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February 6, 2012

Humane Society International Promotes Wildlife Protection through Training in Guatemala

Local HSI-trained instructors take the lead to train their peers

Humane Society International

QUETZALTENANGO, Guatemala — Humane Society International, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State and the Consejo Nacional de Áreas Protegidas de Guatemala, the Guatemalan ministry in charge of wildlife and protected areas, will host a day-long workshop on best practices for the handling of confiscated wildlife in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala on February 9.

The workshop, to take place at the Hotel del Campo in Xela, Quetzaltenango, will feature HSI’s Spanish-language animal handling curriculum interactive CD. Training will be given to 20 participants, including members of the police force and customs officials, as well as personnel from governmental ministries involved in the confiscation and handling of illegally traded wildlife. This workshop will be taught by instructors previously trained by HSI during a "training the trainers" session in 2010. These sessions have proven to be successful in Guatemala as well as in other Central American countries.

"Humane training and handling of confiscated animals is a vital component in the ongoing fight against the illegal wildlife trade in Guatemala and the Central American region as a whole,” said Cynthia Dent, regional director for HSI-Latin America. “Collaboration between HSI and its local partners transfers knowledge and empowers our partners to protect their wildlife from being caught up in an illicit and cruel trade."

This workshop is part of the most recent series of workshops that builds upon the “train the trainers” sessions previously conducted throughout the countries of the region in order to create a sustainable means of instruction for stakeholders involved in the protection of wildlife. In addition to Guatemala, this new series has already reached Honduras in 2011 and will continue with workshops scheduled for Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Nicaragua in the coming months.


  • Guatemala became a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1979.
  • The country is home to some 1246 species of wildlife, 84 of which are endemic. A total of 133 species of amphibians, 715 species of birds, 193 species of mammals and 236 species of reptiles can be found in Guatemala.
  • Several of these species, such as the Alta Verapaz spikethumb frog (Plectrohyla teuchestes), the Guatemalan spiny-tailed iguana (Ctenosaura palearis) and the Mayan deer mouse (Peromyscus mayensis) are threatened and currently listed in the IUCN Red List.
  • The illegal trade in wildlife is estimated to be more than $10 billion annually, surpassed in money only by the illegal trade in drugs and arms.

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Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organizations — backed by 11 million people. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide — On the Web at hsi.org.