Giant Anteater Training
At the end of September, rangers from Katoonarib Village joined the Red Siskin Rangers for a 4-day training workshop at Wichabai Ranch.
The rangers were trained by the SRCS core team on how to use and set up camera traps, conduct household surveys, GPS use, and how to use the data collection application KoBo Collect.
The rangers will now return to Katoonarib where they will conduct household surveys with the villagers. The aim of the surveys is to improve knowledge about perceptions, attitudes, traditional knowledge and common habitat locations for Giant Anteaters
New Focus on Giant Anteaters
The SRCS recognises that the South Rupununi is going through a critical transformation.
On one hand, increasing populations, changing attitudes towards the land and perhaps changing climate is increasing pressure on land and resources. As a group, SRCS has observed how fish stocks are becoming depleted, wild game is decreasing in number and forests are increasingly being destroyed as dry season fires ravage the land.
On the other hand there is a local, national and international drive towards sustainability: the Wapichan Wiizi movement is ‘thinking together for those coming behind us’, The South Central People’s Development Association is dedicated to securing and sustainably managing Wapichan territories, and most recently the Sustainable Wildlife Management Programme is being implemented in the Rupununi with a model of ‘sustainable wildlife and fisheries management in multiple use savannah-forest landscapes’.
The Giant Anteater perfectly represents this conflict: as traditional fish and game are depleted and habitats destroyed, the anteater is increasingly hunted for meat; yet it is an iconic animal in this part of South America and could be a banner species for research, conservation and tourism.
SRCS wishes to “through adaptation, sustain a healthy environment for people, plants and animals of the Rupununi”. Better understanding and maintaining this fantastic species in the South Rupununi will be a great contribution to our vision.
The Sustainable Wildlife Programme, Guyana has been able to fund a pilot study in 2019-2020. In mid 2020 we aim to launch a full-scale research and conservation effort.