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Conserving Costa Rica’s sloths through education and habitat conservation

The lack of public awareness about the specific needs of sloths and how to protect them, as well as the uncontrolled and unplanned urban expansion that is destroying their natural habitat, are some of the major challenges facing the protection of this species in the country.

This was announced by The Sloth Conservation Foundation (SloCo), a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of sloths in Costa Rica. Cecilia Pamich, director of growth and communications at SloCo, noted that specific actions are still needed to protect this species.

For example, she mentioned that some of the actions SloCo has developed include leading education and awareness efforts at the national and international levels to reduce the illegal sloth trade.

They are also working on community training to mitigate the human impact. In addition, they have promoted collaboration with local and national authorities, such as ICE and SINAC, to improve conservation policies. SloCo conducted a sloth census to determine the population in the area of ​​Puerto Viejo, Limón.

“Since its inception, the foundation has worked extensively on scientific research to better understand the needs of sloths, implementing community reforestation programs, installing sloth tree bridges and other habitat conservation initiatives,” Pamich said.

To make all these projects a reality, the foundation has fundraising initiatives such as buttons that allow people to ‘adopt’ a sloth. This program allows people to select one of the animals the foundation has identified in the area, and without removing the animal from its natural habitat, interested parties can make donations that will directly benefit the care of the sloth provided by the foundation has been ‘adopted’. donors.

Representatives of the Sloth Conservation Foundation (SloCo) are calling on Costa Ricans to help protect sloths by reporting sightings of these animals to local organizations, being respectful of wildlife in general when visiting national parks, reserves or beaches, and to promote information for foreign visitors, and to avoid the exploitation of animals for tourism purposes.

To date, SloCo has installed 286 slot junctions and 12 insulated electrical transformers. It has also held lectures for more than 7,000 sloth school students and planted more than 8,000 trees in the area.