Estimated at only 250 wild individuals, the vinaceous-breasted amazon population lives in a region where Paraná pines grow: the birds feed indeed on the pine cones they produce. The disappearance of this tree because of deforestation leads to the extinction of the parrots. In collaboration with the Temaikèn Foundation, Beauval Nature has taken part in a conservation and reintroduction project for the species, including the study of the genetic profile of the populations recorded in the region, and in a breeding program. At the same time, the replantation of araucaria pines has been carried out, in order to restore the vinaceous-breasted amazon’s habitat, while an information campaign has been led in schools to make the young generations aware of the protection of the amazons and of their habitat.
With 120 individuals surviving in the wild, the blue-throated macaw is considered as one of the most endangered species of birds in the world. Deforestation, captures for trade and competition with other parrots for nesting sites are the reasons of its disappearance. In collaboration with the Loro Parque Foundation, Beauval Nature has worked for the protection of this species. Some protection measures have been carried out in Bolivia, a protected area has been created, artificial nests have been settled and a reintroduction program of individuals born in zoological parks has been developed. At the same time, an education and awareness raising program dedicated to the local populations has been carried out.
Endemic to the Brazilian Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlântica in Portuguese), the most damaged ecosystem of the country, the golden-bellied capuchin is one of the most endangered primates in the world. Through the IPE (Instituto de Pesquisas Ecologicas), Beauval Nature has supported a program aiming to follow up capuchins equipped with radio collars, in order to determine their distributional range and understand their behaviour. These studies have notably improved their reproduction in-situ and ex-situ, since 20 young are born between 2004 and 2010, among which 18 have survived, thanks to the protection measures carried out. Furthermore, since 2010, a protected area of 11,336 hectares has been created for the species.
Poaching, the hunt for the bushmeat trade and deforestation have caused a serious decrease in the western chimpanzee numbers. The Tacugama sanctuary rescues chimpanzees who are victims of the illegal exotic animal trade and deforestation. With the support of Beauval Nature, Tacugama has taken a census of the Sierra Leonese chimpanzees and identified the potential reintroduction areas for the animals of the sanctuary. Thus, in 2010, scientists have discovered that the population was actually greater than estimated. The next year, Beauval Nature has supported an international meeting coordinated by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), during which the areas to protect in priority have been determined.
Colobuses, Cercopithecidae and mangabeys
Located southeast of Ivory Coast, the Tanoé Swamps Forest is a biodiversity hotspot, since it provides a habitat for three primate species threatened by human activity: Miss Waldron’s red colobus, Diana’s monkey and the collared mangabey. As the habitat of these monkeys disappear, their food resources decrease as well. Beauval Nature has provided a financial support to studies enabling to protect the forest and to classify it as a community reserve (in order to prevent it from being turned into an industrial palm grove). Beauval Nature has also supported the development of research projects, campaigns to raise awareness among the local stakeholders and local development projects.
Formerly known as the “Land of a Million Elephants”, Laos now provides a habitat for less than 1,200 pachyderms. The loss of their habitat, ivory poaching, the very low reproduction rate of mahouts’ elephants (because of the infernal pace they have to keep up in wood exploitations), the lack of medical staff… all these factors could lead elephants to become extinct in Laos within thirty years. Beauval Nature has supported the Elefantasia association by completely financing the construction of a veterinary hospital, where some quality and free health care is now provided to elephants, as well as the purchase of medical supply and equipment essential for the wellness of the animals living on site.
Only present along the Peruvian and Chilean coasts, Humboldt penguins have seen their numbers decrease quickly during the last thirty years. The Peruvian reserve of Punta San Juan provides a habitat for one of the most important penguin colonies, but its population suffers from uncontrolled harvests of guano, an excrement used by the local farmers to fertilize their lands. Those practices destroy nests and clutches and have thus a negative impact on the reproduction cycle of the penguins and on their survival. In the context of the “Punta San Juan guano harvest project”, three sustainable harvests have been carried out in 2001, 2007 and 2012. Volunteers from all around the world, mostly working in zoological parks, have participated in the project by watching the workers, advising them and making them aware of the species conservation. A zookeeper from Beauval has taken part in the success of the 2012 harvest.
Elephants in Cameroon
Caused by the continuous expansion of human population and the quick conversion of lands, the destruction of the elephants’ habitat in Cameroon often forces the pachyderms to feed in the villagers’ farming lands, thus increasing the number of human-wildlife conflicts. The NGO “Des Éléphants & des Hommes” (Elephants & Men) has carried out a program named “My elephant neighbour”, which Beauval Nature has supported. This project was focused on environmental and conservation education, while developing actions to make the human-elephant cohabitation more harmonious. The work that has been carried out among the local populations has notably enabled a better land use planning and the development of activities in favour of the environment: new agricultural techniques, a sustainable use of natural resources, ecotourism, etc.
West Indian manatees - Guadeloupe
With a population estimated at only 5,000 individuals, the West Indian manatee is classified as “endangered” by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). Poaching, the pollution of their habitat, accidental captures in fishnets or deadly collisions with boats have led the species to become extinct in the Lesser Antilles (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint-Martin, etc.). In 2002, a reintroduction project of West Indian manatees has been initiated by the Guadeloupe National Park. Beauval Nature has undertaken to finance the construction of a reintroduction centre in Guadeloupe, the first step towards their release in the wild. The teams of Beauval, with over 30 years of experience in the management of endangered mammals, were also able to pass on their skills to local teams.
Sea turtles – Nigeria
Present in the Nigerian mangrove swamps, loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) and olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) are threatened by the destruction of their habitat and laying sites. Beauval Nature has supported the Tropical Conservation Centre in several missions: creation of alternative economic activities for poachers, surveillance of the turtles and their habitat, replantation of the mangrove swamps and development of a long-term conservation plan for those three turtle species.
Chimpanzees in the DRC
During the last twenty years, the numbers of Gabonese chimpanzees have decreased by 50%: the current population is now estimated at 40,000 individuals. Illegal hunting for the bushmeat trade and the exotic animal trade, the destruction of their natural habitat and deadly epidemics like the one caused by the Ebola virus are responsible for this decline. Beauval Nature has decided to support the Jane Goodall Institute in its work of making the local populations aware of those issues. The objective of this project is to make the communities realize how important chimpanzees are in the preservation of the forests and thus in the conservation of all the other species living in them. The project members also wish to encourage everyone to protect the species and its environment, to raise public awareness of hygiene and health, as well as of the health consequences of living near chimpanzees and the laws protecting these animals.
African manatees in Senegal
The survival of African manatees is threatened by traditional hunting and the destruction of their natural habitat, due to the silting-up of flood plains, agricultural development, pollution, the construction of dams for irrigation and the deforestation of mangrove swamps. Supported by Beauval Nature, the Oceanium association has carried out a rescue program of manatees trapped in the waters of the Senegal River: this river periodically experiences important rises in water level, leading the manatees to go up very far in its branches, before remaining trapped when the river decreases. In order to watch the river, Oceanium has created a sentry network: their mission is to make the local populations aware of manatee conservation and preservation of their habitat. They also alert the Oceanium teams when animals are trapped and need to be transferred to another area of the river.
Niokolo-Koba National Park in Senegal
The Niokolo-Koba National Park, in Senegal, provides a habitat for a very diverse fauna: lions, cheetahs, elephants, hippopotamuses, giant elands, etc. Unfortunately, each year, during the dry season, 1,500 bushfires are recorded in and near the park, a consequence of human activities like a poor control of domestic fires or the start of fires by hunters to remove game from forests. In order to protect the Niokolo-Koba National Park, Beauval Nature has got involved with the Oceanium organization, which works to strengthen response capacities in the most sensitive areas of the park by acquiring mobile reservoir pumps. At the same time, Oceanium wishes to mobilize the villagers in the fight against bushfires, notably by providing trainings and equipment for them, as well as by creating a surveillance network across the country.