EMERGENCY APPEAL – CERCOPAN’s gates are closing

Robotta

144 Monkeys at risk

CERCOPAN is issuing a one-time emergency appeal to save the lives of 144 monkeys under its care in Calabar, Nigeria. For 20 years, CERCOPAN has provided safe haven and rehabilitation for monkeys rescued from the bushmeat, illegal wildlife, and pet trade – monkeys like Robotta and Action (left).

Unfortunately, a primary donor for the past several years has been unable to support us for more than

12 months now, and therefore, grants that required matching funds have been withdrawn. Without this income, CERCOPAN has no option but to close its rescue centre – placing all of our monkeys at risk.

Experts from an international task force have been on the ground and assessed the situation. The task force has recommended releasing some monkeys to the wild and re-homing others, dependent on such factors as conservation need and a monkey’s health and age. However, this will take time and proper planning. We stand a chance to save all our monkeys if we can just feed and care for them over the coming months while resources are obtained for release and re-homing efforts.

Donations are  crucial to save primate lives

Donations are crucial to save primate lives

We found Robotta after she had been forced to live at a petrol station for the first year of her life, completely unaware that other monkeys existed and unable to learn basic skills like how to feed herself. Now, she is rehabilitated and living with her own kind in a social group. Robotta and more than 300 other monkeys have been saved and nurtured by CERCOPAN’s dedicated team since the organization’s inception.

Please, can you help us ensure that Robotta and friends live out the lives they deserve?

Donations are crucial to save the lives of these 144 beautiful and threatened monkeys.

All funds raised will be used solely for critical primate care during this interim period.

PLEASE SEND YOUR DONATIONS TO THE EMERGENCY FUND:

http://www.everyclick.com/cercopan/info (also has GiftAid for U.K. donations)

http://www.humanewildlife.org/cercopan.html (provides receipt for U.S. tax records)

 Contact in Europe time zone: Zena Tooze

([email protected]; [email protected]; +44-777-610-1492)

Contact in Australia time zone: Claire Coulson
([email protected]; [email protected]; +61-469-374338)

Emergency Appeal to Save African Monkeys – Nearly 150 Lives at Risk

Mangabeys CERCOPAN appeal

Red- Capped Mangabeys at CERCOPAN

A rescue center in Nigeria that provides rehabilitation and safe haven for monkeys rescued from the bushmeat, illegal wildlife, and pet trades is urgently calling for help and has established an Emergency Fund to support the care and feeding of its 144 resident monkeys.

After many years of successfully rescuing and caring for primates in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria, CERCOPAN has been severely affected by the world recession and is compelled to close down its rescue center. Financial support is urgently needed to feed and care for the monkeys, while funding is sought to implement a plan (developed with the help of an expert international task force) that aims to: 1) phase out CERCOPAN’s main rescue facility, and 2) implement a conservation programme to release some monkey species into a protected forest in Cross River State.

CERCOPAN has taken key steps to reduce expenditures to ensure that all money is directed to the critical needs of primate care. The organization is also seeking to manage the forest site and primate reintroduction program.

Donations  to  the  Emergency  Fund can  now  be  made  online  by  visiting any of these Internet sites:

http://www.everyclick.com/cercopan/info (also has GiftAid for UK donations)

http://www.humanewildlife.org/cercopan.html (provides receipt for U.S. tax records)

http://cercopan.wildlifedirect.org

https://www.justgiving.com/cercopan/donate

Donations can also be made via cash or check, through the contacts listed below.

Donations are crucial to save the lives of these 144 beautiful and threatened monkeys.

Contact in Europe time zone:

Zena Tooze

[email protected]

[email protected]

+44-777-610-1492

Contact in Australia time zone:

Claire Coulson

[email protected]

[email protected]

+61-469-374-338

About CERCOPAN:

For 20 years, CERCOPAN has operated an environmental conservation programme focused on the forests and primates of Cross River State, Nigeria. Throughout this time, CERCOPAN has partnered with other environmental charities, village communities, and the Cross River State Government.

For much of the past 20 years, the organization provided the only formal environmental education programme within Cross River State and reached more than 20,000 individuals a year, with a particular emphasis on school children and university students. The conservation messages in this programme emphasized preservation of the forests of southeast Nigeria for its people and its primate fauna.

For 14 years, CERCOPAN has partnered with the community of Iko Esai to protect 20,000 ha of forest from logging and primate hunting. Sustainable forest management practices, community development projects, a purpose-built community centre, eco-tourism, and employment of local village residents comprise some of the benefits to Iko Esai. In 2010, two neighbouring communities signed conservation by-laws, expanding the protected forest area to 30,000 contiguous hectares.

In 2008, together with partner NGOs, CERCOPAN advised and encouraged the State Government to prioritise environmental conservation within Cross River, and it responded with a state-wide logging ban, actively enforced since its inception.

Since 2009, CERCOPAN has partnered with the Cross River State Forestry Commission to help bring Nigeria through the Observer and Partnering stages of the United Nations Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) programme. Planning (with UN funding) is now underway for a pilot implementation within the communities centred on Iko Esai.

Finally, CERCOPAN has several threatened species in its care, including red-eared monkeys (Cercopithecus erythrotis), the only group of captive Sclater’s monkeys (Cercopithecus sclateri) in the world, and the largest group of red-capped mangabeys (Cercocebus torquatus) globally.

About primates:

Primates (monkeys, apes, and prosimians) are intelligent and socially complex animals, but tragically 50% are threatened with extinction due to human activities. Non-human primates are an integral part of the ecosystems in which they live and are sometimes called the “gardeners of the forest,” as the health of their habitats depend on the presence of healthy primate populations. In turn, these same forests help regulate our global climate, and hence humans are also dependent on these threatened animals.

Colin Pringle appointed as new CERCOPAN Director

We are delighted to announce that we have appointed Colin Pringle as the new Director of CERCOPAN. He will take over the top position from current Director Nicolien Schoneveld, who will leave at the end of next month. As the new Director of CERCOPAN, Colin will be responsible for the overall strategic and operational management of the organisation in Nigeria, including programmes in environmental educationcommunity-based conservationecotourismforest conservationresearch and primate rehabilitation. “I have proven ability in a diverse role such as this, and am looking for a long-term commitment with an organisation whose objectives match with my own”, says Colin.

Whilst there was considerable interest in the Director position, Colin’s incredibly diverse conservation career, spanning three decades, made him the perfect candidate for this varied and challenging role. Colin, aged 53, has a degree in Zoology from Southampton University and a masters degrees is Zoology from Oxford. He first worked in Nigeria in the mid 1980’s, and has since worked extensively across Sub Saharan Africa & South Asia in various roles in international development; and in field research, expeditions, and technical advisory positions. As an international development consultant, Colin advised on numerous programmes ranging from Wildlife conflict and refugees in Sub Saharan Africa with UNICEF to Sustainable low-input agriculture for HIV-impacted communities in Zimbabwe through DFID. “My wide experience means I was particularly in demand to address cross-sectoral and complex issues with a common theme of community engagement and management of natural resources & Human health” says Colin.

Colin has also worked as a Senior Project manager for WWF, Senior CITES Wildlife Trade Investigator and is a qualified science teacher. Based at Cornwall College, Newquay and Plymouth University, he lectured on a wide range of Degree level courses including Conservation Science, Animal Welfare, Wildlife and Media degree courses. At Newquay, Colin developed practical links with the zoo, particularly on primate management. He also recently designed and delivered the degree level module in Captive Breeding & Rehabilitation of Wild Animals for Plymouth University. This reflects Colin’s extensive practical and academic background in this area. As Curator of Nepal National Zoo, where primates were central, he collaborated with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) to improve the welfare standards of the 3,500 animals, implementing best practice in captive breeding.

One of Colin’s first roles with CERCOPAN will be to represent the organisation at the annual Pan African Sanctuaries Alliance (PASA) manager’s workshop in September. ‘We are absolutely thrilled that Colin will be joining our team” says Claire Coulson, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and former Director of CERCOPAN. “He brings a wealth of expertise and experience that will undoubtedly prove of immense benefit in our mission to protect Nigeria’s rainforests for primates and people. We look forward to what the future will bring”.

Reintroducing Robotta

Robotta the Red Eared Guenon CERCOPANThe last few weeks at CERCOPAN have been very difficult, after beloved Red Eared guenon ‘Robotta’  became very ill and seemed unable to move her back legs. As soon as we noticed the first symptoms, she was moved into the office for constant observation and we began a course of medication and extreme TLC. In complete contrast to mangabeys, when guenons fall ill, they tend to become depressed and not want to eat or drink, which makes them feel even worse and want to eat even less.  Our challenge is therefore to keep them eating and drinking no matter how sorry for themselves they feel. Thankfully we have a few tricks up our sleeve – baby food made with milk and honey, smoothies made with all of their favourite fruits, foods that are of interest as they have never encountered them before and a list of the things we know each animal likes best. If the monkeys wont take the food themselves, we encourage by hand feeding, syringe feeding and presenting different options throughout the day until we succeed – sometimes I think they start eating simply because they realise it is the easier option as we are even more stubborn than they are!

Robotta and Rudolpha interact through the mesh

When Robotta first arrived at CERCOPAN, she was so sick we thought we would not be able to pull her through. She surprised us all, when after a period of intensive care not only did she make a full recovery, she quickly became the largest and most dominant baby in quarantine! Thankfully Robotta had the same response to treatment on this occasion and within a matter of weeks was fit, active, using her legs and ready to return to her group. As she was away from the other red-eared guenons for some time however, we had to slowly reintroduce her. This is because when you remove any monkey, even it is only for a few weeks, the dynamics of group can change and the primate may not receive the warm welcome home you would expect.

As a first step we placed Robotta in the satellite of the enclosure, so all animals could interact through the mesh. After a couple days of observations, we let Robotta out into the group but quickly removed her when Rudolpha and Flexi, began giving her a hard time. With Robotta again separated,we  introduced Rudolpha independently and by the end of the day they were mutually grooming one another.  Flexi, the youngest of the group, is still not sure what to think of Robotta’s return, but we are sure he will come around over the next few days and thankfully life in the Red eared group will return to normal.

If you would like to help us care for the Red Eared Guenons at CERCOPAN, please consider adopting Robotta’s group today http://cercopan.org/adopt/

 

 

New look CERCOPAN website, enewsletter and adoption programme!

New-CERCOPAN-website-www.cercopan.org

CERCOPAN (Centre for Education, Research and Conservation of Primates and Nature) has just relaunched our website at www.cercopan.org . In addition to the sites entirely d

ifferent look and feel, we have incorporated a whole range of new features, including our completely re-designed monkey adoption programme, online ecotourism booking facilitiesmonthly enewsletter sign up, and in-site blog. The new site will be updated regularly with all of the latest breaking news from Nigeria and has been designed to be  highly interactive with a range of social sharing facilities and opportunities for everyone to get involved.

We hope that the redesign will help us to increase general awareness of the importance and plight of Nigeria’s amazing biodiversity and will enable us to enlist further help and support in our urgent mission to save it.  Please help us spread the word by sharing the link to our site with all of your friends.

We hope you enjoy the new site and would love to hear from you at [email protected] if you have any comments or suggestions!

Thank you from CERCOPAN (and Obugu Fine!)

Obugu Fine Sclater's Guenon CERCOPAN

Today was a special day, because thanks to a very kind donation, we were finally able to go ahead with renovations on an enclosure for one of our Sclater’s guenons, Obugu Fine. Obugu Fine lived with his best friend Ben for over 12 years, until we lost Ben to illness at the end of last year. Initially we left Obugu alone in the enclosure they had shared, as its design did not allow for slowly adding a new friend and we had no other free enclosures where we could rehouse him.

A couple of months ago, Obugu was becoming very lonely and we finally managed to free up some space and move him to an older enclosure closer to other animals and with more potential for an introduction. Unfortunately, whilst this enclosure had two parts making it ideal for our purposes, one part needed extensive repairs. We were therefore forced to place our plans on hold pending funding and restrict his movements to the good side of the enclosure.Wood for repairs of Obugu Fine enclosure CERCOPAN

Whilst primate rehabilitation is the cornerstone of our project and has impacts that extend well beyond the welfare of the individual animals we save, it is by far the most difficult aspect of our work to fund. The global financial crisis has made it harder than ever before to undertake the constant construction and repairs needed at our sanctuary and so a donation like the one made for Obugu means the world to us. Thanks to this generous personal donation, we have been able to buy all the wood, platforms, mesh, nails and other materials we needed to go ahead with our plan. After we repair the enclosure, Obugu Fine can not only enjoy all the extra space, but also the company of female Sclater’s guenon, Braylee! We will keep you updated on the progress of the introduction over the coming months.

If you would like to help our primate rehabilitation programme and the 170 animals in our care, please consider donating today.

And they call it…Putty Love

Felicia and Wizkid hugging

As you may remember, two small putty-nosed monkeys called Felicia and Wizkid were brought to CERCOPAN last December. One of them, Felicia, had been formerly abused by factory workers and was not using one of her back legs properly. Everyone at CERCOPAN was very concerned about the small monkey, as we were afraid that the leg might be paralysed. We took Felicia for an X-Ray to find out what was wrong, but to our surprise, nothing unusual was evident.

Wizkid

Initially, Wizkid would carry his new friend around in their enclosure, since she was not using her leg properly. Austin, our vet nurse, also took great care of Felicia, giving her leg massages and antibiotics. Over the weeks, her leg gradually improved and she began to move independently. Felicia now walks so well, it’s hard to imagine the condition her leg was in when she was brought to us! Whilst we are still not sure what rendered her leg unusable,  we are all very relieved that everything worked out well and are sure that her recovery was due in no small part to Austin’s efforts and the support of her best friend.

Wizkid no longer needs to carry Felicia around, but the pair still spend most of their time clasped together, hugging. Once they are old enough to be moved to a family group, we will ensure that they remain together. Felicia is still a little more reserved than Wizkid, who as you can see likes to put his face as close to the camera as possible, but with time we are sure he will bring her out of her shell.

 

 

My first weeks at CERCOPAN

 

Kim Nouwen in the forest

I am  very happy to introduce myself to all CERCOPAN supporters as the new Calabar Sanctuary Manager. My name is Kim and I am from the Netherlands. I have been very passionate  about primates, since taking my first internship at Monkey World Rescue Centre in the UK. Primates have something special that intrigues me: they are very clever, energetic and every one has a completely different personality. With primates, there is never a dull moment!

During my Bachelor’s degree in Animal Husbandry and my Masters degree in Animal Sciences in the Netherlands, I always looked for possibilities to work with primates abroad. I was therefore delighted when I was able to conduct my masters research on the vocalisations of wild orangutans in Borneo, Indonesia. I spent eight months at a remote research site in a protected forest collecting vocal data by following the orangutans from dawn till dusk.

Kim with CERCOPAN staff

After graduation, I started working at an international animal welfare organisation as a campaigner and volunteer coordinator. Although I enjoyed the work, I missed working with primates and the feeling of truly contributing to the conservation of endangered species. Besides, I wanted to gain more hands on experience in the field. Well, I am certainly getting that at the primate sanctuary of CERCOPAN! My work as a manager mainly involves the management of 15 local staff,  financial administration of our programme and making sure all our primates receive the best care possible. I am very excited to get to know every individual primate we house at CERCOPAN and already feel that I am contributing my experience where it matters most. CERCOPAN undertake great work and I am am very proud to be a part of it.

Together with our other staff, I will post regular blogs to keep all our supporters up to date on the latest news here in Calabar.

Felicia and Wizkid

Ten days ago, an expatriates driver showed up at CERCOPAN’s gate with a small putty-nosed monkey. He explained that the expat traveled back to his country, and in his absence, the workers at the factory where she was kept had been abusing her. The monkey was scared and unable to use one of her back legs. The driver informed us that the monkeys name was Felix, but given that the little orphan was female, we thought Felicia a tad more appropriate!

Felicia soon got used to us, throwing major tantrums whenever we put her back into her travel box so that we could get some work done! The first few nights, she was bottle-fed milk formula because she didn’t understand how to drink from the bottle herself. She was less scared, but we felt sorry for her because she seemed quite lonely.

Felecia the Putty Nosed Guenon

Two days later, another man arrived at CERCOPAN with a putty-nosed guenon, called Wizkid. This monkey was in much worse condition than Felicia and was extremely thin and small for his

age – we were all amazed when the man mentioned that Wizkid had been his pet for 5 months!  Wizkid’s sister had died the week before, probably from malnutrition, which had likely prompted the man to surrender his second monkey. Although very skinny, Wizkid is an energetic little animal. Felicia didn’t know what was happening when we first let him into her travel box! As is generally the cases with young orphans brought together at CERCOPAN however, it didn’t take them long to become the best of friends and Wizkid quickly taught Felicia to drink milk from the baby bottle.

Felicia having an xray

Shortly after they were introduced we moved them to a larger outdoor enclosure, in the area we call the ‘baby nursery’.  Felicia rides on Wizkid’s back whenever she is tired of moving around using her arms. They spend a lot of time hugging, and don’t like it one bit if we separate them for medical tests! When we take Felicia out to work on her leg, it is actually easier to take both of them – it is impossible to handle her when Wizkid is screaming in the enclosure.

The only worry now is Felicia’s leg. We took her for an X-Ray and are waiting for the results. We hope that with physical therapy we can return some strength to the leg, but the chances are looking slimmer every day. For now, we are just pleased that she is so happy with Wizkid and hope that they will grow up happy and healthy together.

 

Christmas Gift

Dear CERCOPAN Supporters,

It’s almost the time of the year again: Christmas gifts! While for many of us this means luxury items such as the latest smartphone or jewellery, CERCOPAN´s Christmas gift for host village Iko Esai is much more basic: a ration of rice and salt for each household. Christmas is a very important celebration in the community, and this contribution to their Christmas dinners is very important to them.

You can imagine it requires a lot of bags of salt and rice to provide a good amount to each of the 4,500 people in the village! If you can, please consider to make a contribution towards the purchase of the Iko Esai Christmas gift by making an online donation. 1 Bag of rice costs £40/$60 and 1 bag of salt costs £15/$22, but any amount, no matter how large or small,  is welcome – and will be spent entirely on the Iko Esai Christmas gift.

If you wish to make a contribution, please click on the ‘donate’ button on this Facebook Page (US tax deductible), or go to https://www.justgiving.com/cercopan (UK tax deductible).

Thank you so much for your support!