle, not in cages. When I realized that wild animals were subjected to harsh, severe treatments to perform in the circus, it made me think more about what circuses meant for tigers and other wild animals, even those whose populations in the wild are not at risk of extinction. For these animals, life in a cage means privation from what is found in their spirits. None of them would choose to live in dependence of people, in a cage, if only their cage doors were left open.

Furthermore, as the video above demonstrates, the circuses which make great presentations in Nicaragua do not treat these animals in any way as they should be treated. Imagine what it might mean to a tiger to be transported in the back of a pickup truck through the city of Managua. As the video shows, the animal became frightened, and his own reaction led to chaos inside the parking lot of Channel 10.

Fortunately, this animal did not harm anyone, nor was he harmed physically in the frightening event. But the video demonstrates what we already know, that tigers are not really appropriate to drive around town in pickup trucks or hang out with people.

circus
Protestors against the use of wild animals in circuses appeared by the hundreds! Photo Ilse Diaz.
Children of Nicaragua are just like any other children. They love clowns and music, and all the fanfare surrounding circuses. The child in all of us does. It had not occurred to me that circuses could do things different than those of my childhood, really, until I visited Europe and friends took me to see Cirque du Soleil. The entire circus was magical. Although I was older, it made me feel the thrills that I remembered when I saw the circus as a child. But there were no animals in the circus. No tigers, lions, nor elephants, not even dogs. The entire process of the animal-free circus was seductive. There were no signs outside proclaiming, "ANIMAL-FREE CIRCUS", no activists shaming me into purchasing a ticket. It was as if the animal issue were not even there. It was a fun circus, in fact it was memorable. And, it didn't have animals. 

animal rights
The use of wild animals in the circus is still permitted in Nicaragua, but many people actively oppose it. Photo Ilse Diaz.
One of the regional circuses recently came to Managua, Circo de Renato, from Mexico. This circus circulates throughout the region, from country to country, and Managua is visited regularly. Their use of animals is widely known and can be seen on lots of you-tube videos, such at this one:

Tigers in Circo Renato. 

Must a circus have wild animals to be fun? Of course not. What if?

What if?

The rights of an animal in Nicaragua are only now getting defined, legally. A recently passed law, Ley 747, requires that all domesticated animals be given humane treatment, even animals for consumption such as chickens and cows. The concept of animal welfare is new to Nicaragua, and some practices such as cockfighting and even worse practices are common in the countryside. The law makes a solid first step toward the treatment of domesticated animals, and even provides for animal sacrifice in the case of meat, cockfighting, and circuses. However, what is not clear is what should happen to animals that are clearly not domesticated. Some animals, even when born in captivity, are by nature wild. How should these animals be treated?

Circo Renato
Many people in Nicaragua think circuses should not use wild animals in their performances. Photo Ilse Diaz.
How Nicaragua chooses to treat wild animals has many implications. The first is that an important message can be transmitted to all, that animals have rights which also restrict us. We really don't lose much today if we can not see the animals in the circus, because the television shows with wild animals are every day more graphic. We can unite with Costa Rica, where circuses are not allowed to use animals. Another implication is that wild animals from our own forests can be protected more easily. Lots of wild animals in Nicaragua are captured and sold into the pet trade, and some of them become used in similar ways to circuses, adorning the entrances to hotels, restaurants and tourist centers.

Circo Renato
A circus without animals is possible! Photo Ilse Diaz.
Several groups of animal rights advocates in Nicaragua have united to demonstrate their discontent regarding the use of wild animals in the Circo de Renato, which is now showing in Managua. Last Saturday, hundreds of demonstrators arrived and made a peaceful presentation near the entrance of the circus. Another demonstration will occur this coming Saturday, beginning at 3 pm, and will continue until the circus stops showing wild animals or leaves.

Circo Renato
The circus had more people demonstrating against it than in paying customers last Saturday. Photo Ilse Diaz.
The law regarding animal welfare in Nicaragua does not explicitly prohibit the use of animals. Furthermore, the law has not been applied with a series of regulations. We are hoping the National Assembly will provide for regulations that are clear with respect to humane treatment of the animals in public spectacles such as circuses. These regulations should be sent to a vote in the assembly soon.

Circo Renato
Many people participated in the protest against the use of animals in the circus. Photo Ilse Diaz.
By insisting that circuses not use animals, we can generate a more educated, informed and sensitive public, where the issues of wild animals is taught to all, starting at an early age. Instead of capturing wild animals for use in circuses, we can work to protect their rights to live and die in the jungle, according to their nature. All children like to see wild animals, but there is no need for them to visit a circus to see them in stressful situations, far from their natural habitat. Wild animals should live and die in their natural habitat, not in a cage. We can watch them on Animal Planet!

animal welfare
Some mothers brought their children to demonstrate against the circus, rather than to pay for the use of wild animals in cages. Photo Ilse Diaz. 
These protests are having their effect. The visitors to the circus are not as high as the owners had probably expected. In fact, Renato was seen watching the protest, with a despondent look. The demonstrators are not bothering anyone, they are simply expressing their point of view without provoking any impacts on vehicular or foot traffic. The visitors to the circus enter and leave without any kind of threat or discomfort. Yet, all who have seen the demonstration have the chance to consider the issue and go down the path that I have also taken.
animal welfare
Drivers and passengers along the Masaya Highway honked in approval as they passed the demonstration. Photo Ilse Diaz.

Circo Renato
There will be protests at the circus every Saturday, until the circus stops using animals or leaves. Photo Ilse Diaz.

circus
Not all children want to see wild animals in cages! Photo Ilse Diaz.

animal welfare
Creative and fun protest was made pacifically, and the message regarding the use of animals in the circus was heard by many. Photo Ilse Diaz.

Nicaragua
Animals are not clowns! Photo Ilse Diaz.




circus without animals
We would like to go to the circus, but please without using animals! Photo Ilse Diaz.



tiger
Demonstration against animals in the circus in Managua. Photo Ilse Diaz. 

tiger
Lots of smiles were seen during the demonstration against animals in the circus. Photo Ilse Diaz.

Circo Renato
The circus was practically empty, with more people outside protesting than paying customers. When will Renato produce a circus without animals? Photo Ilse Diaz.

circus
Hundreds participated in the demonstration against the Circo de Renato last Saturday. Photo Ilse Diaz.



Nicaragua
Many people participated and others waved and honked in approval as they passed. Photo Ilse Diaz.

Circo Renato
Drivers, pedestrians and visitors to the circus went on their way with a message regarding the rights of the animals used by the circus. Photo Ilse Diaz.

wild animals
How do we get to see circuses without animals? Photo Ilse Diaz.

circus
The streets took on a happy aspect as drivers honked in support of the protection of animals. Photo Ilse Diaz.

tigers
Cars passed the demonstration, honking in approval. Photo Ilse Diaz.

animal welfare
Renato viewed the demonstration with concern, because few people actually paid to enter the circus last Saturday. Photo Ilse Diaz.

wild animals
Another voice in favor of the circus without animals. Photo Ilse Diaz.



Nicaragua
The treatment of animals has become a topic of much discussion in Nicaragua. Photo Ilse Diaz.
If you would like to participate in the advocacy of animal welfare in Nicaragua, there is much to do. Some people provide food, medicine, and sterilization to dogs that are found in the street without homes. FUNDECI/GAIA provides a shelter for several wild animals which are rescued from the pet trade or are found injured. We return them to the wild whenever it is feasible. You can volunteer or donate. We need food-nuts are especially needed for our macaws! Please call us at 8882-3992 or write us at apoyo@gaianicaragua.org if you would like to donate your time or provide for a meal for a rescued animal.








Saturday, August 9, 2014

Conservation Science Interns and Volunteers at Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, Nicaragua

There are 78 protected areas in the SINAP system, managed by the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (MARENA) in Nicaragua. Among the most conflictive of these areas is Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, because of the beautiful views and warm, clear water. This protected area faces many challenges but none is as grave as that of real estate development.
FUNDECI/GAIA maintains a permanent presence in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, through the operation of the biological research station "Estacion Biologica". We conduct a number of environmental studies and conservation actions through our research station there, and we share our knowledge about Nicaragua, its language, culture and great natural heritage through courses and internships offered there.

internship
FUNDECI/GAIA Conservation Science Intern Ruben Pelckmanns participates in bird population monitoring in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. Photo Pablo Somarriba.
Conservation science interns and volunteers are essential to our work in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. We are conducting studies of birds, monkeys, plants and fish during 2014 at this location, in coordination with some universities and MARENA. We are comparing animal and plant surveys to previous years to determine how the forests improve or degrade. Frankly, our initial results have suggested some important loss of habitat in some of the most important areas for biodiversity in this location.
conservation science internship
Conservation Science Interns at FUNDECI/GAIA can work on our wildlife monitoring project in the Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. Photo Pablo Somarriba. 
We at FUNDECI/GAIA are committed to seeing Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve prosper as a natural area. Obviously, not everyone feels the same, and we have had to deal with some very negative forces in the area, especially coming from people who want to gain riches from investing in property inside the protected area for real estate development. Some of these people really do not like us, and we have recently won an important civil judgment against some of them. There is great opposition to protecting the forest and lake from their greatest enemies, the real estate offices!
internships in Nicaragua
These volunteers left us with a poignant and environmental message.  Photo Pablo Somarriba.
The GAIA Program in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve also promotes environmental conservation projects, particularly reforestation in some of the affected areas in the reserve. Our group was instrumental in the production of the first-ever official management plan for the Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, with our employee Jeffrey McCrary as the coordinator of the project, which involved dozens of work meetings with the community and government officials, reviews of biodiversity, geography, land use, sociological factors, and lots of maps and other information for use in the plan.
conservation science
The finding of a freshly dead bird led to a skin preparation. Photo Pablo Somarriba.
Our interns can be involved in ongoing studies on the environment in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. We have been conducting studies of bird, bat and butterfly populations in the reserve for several years. We are looking for historical trends in populations which may demonstrate differences in land use in five different sites inside the reserve.
conservation science
FUNDECI/GAIA volunteers at Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve painted realistic images of some of the wildlife found in the area, along the wall of the entrance to Estacion Biologica. Photo Pablo Somarriba.
Interns may also take on conservation projects. One of our oldest projects is reforestation. We harvest seeds, plant and grow native trees in our tree nursery, and plant them in deforested areas in the forest. But the most important aspect of our project means the difference between success and failure-it is the continued care of the planted trees for years after planting. Many reforestation projects exist in natural areas, but few of them succeed in recreating natural forest, because tree survival is typically zero for those projects. 

We also rescue wild animals. Interns can work on animal care with our animals, which include two macaws. They can also participate in fundraising for the care and re-introduction of rescued wild animals. 


internships
FUNDECI/GAIA volunteers participate in discussions on the environment and social issues in Nicaragua with guests at Estacion Biologica. Photo Pablo Somarriba.

Nicaragua
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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Los animales silvestres deben vivir y morir en el bosque, no en una jaula

La Asamblea Nacional de Nicaragua se encuentra en el proceso de reglamentar la Ley de Bienestar Animal, también conocida como la Ley 747. Esta ley noble prohibe al maltrato y requiere a todo dueño de animales, que sean de tiro, de alimento o de mascota, que brinde condiciones dignas para el curso de su vida.

Nicaragua, siendo un país con bosques alrededor, se ha acostumbrado a tratar a algunos animales como si fueran domesticables. Todos tenemos algún amigo que tiene un mono encadenado en su patio. Loras y lapas abundan entre la clase media alta, se han convertido en manifestaciones de poder adquisitivo. Y hay quienes en Nicaragua con tigrillos, leoncillos o hasta un jaguar enjaulado en su casa, extraño o perverso que sea.

Los perros y los gatos son animales que derivan de la vida silvestre, pero después de miles de años de acompañamiento a los seres humanos, ya dependen de ellos. Los gatos y perros no pueden sostenerse como especie sin alguna relación con el ser humano. 

Sin embargo, las lapas, las loras, los chocoyos, las culebras, y todos los animales silvestres, no prefieren vivir con el ser humano como si fueran gatos y perros. En jaulas, amarrados con cadenas, o con sus alas cortadas, se encuentran miles de animales de la vida silvestre en Nicaragua. El comercio en estos animales es tan fuerte que casi nadie en este país ha visto una lapa en su vida libre, pero todos hemos visto lapas en jaulas dentro de casas de amigos. 


Los animales silvestres en Nicaragua sí dependen de los seres humanos, para que se acabe con el tráfico de mascotas. Sin una ley y coacción contra las personas que participan en el tráfico de animales silvestres, vamos a seguir perdiendo animales del bosque, como ya ha pasado con la lapa y los monos en gran parte de Nicaragua. 


animales

ley 747

El Nuevo Diario ha publicado una entrevista sobre los rescates de animales silvestres del tráfico en mascotas. FUNDECI/GAIA maneja un pequeño albergue donde recuperamos animales silvestres heridos o abandonados del tráfico en mascotas. Por nuestra experiencia como voluntarios a favor de los animales silvestres, FUNDECI/GAIA participa con los miembros de la Asamblea Nacional en la formulación del reglamento para esta ley. Quieres ayudarnos a cuidar estos animales y prepararlos para su regreso al bosque? Necesitamos voluntarios, donaciones de comida, servicios veterinarios y buena voluntad! Si deseas donar un paquete de marañones o un día de trabajo, estaríamos nosotros y los animales muy agradecidos. Contáctennos.