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June 29, 2011

HSI Opens New Wildlife Rescue Facilities in Nicaragua

Humane Society International

  • HSI's Jennifer Dinsmore (center) with FAZOONIC's Marina Arguello and Eduardo Sacasa, and State Department representatives Aaron Spencer and Rob Wing. HSI

  • Nicaraguan Vice-president Jaime Morales and U.S Ambassador to Nicaragua Robert Callahan cut the ribbon. HSI

  • The new veterinary facilities. HSI

  • New animal enclosures for rescued wildlife. HSI

  • The newborn care section. HSI

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — As part of its ongoing effort to reduce the impact of illegal wildlife trade, Humane Society International, the international arm of The Humane Society of the United States, has collaborated with the Fundación Amigos del Zoológico Nicaragüense and the U.S. State Department to establish new facilities for the rescue center that rehabilitates confiscated wildlife in Nicaragua. The new facilities, located on the outskirts of the capital city of Managua, will officially open on June 30.

The Vice-President of Nicaragua Jaime Morales Carazo, representatives of the Nicaraguan Ministry of Environment and U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua Robert Callahan will attend the opening ceremony. HSI started working with FAZOONIC in 2005, funding outreach campaigns against illegal wildlife and promoting education on the issue in Nicaragua as part of a program to more effectively implement the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna.

Faced with the lack of proper enclosures for a rescue center, FAZOONIC, as the national zoo administrator, was called upon to use the zoo’s infrastructure to provide care and rehabilitation for confiscated wildlife. The new rescue center was possible thanks to grants HSI received from the U.S. State Department, land set aside by the Nicaraguan government specifically for a center, and the passion and dedication of FAZOONIC to help these rescued animals.

“FAZOONIC receives on average 1,000 animals a year and there is no other rescue center in the country. Their work to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife is extremely important for the protection of endangered species,” said Jennifer Dinsmore, program supervisor for HSI-Latin America. “With this new facility, Nicaragua’s rescued wildlife will have a better chance at long-term survival.”  

FAZOONIC management has attended workshops held by HSI on CITES and rescue center management, and the latest CITES grant enabled HSI to expand its support to develop a management/sustainability plan and a set of basic protocols, as well as finalizing the construction of an animal reception area, a clinic, and several quarantine enclosures to be used exclusively for the rescue center. 

Facts:

  • Ever since it entered into force in 1975, CITES, has been the only international agreement that regulates international trade in wild species. To date, 175 nations (“Parties”) have signed and ratified the CITES treaty.
  • Nicaragua became a party to CITES in 1977. The country is home to 100 species of freshwater fish, 200 species of mammals, 600 species of amphibians and reptiles and 750 species of birds.
  • FAZOONIC is the officially recognized organization to deal with the rescue and release of wildlife in Nicaragua. It was established in 1997 to provide administration for the Nicaraguan national zoo and since 1998 has simultaneously administered the zoo and rescue center.
  • Signed in 2004, the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement is the first free trade agreement between the United States and a group of smaller, developing economies. In addition to promoting the elimination of tariffs, the reduction of service barriers and the opening of regional markets, through its Environmental Cooperation Agreement, the CAFTA-DR provides a framework to improve environmental conditions throughout the region.
  • Within this framework, the United States has dedicated more than $74 million to support environmental cooperation in the CAFTA-DR Region, which include efforts to strengthen implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, protect biodiversity, increase market-based conservation, and improve private sector environmental performance.
  • FAZOONIC receives, on average, 1,000 animals a year, 55 percent of which are birds, 34 percent reptiles, and 11 percent mammals.

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