In 2014, the organization Fundación Conservación, Naturaleza y Vida (CONAVI) was selected by Rainforest Biodiversity Group to receive a $2,000 small grant for its project Shielding from extinction the Pigmy Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus) of Escudo de Veraguas Island. With only a small population confined to small Escudo de Veraguas island off the coast of Panama, the pygmy three-toed sloth is the most endangered of all anteaters, sloths and armadillos. It is listed as Critically Endangered by IUCN and its habitat is confined to the red mangrove forest that surrounds this 533-hectare island.
The main objectives of the project are to:
- Continue the sloth population and behavioral ecology study by closing the gaps of information regarding population, habitat use and behavioral ecology. This includes monitoring of 10 already radio-tagged individual pigmy sloths over a 10-month period.
- Further collaborate with local stakeholders in enforcing protection regulations for Escudo de Veraguas and its biodiversity by supporting patrolling activities and setting up protection infrastructure and the organizational base already, to prevent the illegal taking of pigmy sloths that we experienced and stopped in 2013.
- Training of 50 Gnobe Bugle fishermen in nature tourism as alternative means of income generation.
We are very excited to be working with CONAVI and look forward to sharing their progress with you.