One of the top priorities of the Capuchins @ Taboga project is community outreach and education. For that reason we joined the local committee of the Corredor Biológico Mono Aullador (Howler Monkey Biological Corridor), sponsored by the Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación (SINAC). The organization is comprised of local actors within the biological corridor, including ranchers, municipality employees, and researchers. The goal of the project is to enhance connectivity between protected forested areas and promote biodiversity in the region.
In November we (Celia, Monika, and Ariek) went to a meeting of the Comité Local, where we toured a regenerating forest owned by the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, introduced ourselves and our project, and discussed environmental initiatives run by the other local actors.
Through our partnership with the Comité Local and SINAC, Capuchins @ Taboga has started collecting data on migratory birds and howler monkey counts, which we are sharing with SINAC, as well as planning environmental education classroom visits for the coming year. Celia has also volunteered for SINAC, in the role of Toño Pizote! Toño Pizote is the Costa Rican equivalent of Smokey the Bear–a coati character who spreads fire prevention advice to children in classrooms and festivals. Celia got the opportunity to be Toño leading a dog parade in Bagaces, and in the Cañas Parade of Lights.
We hope to continue and expand our community partnerships in the new year!