SAVING ANDEAN TAPIRS & HABITAT IN NORTHERN PERU

This project urgently needs support. Andean Tapir Fund and its collaborator Conservationist Alejandro Zegarra Pezo now have an excellent chance of realizing the creation of a new nature reserve in northwestern Peru. But it is essential that we coordinate this project starting with an expedition in the northwestern Andes of Peru to enlist the help of officials and residents of this fascinating, beautiful and very biodiverse region.

Here is a fuller explanation from the Introduction to this Project, initially written by Zegarra then rewritten and expanded by Downer:

Since I was very young, I have come to know the paramos (a unique type of high Andean moorland above the tree-line) and Cloud and other types of Andean Forests of the Piuran Andes. And always there arose in me a feeling of great admiration whenever the “grandes bestias,” or Andean/Mountain Tapirs (Tapirus pinchaque) presented themselves. Also, I developed a keen appreciation for that great variety of species, many found nowhere else (endemic). The relatively few investigations led me to initiate an investigation of my own. This involved expeditions into this inspiring life community, or ecosystem. The latter serves to provide pure, healthy and often crystalline water for the entire state of Piura.

From a conservation point of view, this area as part of the Huancabamba Depression, is home to hundreds of endemic species found nowhere else on Earth and a large percentage of these are classified as Threatened or even Endangered with Extinction by the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC). In short, the region is a remarkable Center of Species Evolution and its preservation as a natural ecosystem is of paramount importance. One of the prime examples here is the Andean, or Mountain, Tapir and the remnant population here contains the largest remnant of the species in Peru, among only a few habitats still containing them. And it is in the often steep, wild and little altered paramos and cloud forests of Cerro Negro, particularly in the campesino communities of Yanta in Ayabaca province and Segunda Cajas in Huancabamba province that this extremely important remnant of relatively undisturbed nature remains.

A number of years ago, I became aware of the noxious intentions of several transnational mining companies whose aim was to exploit this marvelous ecosystem by means of open-pit mining. It was thus that I began my continuous campaign to prevent this impending tragedy through public education meetings with affected communities and their leaders and always with the support of the Andean Tapir Fund-USA and its President, Wildlife Ecologist Dr. Craig C. Downer. Working together with fellow conservationists and the community, we were able to plan the most effective actions to counter the threats to these unique and vitally important ecosystems. This contains tropical montane forests in the lowest part of the Andean Cordillera at a point where it diverges significantly in several different directions as ranges radiating rather like the spokes on a wheel.

This area is known as the Huancabamba Depression and its greatly varied and many faceted features have made it a center of species generation over the centuries, millennia and even millions of years. Many of its species remain to be named and described by scientists; and it would be a terrible shame were they to be lost because of mining invasion. This area is an important world heritage of immense value that must be preserved. Additionally, this region contains some magnificent archeological remains, many of which have yet to be scientifically described, including a possible temple to a tapir-like mythological god that I (Zegarra) have personally observed. – All of the foregoing make these mountains with their paramos and forests, including the whole of Cerro Negro, a very precious conservation jewel that must be preserved as an Ecological Sanctuary, above all else.

By carrying out my next-planned fieldwork, I will be able to establish a data base that is necessary for justifying the immediate establishment of the Cerro Negro Nature Sanctuary. Located within the jurisdiction of two communities: Yanta (Ayabaca) and Segundo Cajas (Huancabamba), its subsoils have been illegally given as mining concessions to the Rio Blanco Mining Project that plans to conduct destructive open-pit mining operations. The latter lack the required approval of local community governments, as indicated by public vote that soundly rejected this and other similar projects in the mid-1990s by ca. 95% of the vote. Also, the area is the presently occupied habitat of the Endangered Mountain/Andean Tapir along with a hundred or more Threatened or Endangered species, many of which are endemic to the region, i.e. found nowhere else. These are on the IUCN SSC RED LIST of Threatened and Endangered Species, as well as Peru’s corresponding list. Indeed, the Mountain/Andean Tapir is listed as “Critically Endangered” by the Peruvian government. (Refs.)

Goals:
1. Immediately carry out my field work due to approaching rainy season in the Piuran Andes.

2. Meet with all the newly elected authorities in Ayabaca province, including municipalities, rural communities and campesino patrol and vigilance organizations, known as Rondas. This will allow me to set up legal agreements for mutual collaboration in order to achieve the goals of the Andean Tapir Fund and my local group: “Provida-Dantas y Burros-Peru”. (Dantas is a common Spanish name for “Tapirs”.)

3. Solidify friendly relations with all my former and more recent collaborators for these ongoing conservation projects.

4. Mount field expeditions to document the habitat where Mountain Tapirs still live, especially those living near human settlements, as well as the state of conservation of their habitat, including both Andean forest and paramos in the Ayabacan province. Our team would collect basic observations and measurements, including each individual tapir and his/her GPS location, including latitude, longitude, altitude, temperatures, type of habitat occupied, activity engaged in, social groupings, proximity to appropriate forage and water as well as mineral sources, as well as adequate shelter and concealment habitat components. This documentation would utilize professional wildlife check sheets containing the many critical observations that wildlife biologists consider important. All habitats and tapirs visited and observed would be photographed and each photograph would be identified by GPS as to latitude, longitude, elevation, temperature, and other factors contained in the Observation Form. A list of other animal and plant ask well as decomposer species present would be obtained together with their relative abundance, relation to the tapir, e.g. food, shelter, predator, benefit from tapir as by seed dispersal through dung or on fur, etc. Special attention would be given to documenting threats from human activity, such as hunting, burning of forest or paramo, placement of livestock, illegal mining and ore processing that often uses mercury or cyanide compounds, etc. There are strict conservation laws that govern these areas and any infringement or violation of such need to be reported so that the residents or visitors to these areas can be educated concerning the laws and so that these laws can be fairly and strongly enforced, lest they become mere “paper tigers” with little or no real effectiveness. Other species of note that would be searched for include the Endangered Spectacled Bear (Tremarctos ornatus), the Puma, the Andean Condor, the Andean Fox, various rare mammals, birds, including exquisite hummingbirds and migratory songbirds and waterfowl, reptiles and amphibians as well as various plant species including ancient Podocarpus genus of conifers, Quinine trees, the Umbrella Plant (Gunnera spp.) – and all plant as well as animal species that figure on the IUCN SSC Red List of Threatened and Endangered Species 2021/2022 and on Peru’s list of rare, endemic, threatened and endangered species. This report would prove of special value to worldwide conservation organizations and Ecologist Craig C. Downer is a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission and has written the Action Plan and Species Description for the Endangered Mountain/Andean Tapir (See Andean Tapir Fund website in References below) and contributed to its Tapir Specialist Group..

5. Another major goal of this project would be to check up on and renew the organization of that conservation patrol group that has been in existence for a number of years and that has effectively warded off and even prevented serious wildlife killings and capturing, including of the Andean Tapir as well as ecosystem/habitat destruction. This long-standing group of dedicated local individuals, many of whom are of pure Native American tribal descent are known as the “Guardianes de las Brumas de Ayabaca” (Ayabacan Protectors of the Misty Highlands). Many of these capable and knowledgeable men and women have valiantly defended the wildlife and their habitats of this region against disrespectful and often violent trespassers into their community jurisdictions. All of us who know and appreciate this special, highly biodiverse ecosystem owe them a great debit of gratitude.

6. Another aim of this expedition/project will be to document the unique archeological remains and their state of preservation. To accomplish this, we will employ photography, diligent and copious note taking in weather-proof field notebooks, GPS localizations, etc. our reports will be shared with local, state and national government officials and private organizations concerned with documenting, interpreting and preserving these valuable remains that fill out our knowledge concerning the unique and fascinating people who have inhabited this biodiverse and spectacular region for centuries and even thousands of years.

7. Another very important component of this project will be to make public presentations concerning nature conservation and its crucial value to preserving the vitality of all species and their shared ecosystems – which include us humans too, of course. A specially prepared presentation that has been given before and is called “Agonia de los Tapires Andinos” will be among the planned conferences. These conferences would take place in the central town of Yanta and its community center where an assembly of the leaders of all the rural communities from both Ayabaca and Huancabamba provinces would be realized, given several days of advance notice. Additional conference would be made in several settlement among all residences of all ages throughout this region.

8. Mount an expedition to search out and photograph the important archeological ruins in the Piuran Andean mountains above Ayabaca. We will be guided by Sr. Celso Acuna Calle who has lived in the region all his life and knows where these ruins are located and the intricate route to them. These ruins would be photographed and this documentation would serve to protect the natural forest and their wildlife, including the Andean Tapirs.

9. Assemble all required data and information, including zoological, botanical and ecological reports as well as those that are of a historical, social and even geological nature. This would be in order to expeditiously finalize a professional proposal that would fully justify the establishment of the Ecological Sanctuary of Cerro Negro. This would include certain additions to an earlier proposal This would be revised by Wildlife Ecologists familiar with the ecosystem, including Craig C. Downer. The final proposal would then be presented to the appropriate local, state and national government officials as well as elected representatives together with a professional PowerPoint presentation.

10. A visit would be made to certain sites where brave Andeans who stood up to defend the Andean forest and paramo of Ayabaca were killed, thus becoming martyrs to this extremely vital and important cause – that of preserving and restoring the natural ecosystem on a large scale, which will preserve the future for all of life against current, very serious threats, mainly concerning the blind and destructive exploitation of the Andean ecosystem.

11. Revisit any of the foregoing project components to make sure that all of our principal goals have been achieved so that we can present a professional and appealing proposal for the creation of the Cerro Negro Ecological Sanctuary to officials and the public.

Methodology:
Our team will formulate a well-conceived plan employing much forethought so that our plan for the Cerro Negro Ecological Sanctuary will be realized. Key to this envisioned success will be the gathering of all pertinent information about this ecosystem as well as describing its history and disrupting factors. We will accurately describe its present state, i. e. to what degree this unique and valuable natural ecosystem remains intact, what are the chief threats to its integrity and what alternative actions could be taken to overcome these threats and what model of development would be compatible with securing a biodiverse life community that is beneficial both to humans and to all the plants and animals that have evolved here for thousands – even millions of years.

Major factors that would be considered are access roads and trails, Global Climate Change/Warming, the existing degree of education and respect for the law, particularly nature-protecting and general environmental as well as social norms concerning this. In this manner, we would identify existing gaps that need to be addressed in order to realize the establishment of respect for and long-term future of the Cerro Negro Ecological Sanctuary.

To correctly and safely realize this project, our team will require a four-wheel-drive vehicle in good state of repair, an adequate budget for gas, meals and lodging as well as personal security in the form of an armed guard.

Our strategy will involve working closely with long-standing local and regional authorities with whom the main executer of this project: Conservationist Alejandro Zegarra-Pezo, has positive and long-standing relations in line with nature conservation. Certain more recently elected leaders of the local communities have close ties to the earlier leaders they succeeded – and these communities, which are chiefly Tapal and Yanta – have a long history of defending the natural forest and paramo Andean ecosystems and the endangered Andean/Mountain Tapirs, in line with Andean Tapir Fund’s central mandates. They realize the vital importance of preserving and restoring this ecosystem in terms of their quality of life, the preservation of water sources in the highland “living sponge” (esponja viviente) and the outstanding value of this center of biological evolution, with its high degree of endemism, to the entire planetary ecosystem in which it plays such a vital role. These communities and their leaders are anxious to begin the project as the new year 2022 commences, but will require basic support to meet their needs and those of their families. They look forward to being monitors and defenders of the amazing plant and animal species and their respective habitats here. They also look forward to developing a thriving ecotourism that would bring visitors to this very enlightening region where ancient Native American cultures still survive. The latter will also serve as a major attractant to visitors and is related to the fascinating archeological remains that are to be found here, including possibly an ancient stone temple to a tapir-like god whose image adorns the ruins. Also, it is important to note that these mid- to high-elevational ecosystems are more important than ever as mountain aquifers that absorb and retain precipitation and equitably release during all months of the year healthy and abundant water to five major and many minor rivers upon which all life downslope, including human, depends. With Global Warming, Peru is losing its highland glaciers upon which ecosystems, particularly to the west of the Andes, have long depended to replenish their streams, rivers, lakes and subterranean aquifers. This makes the protection and restoration of these highland watersheds more critically important than ever before as concerns the future well-being of All of Peru: Plant, Animal as well as Human life. (See ENS refs.)

The chief executors of this project frequently visits the Ayabacan Andes and has for many years fomented nature conservation policies that protect the natural ecosystems here. He has already promoted this type of project and would count on the enthusiastic collaboration of the Andean communities.

Action Plan – First Stage, Duration: 15 days
Schedule of Activities:
Day # Description of Activities # of Hours
1 & 2: With the help of my assistant and guard, we will initiate the purchase of all equipment, food and other provisions that are required for this field expedition. We will also initiate preparations in the Andean communities with whose leaders and citizens we will be working. We will work on this from 8 AM to 8 PM on each of these two days.

3: We will visit the Provincial Chief in Sullana in order to obtain a “Safe Conduct” permission (salvo-conducto). This will grant us the complete support of the Peruvian national Police and their Ayabacan provincial branch and personnel. We will work from 9 AM to Noon. From 2 PM to 6 PM, we will telephone local authorities and contact in Ayabaca to prepare for and coordinate the project. This will be done by telephone and email. We will work from 2 PM to 6 PM;

4: We (Conservationist Alejandro Zegarra-Pezo) and my assistant-guard will travel by bus from Sullana to Ayabaca, leaving at 9 AM and arriving at 1 PM. Then we will conduct interviews with two local conservationists with which I have collaborated before as well as with two major leaders of the campesino conservation patrol organizations, called “Rondas” – all concerning the natural ecosystem of Ayabaca region and its protection/restoration. This will allow us to coordinate activities and to obtain the necessary permit for our vehicle and then to enter and visit all the Ayabacan communities involved with the protection and conservation of the precious natural ecosystem and wildlife species. Our special focus will be on those communities that are adjacent to the Paramos and Cloud Forests or other natural ecotypes. We will also plant to give conservation talks to these various communities, including in Yanta. This will occupy between 4 PM and 10 PM.

5. We will meet with the newly appointed Peruvian National Police chief in Ayabaca in order to introduce our team, explain the object and methods of our conservation work and present our “safe-passage” permit to him. This will occupy from 9 AM to Noon. Then between 2 PM and 8 PM, if all goes well, we will pack our equipment, provisions and other requirements for our conservation project.

6. Between 9 AM and 4 PM, we will meet with the mayor and town councilors of Ayabaca Municipality and with several other community and Rondas leaders, including those from Samanga and Aypate. Our objective will be to get to know these leaders and to coordinate conservation projects with them. And we will set up in advance our visits to the communities of Tapal and Yanta.

7. Between 5 AM and 8 PM, we will travel in our vehicle with all our equipment and provisions from Ayabaca to the community of Aypate in order to realize vital meetings with this town’s officials. Here we will inspect photos of noted archeological ruins, particularly the Incan citadel of Aypate. We will also gather information principally about the Andean Tapir, Spectacled Bear and endemic species whose classification by IUCN and/or Peru is either Threatened or Endangered with extinction. These species or their photographs or remains or spoor will be photographed for our report.

8. From 5 AM to 9 AM, we will travel from Aypate to the community of Samanga. Here we will meet with officials, inspect photos of the valuable archeological ruins, especially the “Petroglifos de Samanga” and gather information pertaining to the actual presence of the Andean/Mountain Tapirs, Spectacled Bears and other endemic species registered as Endangered with Extinction. These species or their images/remains/spoor will be photographed. This latter activity will last from 10 AM to 6 PM.

9. From 5 AM to 10 AM, we will travel from Samanga to the community of Tapal Alto. Here we will meet with the new community and Rondas officials and leaders. At these vital encounters, we will plan conservation strategies, policies and projects. I (Zegarra) will lay the groundwork for giving my talk “Agonia de los Tapires Andinos” in the community auditorium of nearby Yanta. Afterwards, we will enter by mule to the nearby present habitat of the Andean/Mountain Tapir, Spectacled Bear and other rare and/or endangered as well as endemic species. Here we will professionally assess the ecosystem as to its state of health and note any negative impacts and their causative factors in order to establish professional conservation plans to eliminate or at least mitigate these. We will carry out a professional assessment of ecosystem healthy by which to judge trends at future times when we, or others, revisit these projects. This monitoring will serve as a check on whether our programs are meeting their goals and objectives. Such important points as watershed healthy, water purity, diversity of plant, animal and decomposer species. Soils health, air purity and the presence or absence and relative frequency of rare and/or endemic species as well as threatened and/or endangered species (Both IUCN Red Listed & Peruvian Listed) will be observed, noted and photographed. A checklist form will be prepared to cover all these and other crucial observation and measurement categories. In the outstanding Tapal Alto, that Downer has visited along with many of the sites we will visit, we anticipate being able to take some magnificent photographs that will prove both the unique and astounding high biodiversity and endemism as well as the fascinating archeological remains. This will last from 10 AM to 6 PM (sunset). We will overnight in Tapal, either as guests in native homes or by camping out, for which we are ready.

10. From 6 AM to 1 PM, our conservation work will be conducted in the Paramo, Cloud Forest and other ecotypes, including bushy areas and riparian habitats, that occur within the jurisdiction of the community of Tapal Alto and within the presently occupied habitat of the Andean Tapir and Spectacled Bear. We will observe indicators of ecosystem well-functioning or its absence for soils, vegetation, animal and plant life and water bodies according to professional manuals and their recommended methods. At the same time. I will give guidance to “Los Guardianes de las Brumas de Ayabaca” (Protectors of the Misty Ayabacan Highlands) that I have worked with before.
From 1 PM to 6 PM, in the lower reaches of Tapal and Yanta, we will make a careful inspection of those areas where semi-wild burros are living. The team will do this throughout the 15-day expedition and take notes, GPS readings, and photos wherever these burros are encountered. They are currently being illegally killed and skinned to supply Chinese merchants in the global Asiatic Agaio trade. This commerce also involves clandestinely transporting them over the border from Peru to Ecuador where these merchants operate. We will overnight in the Tapal Bajo community.

11. From 6 AM to 8 AM, we will travel from Tapal Bajo to the community of Yanta. Here we will meet with two newly voted-in leaders to discuss and hopefully agree upon conservation plans for this region. We would stress progressive conservation of more habitats and the restoration of ever more natural and balanced habitats and Threatened/Endangered/Endemic species such as the Andean Tapir and also the persecuted burros. From 8 AM to 8 PM, we will organize a trip by mule into nearby Paramos and Cloud Forests that are presently inhabited by Andean Tapirs, Spectacled Bears and other species, including rare birds. Here we will take some spectacular photos illustrating many of the species we encounter, including those considered rare, threatened, endangered and/or endemic. GPS readings and notations will be taken too. We will also observe and photograph archeological remains, including some that have not been documented before, according to our sources. As we travel about, we will invite all the people we encounter to the presentation we will give on the following day in the community center of Tapal Bajo. We will overnight in Yanta.

12. From 6 AM to Noon, this day will be dedicated to field work in the Paramo and Cloud Forests within the jurisdiction of Yanta, including in areas presently inhabited by the Andean Tapir. Here again we will take stunning photos of the plant and animal species encountered together with GPS localizations, photo documentation of the condition of the soils, water sources, forests, meadows, paramos and other ecotypes, as well as all archeological remains encountered. We will take copious notes as we do this tour as guided and aided by the local cognoscenti. By Noon we will return to Yanta to pay a special visit to the graves of those valiant Conservation patrol members, or “Ronderos” who were murdered by their enemies – also terrible enemies of that beautiful and life-giving Natural Life Community they were defending. In the afternoon, we will prepare for the Community Conservation Talk that will be given in the community center together with a slide show.

13. From 5 AM to 9 AM, we will travel from Yanta back to the provincial capitol of Ayabaca. From 9 AM to 9 PM, we will renew contact with Sr. Celso Acuna Calle in an outlying area from Ayabaca. He is a life-long resident who has concerned himself with protecting the natural world and the ecological integrity of his cherished community. We will discuss and formulate plans to better Conservation Programs for the Community, relying heavily on Celso’s very sage experience and sound counsel. We will also go on an outing into the countryside to photograph, GPS locate and observe and describe species, ecosystem conditions, and related, as on the earlier days of this expedition. We will pass the night here in an encampment with our camping gear.

14. From 6 AM to 6 PM, we will enter the countryside as guided by Celso Acuna Calle to conduct the same kind of observations, gathering photos, GPS, etc., as on earlier days. We will overnight in the same encampment and start to compile our notes and data gathered.

15. From 6 AM to 2 PM, we will again go into the countryside to continue our ecological assessments and photograph, GPS, etc., as on earlier days. From 2 PM to 6 PM, we will return to Ayabaca and have a meeting wherein we will discuss our findings and conservation plants for the area.

Detailed Budget for Conservation Project from Zegarra-Pezo revised by Downer (11 Jan. 2022)
Item # Description of Project Component Cost in U.S. Dollars
1. Gathering of information, coordination to arrange for in-field project in Ayabaca province including meetings, field studies, species and ecosystem observations and presentations: $600

2. Rental of Four-Wheel-Drive vehicle for 10 days, including gas, oil, etc. $200 per day: $2,000

3. Chauffer for 10 days. $50 per day: $500

4. Armed guard & assistant. $100 per day for 15 days: $1,500

5. Purchase of camping & field study equipment as itemized below:
a. 3 tents @ $80: $240
b. 6 field, low temp. sleeping bags @ $30: $180
c. 3 internal tent lanterns @ $20: $60
d. 3 hand flashlights, rugged, field @ $30: $90
e. 1 GPS receiver: $200
f. 2 Compasses @ $50 [GPS is also a compass so possible reduction]: $100
g. Professional First Aid Kit: $60
h. 2 Field Survival Knives, top quality @ $40: $80
i. 2 Field machetes, top quality, @ $20: $40
j. Rope for various functions, attaching cargo, etc.: $50
k. Binoculars, top quality, field, outdoor: $100

6. Rental of 4 mules @ $40 per day for 4 days: $640

7. 3 field assistants @ $60 per day, to include food & basic provisions for entire team, for 10 days: $600

8. Emergency Fund, miscellaneous: $200

9. Administrative Costs of Andean Tapir Fund: $760

Total Budget in U.S. Dollars: $8,000

Why this Project is Important, from its in-field Leader: A. Zegarra-Pezo:
I have reduced the proposal cost as much as possible. The chauffer of the vehicle is very familiar with the route. Two reliable friends from the communities of Tapal and Yanta and the patrol groups, or Rondas, will serve as guides and have strong and reliable mules to serve us in the route. If something else is missing, it will be covered from the Emergency part of the budget.

The first step will involve preparations and information gathering. This will be concisely summated in my basic journal. It is very important that we carry out this field project before the rainy season that begins around March. It is also important that we avail ourselves of the willingness of veteran naturalist Celso to guide our team and help compose my professional justification for the permit and gather all the signatures of approval from all the rural Andean communities of Ayabaca Province and part of Huancabamba Province that exercise authority over the paramos, cloud forests and other ecotypes found in the Cerro Negro mountainous region where we will establish the ecological sanctuary. This document will also be countersigned upon approval by the Municipality of Ayabaca. For this reason, it is urgent that I hold meetings with them.

Soon the Peruvian National Constitution will be changed by Congress to make it less the servant of big exploiters of Nature such as the international mining companies that threaten the Cerro Negro region and many similar natural regions in Peru, including northwestern Peru in Piura State. It is certain that a few small nature reserves for the Andean Tapir and other important sympatric species such as Tabaconas-Namballe, have been established. However, these rare, threatened, endangered and/or endemic species and their respective and habitat necessities will need much larger protected areas if they are to survive and remain intact as long-term, genetically viable, and ecologically well-adapted populations long into the future. These relatively small declarations of the past have proven inadequate because their proponents have been overly beholden to mining and other nature-exploitative interests and have ignored and even mocked the rural communities that stand behind fulfilling the urgent need to protect and restore more of the natural ecosystems and their dependent species of such great variety as are to be encountered within the Huancabamba Depression area.

The valiant local resisters to mining takeover of the rural communities that have considerable legal authority over the paramos, cloud forests and other types of ecosystems found within Piura State – these stalwart and clear-headed people are now in the ascendant. Consequently, now is the ideal time to finally establish the Cerro Negro Nature Sanctuary.

Throughout my life I have sacrificed much and even endured several attempts on my life in order to prevent the destruction of the natural ecosystem and wildlife species, such as the endangered Mountain Tapir, the Critically Endangered White-Winged Guan (Penelope albipennis) once believed extinct but that managed to survive in certain very remote, rugged and isolated pockets of northwestern Peru in Piura State, Today with our new president Pedro Castillo who favors Nature Conservation and the Protection and Restoration of Ecosystems including in our highland watersheds, we have perhaps our final chance to really protect these species and ecosystems for which we have fought all of our lives. Let us not let this rare opportunity slip from our grasp!

As I hope you will see, we are in a crucial moment for the establishment of natural ecosystem protections that we have fought for over many years. Indeed, so much of this region’s populace, including the Tambogrande and San Lorenzo Valley, have resisted the large-scale mining takeover for over a century. We can now emerge victorious – all of us – since the timing is so perfect!
Faithfully Yours,

Alejandro Zegarra-Pezo (See resume below).

References:
https://andeantapirfund.com (many of the references mentioned have links here)
https://youtube.com/watch?v=zcWilarbToA ( A "Seed Species" is Going Extinct)



Curriculum Vitae of In-Field Project Director in Spanish:
HOJA DE VIDA
I-DATOS PERSONALES
Apellidos : Zegarra Pezo.
Nombres : Alejandro Augusto.
Edad : 59 años.
Domicilio : Sullana, Piura
Nacionalidad : Peruana.
Documento Nacional de identidad (DNI) : 03585432.
II.-ESTUDIOS.
Educación primaria : Centro Educativo Particular (CEP) María de los Ángeles, 1968-1972-Sullana.
Educación secundaria: Centro Educativo Particular (CEP) Santa Rosa 1972-1977 -Sullana.
Educación superior : Universidad Nacional de Piura 1978-1984, Programa académico: Ingeniería Zootécnica (estudios no concluidos.)
III.-PARTICIPACION EN CONGRESOS, SEMINARIOS Y CHARLAS.
1.-Asistente al VI Congreso Nacional de Ciencias veterinarias, Octubre 1980, Piura.
2.-Asistente al curso: “El costo unitario en una sola operación “-Instituto de estudios contables San Martin de Porres, Octubre de 1980.
3.-Asistente al Seminario Panel “Financiamiento de las pequeñas y medianas empresas de Sullana “, Noviembre de 1980.
4.-Ponente del curso de Taxidermia general en el Instituto Superior Pedagógico de Sullana, Diciembre de 1985.
5.-Ponente en el Fórum: Los Recursos Naturales de la Provincia de Sullana, Instituto Superior Pedagógico de Sullana, Octubre de 1980.
6.-Organizador y Ponente del Panel Fórum; Flora y Fauna Silvestre Perspectivas para su Conservación, Municipalidad Provincial de Sullana, Abril de 1997.
7.-Asesor y participante del taller sobre Planificación y manejo de áreas protegidas, Elaboración del Plan Operativo 1988-1989 del Parque Nacional Cerros de Amotape y directrices preliminares para el manejo de la Reserva de la Biosfera del Noroeste de Perú, Fundación Peruana para la Conservación de la Naturaleza (FPCN) y Fondo Mundial Para la Naturaleza (WWF), Tumbes 31 de Enero de 1988.
8.-Ponente del segundo curso de Taxidermia general en el Instituto Superior Pedagógico de Sullana. Mayo de 1990.
9.-Ponente de la charla: Los Recursos Naturales de la Región Grau en Rotary club de Sullana, Mayo de 1990.
10.-Ponente en la conferencia: “Coto de Caza El Angolo , patrimonio de la Región Grau ,Piura, Noviembre de 1990.
11.-Ponente de la charla: “La ecología y el turismo en la región Grau.”, Piura, Junio de 1990.
12.-Asesor y participante en el Taller participativo para la elaboración del Plan Operativo del Coto de Caza oficial El Angolo 1992-1993, Parques Nacionales Perú, Fundación Peruana Para la Conservación de la Naturaleza y Fondo Mundial para la vida silvestre (WWF) Sullana , Agosto de 1992.
13.-Participante en el Congreso: “Medio Ambiente y minería.”, Piura, Julio de 1994.
14.-Asesor y guía para la Universidad de Southampton (Inglaterra ) y la Universidad Nacional de Piura en el Coto de Caza el Angolo , JULIO DE 1995.
15.-Ponente del Curso Taller: “Capacitación Ecoturística en la Sub Región Luciano Castillo Colonna (Sullana) en la Municipalidad Provincial de Sullana del 17 al 23 de Setiembre de 1996.
16.-Delegado del VII Congreso Iberoamericano de Biodiversidad y Zoología de vertebrados, organizado por la Universidad Nacional de Piura en Mayo de 1994.
17.-Asesor para el Comité de playas de la Provincia de Talara y organizador y ponente de un programa de capacitación para conservación ecológica en todos los colegios Primarios y Secundarios de la Provincia de Talara durante 6 meses, Mancora , 1988-1999.
18.-Participante en el Fórum: “Curso Taller para conservación de playas. “, Organizado por el Comité de Gestión y Desarrollo Turístico de las Playas de la Provincia de Talara y eco- playas, Mancora, Febrero del 2000.
IV.-OTROS.
1.-Estudios y conservación de Tapires andinos (Tapirus pinchaque ) y especies simpátricas en los Paramos y Bosques de neblina de Piura .
2.-Investigaciones y ubicación de actuales hábitats de las especies endémicas de Piura registradas como en vías de extinción por la UICN .
3.-Estudios, conservación en estado silvestre de la Pava aliblanca (Penélope albipennis) y ubicación de sus actuales hábitats en Piura-Perú.
4.-Estudios, conservación en estado silvestre del Cocodrilo americano (Crocodilus acutus ) y ubicación de sus actuales hábitats en Piura-Perú.
5.-Estudios, conservación en estado silvestre de las nutrias del Noroeste (Loutra annenctens) y ubicación de sus actuales hábitats en Sullana.
6.-Estudios, conservación y ubicación de los actuales hábitats de caballos ferales en el desierto de Sechura (Piura-Perú.)
7.-Lider de los programas conservacionistas Provida-Dantas y Burros-Perú en Piura.
V.-EXPERIENCIA LABORAL.
1.-Asistente administrativo en Clínica Zegarra de Sullana, 1981-1982.
2.-Asistente Topográfico en “Guiulfo constructora de Caminos.”, Sullana, 1983.
3.-Coordinador de embarcaciones para Belco Petroleum Company en Talara –Perú, 1985.
4.-Tripulante de Pesca en Paita –Perú, 1986.
5.-Fundador del colectivo: “Asociación para conservación de la naturaleza del Noroeste Peruano”.
6.-Locutor ecológico en Radios La Capullana y 99.3 de Sullana , 1996 -1998 .
7.-Colaborador en distintas campañas para sensibilización ecológica en los periódicos El Tiempo y Correo de Piura , revista Rumbos del Perú y otros medios de difusión de Perú y el mundo (vía internet.)
8.-Presidente y fundador de Pro norte –Perú .


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Craig Downer 
Organizer
Minden, NV
Andean Tapir Fund (Wild Horse and Burro Fund) 
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