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March 29, 2012

Humane Society International Promotes Wildlife Protection Through Training in Costa Rica

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

Humane Society International

  • Through animal handling training, confiscated wildlife stands a better chance of survival. HSI

ALAJUELA, Costa Rica — Humane Society International/Latin America, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State and the Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación of the Ministry of Environment and Telecommunications will host a day-long workshop on best practices for the handling of confiscated wildlife in Alajuela, Costa Rica on March 29.

The workshop will take place at the Universidad Técnica Nacional and features HSI’s Spanish-language animal handling curriculum interactive CD. A total of to 20 participants will be trained, including members of the police force and customs officials, as well as personnel from government ministries involved in the confiscation and handling of illegally traded wildlife. This workshop will be delivered by instructors previously trained by HSI during a "train the trainers" session in 2010.

“Training in humane handling of confiscated animals is paramount in the ongoing fight against the illegal wildlife trade in Costa Rica and the Central American region,” said Cynthia Dent, regional director for HSI-Latin America. “Humane Society International is proud to collaborate with our regional partners to ensure the successful transfer of knowledge and the necessary empowerment to effectively protect their wildlife from an illicit and cruel trade."

Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación is the authority in Costa Rica that administers the country’s participation in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which is an international agreement designed to preserve species of wild plants and animals.

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 Costa Rica, this new series has already reached Honduras and Guatemala and will continue with workshops scheduled for the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Nicaragua in the coming months.


  • Ever since entering into force, CITES has been the only international agreement that regulates international trade in wild species. 175 nations (Parties) have signed and ratified the CITES treaty. Costa Rica has been a Party to CITES since its inception in 1975.
  • Costa Rica is home to some 500,000 species, which represent close to 4 percent of the total estimated species worldwide, placing it among the top 20 countries with the highest biodiversity in the world.
  • Many of these species, such as the Golfodulcean poison frog (Phyllobates vittatus), the Mangrove Hummingbird (Amazilia boucardi) and Geoffroy's spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) are currently listed in the IUCN Red List as endangered.
  • 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.