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The Amphibian Extinction Crisis – Amphibian Ark

amphibian ark

From Amphibian Ark

Amphibians are an important component of the global ecosystem, as indicators of environmental health and contributors to human health. They watched the dinosaurs come and go, but today almost half of them are themselves threatened with extinction. Addressing the amphibian extinction crisis represents the greatest species conservation challenge in the history of humanity.

amphibians frogs lizards toad costa ricaThe global conservation community has formulated a response in the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan, and an integral part of that response is the Amphibian Ark, in which select species that would otherwise go extinct will be maintained in captivity until they can be secured in the wild. Without immediate captive management as a stopgap component of an integrated conservation effort, hundreds of species could become extinct.

Addressing the amphibian extinction crisis represents the greatest species conservation challenge in the history of humanity. One third to one half of all amphibian species are threatened with extinction, with probably more than 120 already gone in recent years. The IUCN Global Amphibian Assessment has alerted us to the fact that hundreds of species face threats that cannot be mitigated in the wild, they require zoos to save them in the short term until adequate conservation measures to secure wild populations can be developed. Comparable calls to action are included in other IUCN documents.

amphibians frogs lizards toad costa ricaThe World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) has joined with two branches of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (IUCN/SSC) – the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG) and the Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG) – to form the Amphibian Ark (AArk). Since 2006 the Amphibian Ark has been helping the ex situ community to address the captive components of the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan, saving as many species as possible by providing global coordination, technical guidance, training, necessary linkages to other IUCN groups, communications, and guiding publicity and capital campaigns.

Without immediate captive management as a stopgap component of an integrated conservation effort, hundreds of species will become extinct. This conservation challenge is one that we, the ex situ community, are uniquely capable of addressing. Never before has the conservation community at large charged zoos and aquariums with a task of this magnitude. This is an opportunity for every zoo and aquarium, regardless of size, to make a vital conservation contribution, and for our community to be broadly acknowledged as a credible conservation partner. Supporting this call to action is clearly within the financial capacity of all zoos and aquariums, and engages the diverse expertise found within all institutions. Our goal is 100% participation of WAZA zoos and aquariums and the regional associations. If we do not respond immediately and on an unprecedented scale, much of an entire vertebrate class will be lost, and we will have failed in our most basic conservation mission as defined in the World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy.

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Filed under: Climate Change, Family Eco Travel, Wildlife Conservation, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Saving Mono Titi Conservation Project Top Donors

Eco preservation Society would like to thank our top donors:

Charles Turner $23,000
Eco Interactive Vacations $10,000
Boyero Tours $500
Firetown $500
David Abernathy $200
Search Feature $100
Judy Orr $100
Jennifer Karlen $100
Milan Cole $100
Lisa Gray $100
Wayne Long $100
William Myers $100.00
Suzie Norvich $35
Robert Kennedy $35.00
Michael Higdon  $35.00

To Help Save Mono Titi – CLICK HERE


Related Stories:
More about the Saving Mono Titi documentary
A history of African Palm Production
Ten Reasons not to feed the monkeys.
Costa Rican company leads Resource Revolution

Other Resurces:
Saving Mono Titi Web Site
Eco Preservation Society

Kids Saving the Rainforest
ASCOMOTI

Filed under: Family Eco Travel, Reforestation, Sustainable Living, Wildlife Conservation, , , , , , , , ,

Carbon Footprint Calculators Don’t Make Sense

We are baffled.

The carbon footprint calculators make no sense to us when it comes to the calculations for Jet travel.

Lets run some numbers.

A Boeing 737 burns 800 gallons of fuel per hour

A gallon of jet fuel weighs just less than 7 pounds

In a five-hour flight that is 4000 gallons of fuel weighing 28,000 pounds

Or 14 tons of jet fuel

The 737 will carry up to 162 passengers. Lets assume 80% capacity or 130 in a typical flight

Here is what does not make sense to us:

That works out to 0.107 tons of fuel per person (about 200 pounds of fuel per person)

Yet according to their Carbon Calculators that same 5-hour flight produces the following TONS of carbon per person:

ZeroFootPrint.com 2.71 Tons p/ person (24 times the weight of the fuel)

CarbonFootPrint.com .496 Tons p/person (2.5 times the weight of the fuel)

Green.yahoo.com 2.0 Tons p/person (20 times the weight of the fuel)

How can this possibly be? Certainly the vast majority of the fuel is converted to energy. How is it possible that the jet fuel produces many more times as much carbon as the weight of the fuel itself? Never mind the question as to why all of these calculators give us such wildly different calculations. Something is wrong here or are we missing something?

Filed under: Carbon Offsets, Climate Change, Family Eco Travel, , , , , , , ,

Costa Rica’s Mysterious Mangroves – A Treasured and Exotic Habitat

by Richard Garrigues

In the nebulous zone between high and low tide, where freshwater meets saltwater and the ground is neither liquid nor solid, grow the mangroves.

Inhabitants of inter-tidal zones throughout the tropics and subtropics, mangroves are a most curious collection of plants. It is easy to make the erroneous assumption that the different kinds of mangrove trees are closely related species adapted to the unique conditions in which they grow. Even their English common names (red mangrove, black mangrove, white mangrove, buttonwood mangrove, etc.) lend to the idea that these are merely different species of the same plant family, as if they were maples or oaks.

In reality, the mangroves are a wonderful example of convergent evolution—a situation in which totally unrelated organisms have evolved certain similarities simply because those are the characteristics best suited for making use of a particular resource. And in this case the resource is a place where a plant might grow if it can overcome the two major difficulties faced by mangroves: the salinity of the sea water which saturates the ground they grow in and the absence of oxygen in that same saturated mud.

In Costa Rica there are seven species of mangrove trees from four very different plant families: the red mangroves (Rhizophora mangle and R. harrisonii, Rhizophoraceae), the black mangroves (Avicennia germinans and A. bicolor, Verbenaceae), the tea mangrove (Pelliciera rhizophorae, Theaceae), the white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa, Combretaceae), and the buttonwood mangrove (Conocarpus erectus, Combretaceae). In Costa Rica, any and all of these plants are called mangle (man-gley) and the association in which they grow a manglar.

Of the mangroves found in Costa Rica, the red mangrove is the most easily recognized with its striking aerial prop roots, which often branch one or more times before reaching the ground. The primary function of these roots is not to support the tree but to aid in the aeration of the plant’s sap system.

The black mangrove, and to some extent the white mangrove, cope with the lack of air in the mucky substrate by developing vertical extensions from their roots which stick above the soil level and (at low tide) accomplish oxygen exchange. The tea mangrove has pronounced buttresses which act as aerators. The buttonwood mangrove effectively avoids this problem by growing on the back edges or higher ground within a mangrove swamp, thus reducing the likelihood of having the soil around its roots supersaturated except at extreme high tides.

Mangroves have developed various ways to deal with the problem of high salt concentrations in the water around them. Some species secrete salt from their roots and/or leaves. Pacific coast black mangroves can be observed in the dry season with salt crystals along the outer edges of their leaves (secretion of salt through the leaves happens throughout the year, but is not usually observed in the rainy season because the rain washes off the salt).

In some mangroves, such as the red mangrove, salt is stored in the older leaves which soon fall off the tree. And in other species, it appears that salt is simply tolerated in much higher levels than is common in most plants.

As a result of the rather severe conditions where mangroves grow, there is not much plant diversity. Correspondingly, the animal life associated with mangroves is not nearly as diverse as it is in other lowland habitats in Costa Rica. Nevertheless, what mangrove swamps may lack in numbers of species they make up for with numbers of individuals.

At certain times of the year the tops of mangrove trees are filled with nesting birds. In the Tempisque River, the Isla de Pájaros, or Bird Island, is an impressive example of this phenomenon. Each year hundreds of Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, Anhingas, and Neotropical Cormorants reproduce on this protected patch of mid-river mangroves.

In the mangrove of Damas Island you will find White Faced Monkey which many a visitor will have a close encounter. But please, do not feed the monkeys.

Part of the reason for the concentration of nesting and roosting birds in the mangroves could be that it serves as a sanctuary from terrestrial and climbing predators. The bases of the trees are under water almost nearly of the time and even when they are exposed by receding tides, the soft mud that surrounds them is a deterrent to many creatures.

Below the water’s surface in areas where mangroves grow one can find a high diversity of life forms. Among the mangrove’s root systems many marine organisms live or spend a portion of their lives. Such creatures include algae, corals, barnacles, sponges, oysters, crabs, lobsters, shrimps, octopi, and fishes. The importance of mangroves to the health of the marine ecosystem is immeasurable.

Unfortunately, in Costa Rica and the rest of the world, mangrove forests are being destroyed and their sites converted to fish pens, rice paddies, salt-drying ponds, cattle pasture, tourist developments and human settlements. Mangrove wood makes good fuel and excellent charcoal, but over-harvesting has contributed to their demise. Additionally, the red mangrove is an important source of tannin (used in processing leather), but the stripping of the bark to get the tannin kills the individual trees.

All mangroves in Costa Rica are protected by law, but there is not always someone around to enforce the law. Nevertheless, there are still large areas of mangroves lining estuaries and mouths of rivers and streams along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Mangrove development is not as common on the Caribbean coast, because there is little variation in the height of the tides, but one area where some very tall red mangroves can be seen is along the extensive canal system between Limón and Tortuguero.

Filed under: Family Eco Travel, Wildlife Conservation, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ten Reasons Not to Feed the Monkeys

You might find feeding the monkeys (and other wild animals) to be a thrilling experience, but you are not doing the monkeys a favor. In fact, you are actually harming them. Here’s why:

1.Monkeys are highly susceptible to diseases from human hands. They can die from bacteria transferred off your hand that has no ill effect on you.
2.Migration to human-populated areas to be fed increases the risk of dog attacks and road accidents.
3.Irregular feeding leads to an aggressive behavior towards humans and other species.
4.Contrary to the stereotype, bananas are not the preferred food of monkeys in the wild. Bananas, especially those containing pesticides, can be upsetting to the monkeys’ delicate digestive system and cause serious dental problems that can lead to eventual death.
5.Feeding creates a dangerous dependency on humans that diminishes the monkeys’ survival abilities.
6.Feeding interferes with the monkeys’ natural habits and upsets the balance of their lifestyle centered on eating wild fruits, seeds, small animals, and insects.
7.Contact with humans facilitates poaching and the trade in illegal wildlife.
8.Pregnant females who are fed nothing but bananas during their pregnancy will not give birth to healthy infants. The babies will be malnourished, or never develop to term, and die before birth.
9.Monkeys need to travel an average of 17 kilometers each day to be in good physical condition. If they know that food is available in a particular location, they will not leave that area.
10.Not only do we pass on diseases to animals when we feed them by hand, but they can pass diseases to us as well.

The monkeys do not realize any of this. Now YOU do. Don’t facilitate the extinction of one of Nature’s most amazing creatures for your own pleasure or financial gain. Please help save the monkeys by reporting anyone feeding the monkeys: 777-2592. If you are feeding the monkeys, you now know why you should stop. If you don’t stop we owe it to the monkeys to publish your name with the local media.

Text Courtesy of Jennifer Rice PhD
President
Kids Saving The Rainforest
Tel. 506.777.2592 Fax 506.777.1954
contact@kidssavingtherainforest.org
http://www.kidssavingtherainforest.org

Filed under: Family Eco Travel, Wildlife Conservation, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Brunka People New Years Festival

This is a multi-day festival that celebrates the fact that the Brunka
people were never beaten by the Spanish conquistadores. Many of the
men dress up as diablitos (representing ancestral spirits) and fight
against a bull (representing the Spaniards). At the beginning it seems
like the bull might win, but in the end the diablitos prevail! There are
sometimes hundreds of spectators of both foreigners and locals to
this festival, but only local men who have carved their own masks are
allowed to participate.

We are now seeking adventurous people to join us on this amazing
journey. Our guided tour is not an ordinary tour. We want you to
discover an extraordinary and personal adventure and allow you to get
an intimate understanding of the community.

During the Baile in 2006, Boyero Tours was commended by the Boruca
Development Commission as an example of what ethno-tourism in Boruca
should be. We (Sarah Joy & Julio) act as translators, coordinators and
cultural guides, helping the local guides to share their culture and
traditions with you.

Please note that this is a flexible itinerary and will be adjusted to
accommodate the interests and needs of the group as a whole and the
timing will be adjusted for Boruca’s special brand of “Tico Time”.
See www.boruca.boyerotours.com for the itinerary and please email us if
you think that this is something that you might want to join us for!

Filed under: Family Eco Travel, Rural Eco Travel, , , ,

Costa Rica Family Eco Vacations

Call Eco Interactive Toll Free: 888-693-7209

Costa Rica Vacation

For your next Family Vacation consider an Eco Vacation in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is the most biodiverse place on earth with an unsurpassed variety of wildlife. Costa Rica offers an unparalleled array of safe activities for the entire family. Along with its incredible variety of unique experiences, Costa Rica offers an assortment of family oriented resorts to fit any family budget. (Click here for Itinerary Information)

Costa Rica VacationEco Interactive Vacations (EcoInteractiveTours.com) specializes in family oriented travel to Costa Rica. Eco Interactive Vacations supports the Eco Preservation Society as well as wildlife and conservation projects in Costa Rica, including the Saving Mono Titi documentary.

Another unique feature of the Eco Interactive program is its relationship with Kids Saving the Rainforest.

Costa Rica Vacation

Through KSTR children develop pen pal relationships with Costa Rican school children and learn about how to create their own conservation programs within their own communities. During your vacation there are educational opportunities through the KSTR program.

Costa Rica VacationIn addition, Eco Interactive offers families opportunities for Carbon Neutral Vacation with a personalized family reforestation project at the Rainmaker Conservation Project.

Leave a lasting family legacy during your vacation experience by planting trees that will not only offset your carbon foot print for your vacation, but will help to restore critical habitat in the Costa Rican Rainforest. (Click here for Itinerary Information)

Wonderful Costa Rica

Costa Rica is an ideal location for your next Family Vacation.

Costa Rica is the first country to set the goal of becoming carbon neutral, with the goal of accomplishing this by the year 2021. The government has declared peace with the environment.

Costa Rica Vacation

There is no other place on earth like Costa Rica. Costa Rica is the most bio-diverse place on the planet. Nearly 6% of the entire world’s species reside in this tiny little country. It is a place with more species of birds than in all of North America, it has more species of butterflies than the entire continent of Africa.

25% of all the lands in Costa Rica are natural parks and protected areas. The variety and the complexity of the habitats provide your family endless opportunities for discovery and adventure. (Click here for Itinerary Information)

Costa Rica Vacation

Safe, Stable & Peaceful

Costa Rica is a peaceful and stable nation. Known as the Switzerland of the America’s, in 1948 Costa Rica became one of the first countries in the world to abolish their military, Those resources were redirected into education and healthcare.

Costa Rica Vacation

Costa Rica has an outstanding education system, as the country boosts a higher literacy rate than Canada (94%). In addition, Costa Rica has a healthcare system that the World Health Organization rates ahead of the United States. Contrary to what you might read elsewhere, Costa Rica is not a Third World Country. Costa Rica is a Second World Developing Nation with a vibrant and growing economy. In just fifty years, Costa Rica has gone for being one of the poorest countries in the region to having one of the highest standards of living in all of Latin America.

The Birthplace of Eco Tourism

Eco Tourism was invented in Costa Rica; with more than 15 years as an eco-destination it has an unsurpassed variety of services, facilities and activities. With the diversity of its ecology, the uniqueness of its varied activities and the development of its tourism infrastructure, Cost Rica is a world-class destination ideal for an unparalleled family vacation experience.

Costa Rica VacationCosta Rica truly has something for every family. For the younger children it provides encounters with the natural world that you just won’t find anywhere else. For families with active teens, the array of adventure activities is unsurpassed. (Click here for Itinerary Information)

For more information call:
Call Eco Interactive Toll Free: 888-693-7209
EcoPreservationSociety.org
EcoInteractiveTours.com
Eco Interactive Vacation Itineraries

Costa Rica Vacation
Information About Health Care for Travelers to Costa Rica

Filed under: Carbon Offsets, Family Eco Travel, Reforestation, Wildlife Conservation, , , , , , , , ,

Costa Rica Family Vacation

Eco Interactive offers Costa Rica Family Vacations that are second to none.  If you want to go on a Costa Rica Family Vacation, choose Eco Interactive Tours for you Costa Rica Family Vacation.  Eco Interactive offers Costa Rica Family Eco Vacations that are second to none.  If you want to go on a Costa Rica Family Eco Vacation, choose Eco Interactive Tours for you Costa Rica Family Eco Vacation.  Eco Interactive offers Costa Rica Family Eco Trips that are second to none.  If you want to go on a Costa Rica Family Eco Trip, choose Eco Interactive Tours for you Costa Rica Family Eco Trip. Eco Interactive offers Costa Rica Family Travel that are second to none.  If you want to go on a Costa Rica Family Travel, choose Eco Interactive Tours for you Costa Rica Family Travel.

Eco Interactive offers Costa Rica Family Vacations that are second to none.  If you want to go on a Costa Rica Family Vacation, choose Eco Interactive Tours for you Costa Rica Family Vacation.  Eco Interactive offers Costa Rica Family Eco Vacations that are second to none.  If you want to go on a Costa Rica Family Eco Vacation, choose Eco Interactive Tours for you Costa Rica Family Eco Vacation.  Eco Interactive offers Costa Rica Family Eco Trips that are second to none.  If you want to go on a Costa Rica Family Eco Trip, choose Eco Interactive Tours for you Costa Rica Family Eco Trip. Eco Interactive offers Costa Rica Family Travel that are second to none.  If you want to go on a Costa Rica Family Travel, choose Eco Interactive Tours for you Costa Rica Family Travel.

Eco Interactive offers Costa Rica Family Vacations that are second to none.  If you want to go on a Costa Rica Family Vacation, choose Eco Interactive Tours for you Costa Rica Family Vacation.  Eco Interactive offers Costa Rica Family Eco Vacations that are second to none.  If you want to go on a Costa Rica Family Eco Vacation, choose Eco Interactive Tours for you Costa Rica Family Eco Vacation.  Eco Interactive offers Costa Rica Family Eco Trips that are second to none.  If you want to go on a Costa Rica Family Eco Trip, choose Eco Interactive Tours for you Costa Rica Family Eco Trip. Eco Interactive offers Costa Rica Family Travel that are second to none.  If you want to go on a Costa Rica Family Travel, choose Eco Interactive Tours for you Costa Rica Family Travel.

Eco Interactive offers Costa Rica Family Vacations that are second to none.  If you want to go on a Costa Rica Family Vacation, choose Eco Interactive Tours for you Costa Rica Family Vacation.  Eco Interactive offers Costa Rica Family Eco Vacations that are second to none.  If you want to go on a Costa Rica Family Eco Vacation, choose Eco Interactive Tours for you Costa Rica Family Eco Vacation.  Eco Interactive offers Costa Rica Family Eco Trips that are second to none.  If you want to go on a Costa Rica Family Eco Trip, choose Eco Interactive Tours for you Costa Rica Family Eco Trip. Eco Interactive offers Costa Rica Family Travel that are second to none.  If you want to go on a Costa Rica Family Travel, choose Eco Interactive Tours for you Costa Rica Family Travel.

Filed under: Family Eco Travel

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