Wednesday, September 25

Baby Sloth Yogi New Resident of Cerro Blanco

We have a new resident at Bosque Protector Cerro Blanco - a baby sloth who goes by the name of Yogi. She was brought here yesterday afternoon after the police were called out to a school where she had been found (along with another adult, not the parent, who was later released straight into the forest here at Cerro Blanco). It wasn’t clear what had happened to Yogi, she had no obvious injuries but had been lost or abandoned by her mother for some reason.

Small, furry, and cute, she is a popular new recruit to the animal rescue centre at Cerro Blanco. However, as she is so young she can’t stay outside at night and needs a lot of care, attention and a warm place to sleep. So, until she is fully grown she will be sleeping in the house of two volunteers from England who live onsite. They will be feeding and taking care of her until she is big enough to go back to the forest. Her diet at first will be lactose-free milk and gradually leaves will be introduced.

Sloths are solitary animals only found in Central and South America; they are tree dwelling and move slowly due to their very slow metabolism, which takes a long time to digest their diet of leaves. Although sloths aren’t an endangered species they do suffer from an increasing loss of habitat and the other indirect and direct impacts of human activity. They can’t move out of the way when trees are cut down and once on the ground are very vulnerable to getting hurt or being separated from each other (if they have young). Sometimes they are also targeted by people; Cerro Blanco has before been home to two adult sloths which were found injured, one with bullet injuries, which unfortunately later died, and the other with a machete wound to the back of its head which was nursed back to health and released back into the forest. Yogi will be kept and cared for at Cerro Blanco for the next few months until she is fully grown and hopefully ready to be released into the protected forest of Cerro Blanco. 

Tuesday, September 24

Bosque Protector Cerro Blanco the First Ecuadorian AICOM

On the 2nd July 2013 the Latin American Network for the Conservation of Bats (Red Latinoamericana para la Conservación de los Murciélagos) - RELCOM, declared the Bosque Protector Cerro Blanco in Guayaquil an Area of Importance for Conservation of Bats (Área de Importancia para la Conservación de los Murciélagos) - AICOM. 

The Bosque Protector Cerro Blanco is the first Ecuadorian reserve to be accredited with an AICOM. Previously the Cuevas de San Antonio de Pichincha, in the Pichincha province, had been declared a Place of Importance for the Conservation of Bats (Sitio Importante para la Conservación de Murciélagos) - SICOM, but this is the first nomination and declaration of an AICOM for the province of Guayas and Ecuador as a whole. These are the only two reserves in Ecuador that have been recognized for their efforts in the conservation of these flying mammals. 

So far Cerro Blanco has registered 32 species of bats, those listed below being considered the most important:

- Artibeus fraterculus (a dry forest endemic) - Fraternal fruit-eating bat
- Micronycteris megalotis - Little big-eared bat
- Platyrrhinus matapalensis - Western broad-nosed bat 
- Eptesicus innoxius (a dry forest endemic) - Harmless brown bat
- Molossus molossus  - Common mastiff bat
- Eumops wilsoni - Bonneted bat 

One of the more unique species of bat found at Cerro Blanco is the Noctilio Leporinus (Fisherman bat), which uses it power to fly low over the water to catch fish. Its is estimated that this bat can catch 30 or 40 fish of up to 80mm in length in a single night.

Since 2007 the Fundación Pro-Bosque at Cerro Blanco has dedicated much effort towards the conservation of bats, with the Biologist Jaime Salas creating an inventory of species found at Cerro Blanco, and the Graduate Leonardo Álava, maintaining and updating it. The have also developed an educational program for school children, including the construction and strategic placement of wooden roosts for bats, and the distribution of a bat comic.  

 For more information please contact Fundación Pro-Bosque on 0986225077 or email /