Abstract # 5903 Poster # 155:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 14, 2014 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 22 (Decatur B) Poster Presentation


IDENTITY AND CONSERVATION MODELS IN BALANCAN, MEXICO: KEY TO SAVING THE CRITICALLY ENDANGERED MEXICAN BLACK HOWLER MONKEY

J. C. Serio-Silva1,2, F. Vidal-García1,2,3, A. Balandra-Montes de Oca2, M. A. Alvarado-Villalobos1,2,3, J. Aristizabal1,2, H. M. Díaz-Lopez4, R. A. Collado-Torres4, B. Valenzuela-Córdova4, L. M. Ayala-Camacho5, C. Oliva-Uribe5, A. Villalón1, M. Franquesa-Soler1,3, A. Cambou1,6 and D. Tejero-Gerónimo2
1Red de Biologia y Conservacion de Vertebrados, Instituto de Ecologia AC, Xalapa, Veracruz 91070, Mexico, 2Estación de Investigación Primatológica y Vida Silvestre, 3Posgrado Instituto de Ecologia, AC, 4División Académica de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco, 5Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Huixquilucan, Estado de México, 6Université de Lorraine, Nancy, Fance
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     After many years of identifying the problematic situation of wild monkeys and their habitat, we have seen that we can only have a positive effect on the conservation if people are involved with elements of the environment with which they can feel represented. For the above, we developed an identity/conservation model for the endangered black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra) and its habitat in Balancán, Tabasco, Mexico. With our support, local authorities agreed to develop a formal declaration, where this town is now identified as the "Sanctuary of the Sacred Black Howler Monkey". As part of such declaration we developed a festival called the "First International Black Howler Monkey Week". Main activities that took place were: lectures and primate related workshops (n=150), field guides visits/habitat restoring activities (n=10), exhibitions of primate handicrafts made by people from communities (N=5 days), cultural activities (dancing, singing, poetry, theater, a mural was painted, movies) were offered for all the people (+4,000 during all week) who were learning about their monkeys and the importance of preserving tropical rain forest. The utility of this project is involving local people around howler monkeys and promoting more environmental education in places where scientific research is conducted. We cannot be only spectators but we must act, researching, protecting and restoring. Only then will our primate diversity and communities be able to live in harmony.