Thursday, April 21

Fundacion Pro-Bosque Emergency Relief Fund



On the evening of Saturday, April 16th coastal Ecuador suffered a massive earthquake of 7.8 on the Richter scale.  Several coastal towns and cities have been devastated with a death toll of at least 570 and rising, 1,500 wounded more than 20,000 people left homeless and a long and difficult path ahead of reconstruction.

The earthquake directly affected some of our foundation´s staff members.  We have moved quickly to gather clothing, bottled water, bed sheets, flashlights and other supplies to take directly to the family members of our staff that have been affected, but this effort can´t stop here and we are requesting support from our friends outside of Ecuador to establish a emergency relief fund to help our staff´s families rebuild their homes and lives.






Any donations large and small are welcome and can be made via the following bank account:

Name of Account: Fundacion Pro Bosque
Account Number #12009151
Banco de Guayaquil
Address: P Ycaza #105 y Pichincha
Guayaquil, Ecuador ECO90150
SWIFT Code: GUAYECEG






Friday, April 1

Travels by Eric Horstman

In January I traveled to Yale University to participate in the 22nd Annual Yale International Society of Tropical Forester´s Conference on tropical forests and sustainable development.

I was given the challenge to try and synthesize twenty five years work and experiences in forest restoration in a five minute presentation. The words of Roshi Joan Halifax, a teacher of mine came to the fore, go to the essence, indeed! My presentation on our dry forest restoration work in the Cerro Blanco Protected Forest was well received and we have been asked to write up the results of our work for possible submission in a journal put out by the Yale ISTF chapter.

After dipping back into the life of a student by staying with Sumit a Yale Forestry student and even participating in a Friday night pizza party with the forestry club members, I moved on to upstate New York, the Catskills to be exact.

Through a special bird, a Grey Cheeked Parakeet named Tangerine that lived with Cliff and Jane Johnson and enlivened the lives of anyone ¨Tang¨ came in contact with, I was contacted to provide information on the species, which is globally threatened and also finds a home in the Cerro Blanco Protected Forest. One thing led to another and Cliff and Jane Johnson and I developed a lasting and enduring friendship much of it maintained by e-mails and phone calls. The Johnson´s have come and visited Cerro Blanco two times and had extended the invitation to visit their bioregion, which I gladly did.

I was put to work so to speak and gave talks at Hearts Home an international Catholic organization that works among many other places in the barrios of Isla Trinitaria, a poor neighborhood in the city of Guayaquil where we are based. We have hosted a visit by Ecuadorian children that were brought to Cerro Blanco and hope to be able to work with Hearts Home in the future to develop a more extensive program that would include overnight camp outs. Taking advantage of the balmy weather of 40 degree or more days I also had the opportunity to visit the Basha Kill Wildlife Management Area ably run by the Basha Kill Area Association.

The Basha Kill includes over 2,000 acres of land that was purchased in 1972 by the State of New York through the Department of
Environment Conservation. Almost 200 species of birds, 30 varieties of fish and many species of plants, reptiles, mammals and insects are found in the area. Our hosts for the visit were Mike and Paula who head up the Basha Kill Area Association. We walked along an old road on the edge of the wetland covered with logs. It was a quiet morning and besides some ducks and Canadian Geese out in the wetland calling, all was quiet. Mike said that a pair of Bald Eagles nest on a small island where a viewing platform has been built to observe the Bald Eagles which have nested every year for several years producing chicks to help bolster the population of this once endangered symbol of the United States.

No eagles were seen on my short visit but it was almost palpable the hidden life that surrounded us waiting to manifest itself as spring came to the area. It was a pleasure to be invited to speak on the night of February 3rd to the members of the Basha Kill Association and be interviewed for an article to appear in their newsletter, The Guardian.
For more information on the Basha Kill Area Association please visit their website at http://www.thebashakill.org/ or Facebook page www.facebook.com/Basha-Kill-Area-Association-BKAA-147760371963505/. For more information on Hearts Home please go to http://usa.heartshome.org/.



Wednesday, August 19

THIRD COUNTING BATS IN CERRO BLANCO PROTECTED FOREST


 
On July 31, the camp "Third Count Bats at the Cerro Blanco Protected Forest" was held.

Approximately 40 people participated in this activity which consisted of a camp where students and the general public learned about the importance of these mammals and what is its impact on maintaining the ecological balance of the planet. The agenda included a conference to raise awareness by Blgo. Jaime Salas, field placement for networks and for the collection of bats, these fieldwork was conducted overnight because bats are nocturnal mammals.




 



Once bats were collected, the biologists measured and recorded the data to determine the species that live in Cerro Blanco.






In total, 10 individuals were captured and identified and later released. A total of 6 species were obtained:

1)      Artibeus fraterculus
2)      Carollia perspicillata,
3)      Sturnira lilium,
4)      Cynomops greenhalli,
5)      Eptesicus innxius, y
6)      Glossophaga soricina






We should mention that in 2013 the Cerro Blanco Protected Forest was recognized by the Latin American Net for Bat Conservation as Importance Area for Bats (Área de Importancia Para los Murciélagos – AICOM)







Thursday, August 13

Keeper of the Wild in Ecuador records Great Green Macaws

13 August, 2015 - 13:21 -- World Land Trust
Ranger Armando
Great Green Macaws.
Ranger Armando Manzaba has recorded six Great Green Macaw (Ara ambiguus guayaquilensis) in the north west part of Cerro Blanco Protected Forest.
The Great Green Macaw is Critically Endangered in Ecuador and is categorised as Globally Endangered by IUCN. There is an estimated population of between 60 and 80 individuals left in the wild in Ecuador.
Armando’s work is funded by World Land Trust (WLT) through theKeepers of the Wild programme. Cerro Blanco Protected Forest, where Armando works, is managed and part owned by Fundación Pro-Bosque(Pro-Bosque), one of WLT’s four partners in Ecuador.
The macaws arrived around 6.30am and stayed for approximately two hours, after which they flew off in the direction from whence they came. They visited an area of the forest where Pigio trees(Cavanillesia platanifolia) are common. While they were in view the birds stayed close to the ranger station, perched in a Pigio tree. Similar behaviour was observed when the macaws returned a week later.
The fact that there were five Great Green Macaws in a flight cage near the sighting may have attracted the wild macaws. During the time that the wild macaws were being monitored, they were constantly calling, and their calls were answered by the birds in the flight cage. This bodes well for when the captive bred macaws are released.

Flagship species

The Great Green Macaw is Cerro Blanco’s flagship species. As part of his job, Armando guards the nests of the small population of Great Green Macaws in the reserve and assists with the care and feeding of captive bred Great Green Macaws prior to them being released into the wild.
“Thanks to World Land Trust’s Keepers of the Wild programme, the important work of Ranger Armando Manzaba is supported, including the care and upkeep of a group of Great Green Macaws in the process of being habituated before being released back into the wild,” said Eric Horstman, Chief Executive of Pro-Bosque.
Macaws are usually present in Cerro Blanco during the months of June to October, when they search for nesting areas in areas of the forest dominated by Pigio trees. Later, when the eggs hatch and the young fledge the Great Green Macaws leave these areas and range widely through the remnant forest patches of the Cordillera Chongon Colonche which form part of a biological corridor linking them with the Cerro Blanco Protected Forest.
Armando photographed the Macaws on 8 July 2015.
Keepers of the Wild badge

More information

WLT has recently launched Keepers of the Wild 2020, an appeal to raise £750,000 to guarantee WLT’s ranger support programme until 2020. You can help fund Ranger Armando’s work in Ecuador by donating to Keepers of the Wild 2020.
You can see the original article in: 
http://www.worldlandtrust.org/news/2015/08/keeper-wild-ecuador-records-great-green-macaws 

Friday, August 7

Virtual Tour 360 by the Cerro Blanco Protected Forest

Thanks to the generous support of our friend Jonathan Herrera and LETOUR360 company has created a virtual tour of the  Cerro Blanco Protected Forest and be able to tour virtual:  the visitor center, camping area, Buena Vista and Higueron trail.

Here we share the link of this wonderful tour, we hope you enjoy it and come to personally know the Cerro Blanco Forest:


http://www.letour360.com.ec/bosqueprotectorcerroblanco.html

Monday, August 3

Keepers of the Wild 2020 launched in Celebration of World Ranger Day - 31st July 2015


In support of World Ranger Day today, international conservation charity World Land Trust (WLT) is launching an appeal for £750,000 to fund WLT’s wildlife ranger programme, Keepers of the Wild, until 2020.

World Ranger Day was launched in 2007 on the 15th Anniversary of the International Ranger Federation (IRF) in order to commemorate rangers killed or injured in the line of duty. World Ranger Day is a celebration of the work rangers do to protect the world’s natural treasures and is observed annually on 31 July and promoted by all 63 member associations of IRF.
The rangers funded by WLT are usually members of the local communities and have an array of different roles, acting as guardians of the reserves that have been created, and the wildlife they contain. Their duties cover a range of tasks from regularly patrolling the reserves to policing illegal activities such as logging and hunting. They also monitor and record species, assist visiting research teams, maintain paths through the forest as well as guiding visitors, helping with education programmes and working with local communities.

World Land Trust’s Keepers of the Wild programme was launched in 2011, addressing the urgent need to provide more resources and rangers to help support WLT’s partner organisations across the world. The programme has been very successful because it enables WLT’s network of international conservation partners to employ rangers to protect the reserves for which they have responsibility. In 2011 the programme supported 11 project partners to employ 14 rangers. Since then the number of rangers supported has increased steadily and in 2015 WLT is funding 19 partners to employ 32 Keepers in 15 countries.
Due to its supporters’ generous donations, WLT has managed to so far fund rangers in Borneo, Bolivia, Venezuela, Paraguay, Armenia, Guatemala, Brazil, Mexico and Ecuador. However, until now, WLT has needed to seek funds to sustain the programme on a year-by-year basis and the purpose of the Keepers of the Wild 2020 Appeal is to create a fund in order to support the programme for a five year period.
Eric Horstman, Executive Director of Fundación Pro-Bosque in Ecuador said, “Thanks to the support of World Land Trust and Keepers of the Wild, the important work of ranger Armando Manzaba is possible. His work includes the care of a group of Great Green Macaws in the process of being habituated before being released back into the wild.  Armando has also documented with his cell phone a new species of frog for the Cerro Blanco Protected Forest as well as the presence of a flock of six wild macaws.”


HELP THOSE WHO PROTECT THE LAND
The public can support World Land Trust and their project partners to protect critically threatened habitats by funding rangers. World Land Trust is aiming to raise £750,000 by donating to the Keepers of the Wild programme:   
www.worldlandtrust.org/projects/keepers-of-the-wild.
You can see the original article: 
http://www.charitytoday.co.uk/keepers-of-the-wild-2020-launched-in-celebration-of-world-ranger-day/

Tuesday, July 21

Registration Great Green Macaw watching in the Bosque Protector Cerro Blanco, Guayaquil - Ecuador

On July 8, 2015, the rangers  Armando Manzaba (Keeper of the wild) and Benito Choez reported the presence of six Great Green Macaw (Ara ambiguus guayaquilensis) near the Jaguar station guard, located in the Northwest part of the Cerro Blanco Protected Forest.

The Great Green Macaw arrived around 6:30 am and stayed for a period of approximately two hours, after which they flew in the same direction from which they came (northwest), this area is characterized by a forest of Pigio trees (Cavanillesia platanifolia). During the time the birds remained close to the guard station, they were perched on a Pigio tree.






Subsequently, on July 16, 2015, six macaws were seen in the same area. Like the previous occasion, the birds arrived at about 6:30 remaining in place for two hours, then they flew in a northwesterly direction.

The arrival of the birds, is perhaps due to the presence of 5 Great Green Macaw in a flight rage as part of a program to release captive macaws bred to help bolster the local population.  The Great Green Macaw is listed as critically endangered in Ecuador with an estimated population of between 60 and 80 individuals remaining in the wild. 

During the time that the macaws were in the field, they were constantly vocalizing which were answered by the birds in the flight cage.







It is important to note that during the months of June to October macaws area present in the Cerro Blanco Protected Forest in search of nesting areas in forest dominated by Pigios.  Later, when the eggs hatch and the young fled the Great Greens leave these areas.