Since 2007, the Neotropical Primate Conservation (NPC) organisation has carried out years of successful conservation programs for the yellow tailed woolly monkey in Peru. They have also rescued hundreds of primates and other wild animals throughout North Eastern Peru. Peru is one of the world’s most diverse countries with its North eastern regions of Amazonas and San Martin lying within the Tropical Andes Biodiversity Hotspot. However, both these regions suffer from high levels of deforestation causing species loss which is only exacerbated by the presence of poachers capturing animals for pet and tourist attractions.
NPC have been directly involved in creating thousands of hectares of protected areas, which in turn protects at least 60 threatened species listed under Peruvian law and on the IUCN Red List. Rainfall in the montane forests of Amazonas and San Martin is an important source of the Amazon River basin so conserving them has far reaching effects.
Their community conservation network assists local communities to create private and community reserves. These reserves protect natural biological corridors connecting protected habitat and ensure the long-term protection of the yellow tailed woolly monkey and other endangered species. Co-operative land protection, and reducing wildlife trafficking are some of the ways this is achieved.
The network started from the belief that local people have the will and ability to conserve their own forests and wildlife, with guidance and support. The network now spans ten different communities. The project facilitates communication between interested individuals, local communities and the institutions that support conservation initiatives, bringing about species conservation, local autonomy, civil justice and self-sufficiency.
Involving community members in conservation and ultimately giving them responsibility of managing the areas enables them to take pride in the short and long term benefits for the cloud forest habitat and wildlife. It also makes the project sustainable.
Care for the Wild teamed up with NPC to help them launch a new source of income from community tourism for local people. This will help them to protect and promote their own land, while also promoting ethically responsible tourism to compliment the protection of these areas. Funds raised not only benefit the communities but can also be reinvested in conservation programs.
The ultimate hope is that this project will help to send out a conservation contagion, throughout Peru and the world, motivating other communities to take a closer look at their own local natural environments and move them to protect the ecosystems around their own communities.