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KSTR Update

By Jennifer Rice PhD, KSTR President

Kids Saving The Rainforest has been very busy with lots of great news that we want to share with you.

We now have our official Zoological Garden license. We use this license for our wildlife sanctuary to house any wildlife that can’t be released back into the rainforest, animals that would have to be euthanized if we did not care for them. Currently there are over 20 monkeys protected at the Sanctuary which is called the Kids Saving The Rainforest Educational Center.
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The Kids Saving The Rainforest Wildlife Rescue Center

By DVM Pia Martin, KSTR Wildlife Vet

The Wildlife Rescue Center was very busy in 2010 and it was also very successful. We received 116 injured, sick, or orphaned animals, which is 37 more than we received in 2009. Most of them were titi monkeys and both species of sloths, the 3 toed and the 2 toed. However we also treated porcupines, kinkajous, white face monkeys, howler monkeys, ocelots (a wild cat also know as the Dwarf Leopard), and even one otter, among others! Our success rate is increasing year after year, right now with a remarkable statistic of over 50% release percentage. We feel very enthusiastic by this number considering that other wildlife rescue centers barely release up to third of the animals accepted.
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The KSTR Organic Farm

By Volunteer Trevor Tierney

Kids Saving the Rainforest recently partnered with Blue Banyan Inn, an environmentally friendly bed and breakfast located right outside of Manuel Antonio.

The Blue Banyan is part of a 75-acre ecologically sustainable community, encompassing KSTR’s new Wildlife Sanctuary and International Volunteer Center, tilapia farms, nurseries, and botanical gardens. As a KSTR volunteer, I spent part of my time volunteering at the Blue Banyan Inn, helping them move towards their goal of becoming fully self-sustainable. My primary job, along with Rodrigo and Tio, two of the workers on staff, was to harvest a food source for the animals housed at the sanctuary.
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KSTR and ICE Partner to Save the Monkeys

By Colleen Smith

You see them every day parading across monkey bridges and electrical lines, but the recent electrocution of six titi monkeys in Pocares reminds us that there is still a need for a better balance between our modern world and the surrounding eco-community. While we need electrical lines to power our needs, the trouble for wildlife starts when the wires—either two primary or a primary and secondary—make contact with a grounded object, such as a tree or land, or with each other. When this occurs, the wires become electrified, creating a dangerous situation for monkeys accustomed to using them as a means of passage.
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Where Have All the Frogs Gone?

By Colleen M. Smith

As part of our ongoing efforts to educate people about the rainforest and its inhabitants, KSTR is tracking the decline of indigenous frog populations within and outside of Costa Rica.

For the past three decades, scientists in Central and North America have been closely following a wave of disease that has wiped out amphibians in the Central American highlands. The fungal disease, called chytridiomycosis, has been advancing at a rate of about 30 kilometers per year and eradicating dozens of frog species in its path. Scientists have identified this as the same disease that killed off Costa Rica’s golden frogs in the 1980s.Kids Saving the Rainforest Logo

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The Monkey Bridges Are Up Again!

Titi-on-Monkey-bridgeBy Adriana Quesada, Manager of KSTR

As most of you know, a huge storm hit the Manuel Antonio and Quepos area in June, downing thousands of trees and branches, which in turn destroyed numerous monkey bridges.

The KSTR Monkey Bridge Crew went out several times to evaluate the damages, and found that a total of 32 bridges were affected by the storm, some of them partially damaged and many of them completely destroyed.Kids Saving the Rainforest Logo

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Rainforest Facts

Did you know that…

Rainforests are primarily defined by two factors: where they are found on the earth and the amount of rainfall they receive. Rainforests are typically found in tropical locations and receive from 160-315 inches of rain per year.

There are 3.4 million square miles of tropical forest around the equator.

While rainforests cover only 2% of the Earth’s surface or 6% of its landmass, they house over ½ of the plant and animal species on Earth.
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The new KSTR Tour

TrevorMy name is Trevor. I am a volunteer animal rehabilitator working with Kid’s Saving the Rainforest’s veterinarian, Pia, performing rescue, rehab and release techniques for the many sick, abandoned or injured animals that come into the clinic everyday. More recently however, I’ve also taken on the title ‘tour-guide’. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, Kid’s Saving the Rain Forest now has a tour! I know what you’re thinking, “Oh, great, another tour in Quepos/Manuel Antonio…”. Well I’m here to tell you that this tour is a little different than the average tour you might find around here.

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Kids Saving The Rainforest Monkey Bridge Program

By Adriana Quesada,  KSTR Manager & Monkey Bridge Program Director

Titi on a Monkey Bridge

Titi on a Monkey Bridge

KSTR has a program dedicated to help the Titi Monkeys (squirrel monkeys), as well as the other species of monkeys that live in the Manuel Antonio Area.

The leading causes of death for this endangered species are electrocution by electrical wires while crossing roads and being hit by cars. That’s why, as part of our plan to help the Titi monkeys, we have placed monkey bridges that cross above the roads of Manuel Antonio and surrounding areas to give these adorable creatures a safer way to travel in the rainforest, to get food, shelter and to be in good physical condition; yeah that’s right, Titi monkeys need to travel 17 km a day to be in good shape.

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The Tale of a Titi Monkey

By Pia Martin, DVM

Right after his surgery

Titi monkeys (saimiri oerstedii citrinellus) are small but very intelligent and dexterous.  They are unique to the Manuel Antonio area.

Last august, some kids were visiting Playa El Rey in the National Park and found a very young monkey on the ground, he was hurt and couldn’t move. They felt sorry for the little guy and carefully picked him up and put him in a box. They took him to MINAET not knowing what else to do. MINAET brought him to us. The little titi was about 6 months old and had a very serious fracture in his arm and another in his clavicle. He could have fallen from a very tall tree just when he was learning to move on his own.

These kids saved his life; he would have been eaten by a predator or would have died alone of hunger.

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Important Alliance to Help The Environment

By Pia Martin DVM

Costa Rican national authorities along with the United States signed a symbiotic alliance in January to create the Energy Efficient Center (Centro de Energía Eficiente).

This center will promote research, development, and use of cleaner and more efficient energy that will allow this country to reach its objective of becoming carbon neutral by the year 2021. In other words, Costa Rica wants to mitigate the carbon that is created here.

“This is just the beginning. A committee of eight people will have to identify priorities and the best method to operate”, Gloria Villa, of the Energy Department at MINAET said. She is also very enthusiastic as it is an alliance with the University of Costa Rica (UCR), Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) and Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo (RECOPE).

The building to house the project will be located at the University of Costa Rica and the Dean of the University, Yamileth González, stated that this institution will reinforce research on more efficient energy but above all, it will teach the community what is learned.

“This center will also train professionals on efficient energy and clean technologies. Their experiences will help other countries in the region,” said Peter Brennan, in charge of business at the US embassy.

This idea was born last year in Trinidad & Tobago during the Cumbre de las Américas, when US president, Barack Obama, proposed the initiative. Then the regional countries applied with their own projects. “Costa Rica was chosen due to its leadership in environmental issues,” Brennan stated.

The US Department of Energy donated $100,000 as part of a Low Carbon Community Initiative in the Americas, the Presidential House said.

This is great news for Costa Rica, Kids Saving The Rainforest, and the environmental community!

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The Founding of Kids Saving The Rainforest

By Janine Lacare

I write to you today to let you know, not so much about the organization, Kids Saving The Rainforest, (KSTR) but more on how it got started.  KSTR is a 501 (C) 3, non-profit organization that was founded 11 years ago in 1999 by my best friend Aislin and me.

Here is our story:

Being the young kids that we were, we decided that we wanted to start making money all on our own. We started out by making paper-Mache bottles and painted rocks as paper weights.  We set up our little (but crazy-cute) roadside stand on a “recyclable” cardboard box, selling our items to passing strangers.  Although we made a couple of bucks of some random passerby’s, our intentions to save the rainforest had not yet begun.
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Some things you may not have known about Sloths

slothby María Pía Martín, DVM

The sloths are part of the Xenartha order which also includes anteaters and armadillos. This bizarre order is only found in Central and South America. They are different from all other animals in that they have an unusual lower back vertebrae and two vena cava (returns blood to the heart, the other mammals have only one).

Evolution

They are some of the most ancient mammals and have been on Earth for more than 60 million years ago. For example, they are so primitive that their reproductive and digestive tract open into a single chamber called cloaca, like birds and reptiles.

At the beginning, the Megatherium were 6 meters (20 feet) tall giant ground sloths.Kids Saving the Rainforest Logo

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Saving Shells

by Janine Licare, Founder and Spokesperson KSTR

The art of shell collecting dates back thousands of years.  Over time, shells have been used as currency, treasures and game pieces to different civilizations. In present times, shell collecting has led to the birth of conchologists, malacologists, among other words rarely used in the English language. The OCD reaction some might have towards picking up shells and storing them on their balcony or in vases in their living room is leading to a shortage in adequate sized homes for small sea creatures. Shells provide shelter to invertebrate animals with no mechanism of protection or self-defense.  Every so often these creatures trade homes depending on how fast they out-grow their current homes. Those beautiful shells you keep on your shelves are actually the dead carcasses of sea creatures. When clams, oysters, starfish and mollusks die, their shells wash up on the beach with the tides and are taken as a shelter to those who do not have the mechanisms to create them themselves.Kids Saving the Rainforest Logo

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