The most popular stories by our Spanish language service, Mongabay Latam, for the week of June 18- 24 include features in honor of Colombia’s World Cup team (Humboldt Institute created “Colombian Biodiversity Team” cards profiling the country’s most iconic wildlife) and in other news, Peruvian farmers in a region once dominated by narcotrafficking now seek prosperity through organic chocolate.
The image above, from the Humboldt Institute’s World Cup Biodiversity Team cards, depicts Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez as a harpy eagle.
Peru: Chocolate saves a community and a protected area from narcotrafficking
Near the Rio Abiseo National Park in the Peruvian Amazon, twenty years ago a group of farmers stopped growing coca and turned to organic cacao. Since the park’s inception, one of its objectives was always to support the development of local communities. Today the area is 40% more productive than the rest of the region, and the stamp showing that the cacao is sourced from a forest conservation zone increases the profits.
Colombia’s World Cup Biodiversity Team
The Humboldt Institute used the World Cup as an opportunity to create “Colombian Biodiversity Team” playing cards. The team is coached by a Hoffman’s two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni) with a jaguar (Panthera onca) and a harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja) as forwards; an Apolinar’s wren (Cistothorus apolinari), an Amazon kingfisher (Chloroceryle amazona) a cotton-top tamarin (Saguinus Oedipus), a fer-de-lance pit viper (Bothrops asper) and a giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus) in the midfield; an Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus) and a little red brocket deer (Mazama rufina) on defense; and a brown spider monkey (Ateles hybridus) in goal.
Peru: the struggle to protect the world’s most extensive tropical glacier
The Quelccaya ice cap in Cusco, Peru, is part of the proposed Ausangate Regional Conservation Area that seeks to protect headwaters, high altitude peatlands and vulnerable species, such as the vicuña. After ten years of consultation, two communities approved the creation of an 81,000-hectare protected area.
Six new chirping frogs discovered in western Mexico
Researchers discovered six new species of chirping frogs in Jalisco, Colima and Michoacan states in Mexico. According to Mesoamerican Herpetology, they belong to “the most diverse and taxonomically complex group of amphibians in the new world” – the genus Eleutherodactylus.
Venezuela: fires and invasions threaten eight species in the Aroa Sierra
Hunger and unemployment have caused invasions of the protected regions of the Aroa Sierra in Venezuela. Due to the passivity of the central government on the issue, there are ongoing claims of illegal logging, forest fires and farming that put unique species in danger.
Removal of anti-personnel mines opens the door to biodiversity discoveries in Colombia
Following the end of the conflict with FARC rebels, the removal of anti-personnel mines from the territories is generating excitement among researchers in the possibility of learning more about the areas’ biodiversity and discovering new species in these Colombian forests.
You can read these stories in Spanish here.