News from Machia - November 2017

Snakes and their false myths

This specimen of bushmaster (Lachesis muta muta) arrived at our Wildlife Custody Centre Machia in September. It was beaten by a group of kids, causing him a huge cervical contusion. His fangs and teeth were mutilated. Luckily, this snake got rescued by the team in Machia and received surgical intervention. After a month, recovering all its mobility, it got reintroduced into its habitat.

Other snakes won't have that luck. There is no animal that receives more hatred and contempt as snakes. For centuries they got related to the bad and have paid for it due to lack of education and knowledge.

All animals are useful and they deserve to live. Each animal plays a very important role. Snakes control the population of rodents, which transmit many diseases to human beings as well as damaging the harvests. Moreover, they serve as food for example to some raptors.

It is our aim to promote the conservation as well as the knowledge of these animals. We must respect our fauna and flora. We must respect our planet. 



Giving wings to threatened Bolivian invertebrates

Bolivia represents 0.2% of the world's surface and, nevertheless, it is among the 13 richest countries in biodiversity of the world. This great wealth has its greatest expression in invertebrates, these are indicators of the state of health of the ecosystem. Due to the lack of entomological culture many of its benefits are ignored; they are pollinators, controllers of harmful insects or pests, dispersers of seeds, serve as food to other animals, and recycle nutrients and organic matter. They are especially vulnerable to change and human actions, with habitat loss, global warming and illegal trade being some of their threats.

It is therefore necessary to propose concrete actions to conserve this biological diversity. The French association Ahims'animals asked CIWY to jointly develop a project for the conservation of threatened invertebrates. The main objective is to develop populations of the threatened species classified as endangeroured (EN) or vulnerable (VU) in order to fight their extinction. Two insect hotels constructed with organic materials, all from the jungle. This methos entails low cost with a remarkable efficiency. Together with the entomologist Fernando Guerra, the geographic data of Machía was considered, including latitude, longitude, average temperature, climate and altitude.

For this project 3 species of Hymenoptera have been chosen: Euphrasia dressleri (EN), Melipona grandis (EN), Melipona rufiventris (EN) and 4 species of Coleoptera: Deltochilum orbignyi (EN), Sulcophanaeus faunus (EN), Dynastes hercules (VU), Macrodontia cervicornis (EN).
From September 2017 until the end of 2018 we will make an exhaustive follow-up of the two insect hotels located in two different locations within Machía and we’ll assess the project success.

Insect Hotel

Spectacled caiman

Two children captured two baby spectacled caimans (Caiman crocodilus), from a pond that was drying out and played with them. After passing through quarantine at WCC Machia, and making sure they were en perfect conditions, they got reintroduced into their natural habitat.

Reintroduction Caiman

In Bolivia there are about 6 different caiman species. The spectacled caiman is a small specie, that lives in quiet waters. Eventually they have been seen in brackish water. At birth they measure about 20 cm and can reach 2.5 meters the males and 1.4 meters the females. Our specimens measure 36 cm, so we estimate that they are not even a month old. In order to determine the sex of an alligator it must reach half a meter in length.

reintrodution Caiman

This caiman is listed as a minor concern, however, in recent years the have been hunted more and more for illegal consumption of their meat, interest in their skin and illegal trafficking. So it is not clear, whether there might be a rapid decline of this species in the coming years.

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