Last month, 96 children were graduated from our Junior Ranger program!
Last month, 96 children were graduated from our Junior Ranger program!
Junior Ranger Graduation
Junior Rangers
Last month, 96 Junior Rangers from eight villages in Nicaragua were graduated from our Junior Ranger program. These children deserved this recognition! We will soon graduate another 48 Junior Rangers in partnership with Reserva Silvestre Privada QuelanteroWe congratulate our graduates for their hard work, and we look forward to seeing these talented people become stewards of their local environment.
Under the tutelage of the Community Forest and Sea Turtle Rangers and our Education Specialist, Julie Martinez, Junior Rangers-in-training complete hands-on learning projects, knowledge challenges, workshops, and community service projects. After graduation, Junior Rangers survey local animal populations twice a month near their communities. The data they gather helps us to develop occupancy models to better understand how wildlife use our corridor. The graduates also participate in cleanups and biodiversity events such as the Christmas Bird Count (mark your calendar for January 3, 2017 in the Paso del Istmo!) and the International Coastal Cleanup.
For the last four years, Paso Pacifico’s Junior Ranger program has educated children in Nicaragua ages 8 to 12 about local ecology and conservation. This program is made possible through a range of donors including the New England Biolabs Foundation, the US Forest Service International Institute for Tropical Forestry, the Disney Conservation Fund, Seaworld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, Loro Parque Fundación, and individual donors who believe in the importance of supporting these children.
Yoga on the Beach
In September, Paso Pacifico and Tasha Rae Yoga teamed up to host a yoga retreat. After refreshing themselves with vinyasa yoga each morning, students went on invigorating field trips where they learned from our expert Turtle Rangers, visited nesting sea turtles at La Flor Wildlife Refuge, and witnessed howler monkeys in the dry tropical forests near San Juan del Sur.
Tasha Rae and her students invited our community rangers and field staff to attend a class with them. We really enjoyed learning about yoga, and it was definitely the highlight of our time hosting the retreat. In turn, our rangers incorporated yoga into the activities during a Junior Ranger field trip. 
Paso Pacifico thanks Tasha Rae Yoga, Morgan’s Rock Hacienda & Ecolodge, and our staff in Nicaragua for making this retreat a huge success.
Rangers do yoga with Junior Rangers
Yellow Naped Parrot
Our new truck!
Since 2008, Loro Parque Fundación has provided generous, consistent funding to Paso Pacifico's Yellow-Naped Amazon Parrot Program. Yellow-naped amazons are the largest and most threatened dry tropical forest parrot in the region. Recent studies indicate only one third of nests are successful due to the illegal wildlife trade and other disturbances. With the help of Loro Parque Fundación and technical assistance from Dr. Tom White (USFWS) and Wayne Arendt of the US Forest Service International Institute for Tropical Forestry, we have been using radio telemetry to map the most frequently used forest patches. We are now prioritizing those areas for protection and working with ranchers and landowners in those areas to carry out new conservation measures.
Loro Parque funding has helped us install artificial nests that have helped to successfully fledged nine parrots and counting and has enabled us to pay incentives to farmers for protecting nests. We are able to pay farmers more for a protected baby parrot than they would receive for selling the parrot on the black market!
This past year, Loro Parque increased their contribution to help us purchase a new truck for the program and also enabled us to launch a program to protect the cyanoptera macaw in northern Nicaragua, the location of the last remaining population of these impressive birds on the Pacific coast of Central America. Thank you Loro Parque Fundación!
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Carmen López is our Nicaragua office administrator. After getting her bachelor's degree in economics, Carmen earned a master's degree in financial administration from INCAE, a top global MBA program. She has worked in government, NGOs, the private sector, and as an independent consultant.
We are grateful to Carmen for her great organizational and administrative skills. Carmen helps keep our trucks running and our field team safe and equipped. Thank you Carmen!
Carmen and her husband have two daughters. She is looking forward to the next stage of motherhood: being a grandmother! She will soon be attending the birth of her first grandchild and showering the baby girl with besos. We are excited for her and her expanding family.
Smiling Junior Ranger
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Dr. David Waugh
Paso Pacifico is grateful to Dr. David Waugh who recently retired as the Director of the Loro Parque Fundación. David has worked in parrot conservation for decades and is extremely knowledgable about the threats that these intelligent and charismatic birds face. He encouraged Paso Pacifico to go deep with its conservation programs, and as a result we are 8 years into a conservation program that is leading to the recovery of the yellow-naped amazon parrot and we are entering the second year of work protecting the endangered cyanoptera macaw.
Dr. Waugh, thank you for helping us protect the yellow-naped amazon. We wish you the best in your retirement!
This month on Instagram:
Junior Rangers have more fun! (From Instagram)
Scarlet macaw (from Instagram)