In July, we joined with other organizations participating in International Save the Vaquita Day by showing a short video clip about these critically endangered porpoises found only in the northwestern Gulf of California, Mexico. We also provided information on how to sign a petition for the ban of gillnets and thanks to the united efforts by many, a permanent gillnet ban was passed by the involved governments. With as few as 50-60 believed to be alive, much emphasis has been created and the most recent efforts involve the sonar abilities of the trained US Navy dolphins to assist in the search for the world’s rarest marine mammal and smallest porpoise. Much information about this important conservation project can be found on the internet, such as https://qz.com/877715/the-us-navy-is-training-its-genius-mine-hunting-dolphins-to-help-save-the-endangered-vaquita-porpoise/
On November 29, the DWA hosted a fund-raiser for the Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (RWFC). The non-profit wildlife organization cares for and rehabilitates injured, sick and orphaned birds with release back into their natural habitat being the ultimate goal. Over 125 guests were in attendance and we are happy to report that more than $10,000 was raised.
After two years of promoting a unique theatrical project known as SalvaPlaneta (Save the Planet) in the Peruvian jungle, accolades have been received by DWA-CREA and other participating organizations. The premise of the initiative was based on the integration of Peruvian fables and environmental education. Recognition by the President of Peru for Work in Environmental Education details the involvement and rewards.
Our manatee conservation efforts are not just with El Centro de Rescate Amazonico (DWA-CREA) in Peru. We also have a close association with Latin American countries in the care of both Antillean and Amazonian manatees as discussed in Centro de Conservacion de Manaties de Puerto Rico. These projects allow for the collaboration with other institutions in providing the best possible veterinary and husbandry care.
Our last newsletter described our involvement in locating “Washburn”, the wayward manatee that was captured at Cape Cod and returned to the warmer waters of Florida. As we continue to keep up with the pregnant manatee, it seems that she is still traveling, now being located in the Bahamas. http://www.theabaconian.com/2016/12/15/florida-manatee-decides-its-better-in-the-bahamas/
New at the DWA is the transformation of Toucan Heights (exhibit in corner above Orinoco crocodiles and Flooded Forest) into Cotinga Corner. There’s Something Different Around the Corner identifies the species that now share the exhibit – truly some bizarre-looking and colorful birds.
We have again selected a Book of the Month that was co-authored by our good friend, Dr. Brady Barr. After A While Crocodile: Alexa’s Diary is a novel look at a Costa Rican school conservation project in which crocodile eggs were taken from the nest, placed in student-made incubators and returned to their natural environment.
We could not end a year without hosting An Event to Remember – the annual DWA Staff Holiday Celebration that is shared with children in the care of Child Protective Services. This is our tenth year to spend a day, December 1, with some of the most gracious, optimistic (despite their circumstances) and truly precious children. It certainly makes one realize “I really do not have it so bad.”
Thanks for your continued support of the DWA during 2016 and we look forward to another great year.