Kids Saving the Rainforest and Blue Banyan Inn: A Symbiotic Relationship

Blue Banyan Inn

Did you know that Kids Saving the Rainforest manages a Bed & Breakfast to help raise funds to save the rainforest and wildlife in the area? We realize that very few people do!  KSTR has been managing the Blue Banyan Inn (BBI) for over 3 years now!

BBI consists of 3 luxury cottages with a panoramic view of the mountains, a spectacular swimming pool, and a beautiful restaurant for daily breakfasts, just10 minutes from Maxi Pali, 15 minutes from Quepos and Marina and 30 minutes from the National Park/main beach.

Even more great news, BBI lets volunteers use the gorgeous swimming pool whenever they have down-time! Plus there is a great labyrinth and even a nursery that grows food for sloths.  Internet is great with a KSTR tower. BBI also lets KSTR use the kitchen and restaurant where the volunteers have a group lunch daily from 12 – 1:30 PM.

To make it even sweeter, BBI offers the B&B lobby as a greeting area for KSTR’s tours, a refreshment area after the tours, and has lent space for KSTR set up a store to raise money for the wildlife in their care. KSTR also has a volunteer center (that can sleep up to 18 people) on the property, for volunteers residing on the property.

You can’t ask for a more generous opportunity than that and KSTR is extremely grateful!

Blue Banyan Inn (BBI) is owned by a family who actually live on the property. So it is a win-win situation and Kids Saving the Rainforest wants to thank the Braman/Thompson family for their generosity. And a special thanks to Chip and Jennifer for having the KSTR Wildlife Sanctuary and Rescue Center location on their property. Learn more at bluebanyaninn.com

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Release of Squirrel Monkeys at KSTR

Margarita with Squirrel monkeys for articleBy Volunteer Margarita Samsonova

Kids Saving the Rainforest is in the process of establishing a reintroduction program for squirrel monkeys. Central American squirrel monkeys, also known as Saimiri oerstedi, are nearly extinct in Panama and are threatened in Costa Rica. There are only 4,000 individuals living in the wild, mostly in Manuel Antonio and Corcovado National Parks, located on Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.

The low population of Central American squirrel monkeys makes reintroduction programs of these species very important to sustain the population and help reproduction. In order for the release to be successful, the monkey’s behavior and its predator responses are tested to see what chance the animal has to survive in the wild. The project requires sustained long term observations and research to ensure a successful reintroduction into the wild.

One of our volunteers, Margarita Samsonova, is dedicating her time to observing candidates for release and has been testing their ability to respond to predators. The predator experiments were set on the monkeys six times using the scents of predators who are also rehabilitating in the rescue center. Scents of animals who hunt squirrel monkeys in Costa Rica such as dogs, white- faced monkeys, kinkajous and hawks were used along with their recorded vocalizations to test predator response. Pieces of cloth were placed in the predators’ enclosures overnight and then placed with the vocal recordings in the squirrel monkey enclosure the next day.

A few of the squirrel monkeys had previously been kept as pets, so it is crucial to observe their reaction and behavior to get an idea of whether the release would be successful or not. It was observed that only four of the six candidates displayed “appropriate” behavior and reacted to the predator sound and smell the same as a squirrel monkey in the wild would. Two of those candidates didn’t approach the cloth with scent, meaning that they sensed the predators’ presence and didn’t want to risk danger. The other two squirrel monkeys, after some time observing the cloth, did get the food from it but retreated to eat it, which could mean that they saw no presence of predators and decided to quickly grab the food—a normal behavior of squirrel monkeys in the wild. The remaining two individuals came right to the cloth once it was put out; they didn’t react to any vocalizations and didn’t move from the cloth to eat the food, which could mean that those animals were domesticated and may have lost their natural instinct.

The testing of behavior will continue until the beginning of April and the planned release is in mid-April. It is believed that pre-release monitoring and experiments will help to determine an estimation of which of the candidates would have high survival rates during reintroduction.

New Kids Saving the Rainforest Wildlife Sanctuary Tour!!

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Who’s been here to experience our tour? What ! You have never been? Check out what you’re missing! Tours will start up again on 12/22, so book your reservation!

New Kids Saving the Rainforest (KSTR) Wildlife Tour

By Dani Dion, Doglandia Manager and KSTR Volunteer

KIDS SAVING THE RAINFOREST, (so named when it was started 15 years ago by two 9-year old girls), specializes in the RESCUE & RELEASE of wild animals. There are SO many special success stories to share and hear from the animal caretaker! However, there are many animals, which cannot be released, and KSTR offers safe sanctuary to them. They are given an environment in which they can thrive and enjoy life, along with great nourishment and care! As you can imagine, this takes a good deal of time and money to run a rescue center/sanctuary, which is primarily funded from donations, volunteer stays and tours.

KSTR is a registered non-profit organization in the US, and one of the few MINAE-approved, legal rescue centers in the country.

We invite you to take this special TOUR and come see the dedication and love it takes to help save these rainforest animals—over 130 animals every year.

Meet our precious Monkeys up close—the endangered Titi Squirrel, Whiteface Capuchin, Spiders, Marmosets, and Tamarins!

Other animals like a kinkajou, a porcupine and different parrots and more will also be seen on the tour!

-One of our Animal Caretakers will take you through the Wildlife Sanctuary so you can see and learn about wildlife animals.

-Our Vet Tech will introduce you to a 2 toed or 3-toed sloth or another recently rescued animal being rehabilitated and being prepped for release in our Rescue Center Clinic. You will have a close, clear view through our clinic window and appreciate the care given to these animals.

-You will also walk through the largest enclosed cage in Central America and see animals all around you!

-A light snack will be served after the 2-hour tour!

-Donation of:-$40 for adults and $25 for children under 18!

The tour is located about 7kms outside of Quepos Central on the property of the Blue Banyan Inn, part of a 70 acre property that has a mountain view and are surrounded by primary and secondary rainforests!

The tour is available Monday, Wednesday,Friday and Sunday
from 9 to 11 AM. Reservations are necessary. Special tours for groups can also be arranged.

You can drive there or have KSTR arrange transportation, (which is not included in the tour price). For directions go to bluebanyaninn.com

Please contact volunteer@kstr.org or call us at 2777-2572 or 1548 or 2592 to make arrangements. You will enjoy this special tour, the only one of its kind in the area and learn so much more about KIDS SAVING THE RAINFOREST and how you can help save the rainforest!

Kids Saving The Rainforest Monkey Bridges

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April 2013

By Jennifer Rice PhD, President of Kids Saving the Rainforest

In the year 2000, a group called Amigos Del Monos came to Kids Saving the
Rainforest (KSTR) and told us that they could not get ICE, (the Electric
Company), to help them put up monkey bridges. They felt that KSTR could
get their attention.

Luckily we were able to do so and the KSTR Monkey Bridge Program was
started. Here is what most people want to know when learning about our
bridges.

· KSTR works with ICE & our KSTR Monkey Bridge team; Rocio, Lenin, and
Tio.

· To date we have put up over 170 bridges & maintained them on a
monthly basis.

· Currently there are 130 functioning monkey bridges.

· The others have come down because of development and loss of monkey
habitat.

· We put up a bridge wherever there is a need for one, where a monkey
has been electrocuted or hit.

· They are used to keep monkeys away from live wires and from getting
hit by cars.

· We make sure the branches of trees don’t grow into live wires near
bridges.

· Where troops can’t reach other troops for breeding, we put bridges.

· The rope for the bridges is very costly and each bridge costs $100
to put up!

·The Titi monkey has been on the critically endangered UN list since
1997.

· All of this subspecies live in our area.

· At the last official count there were estimated to be only 1200 of
this subspecies left in the world.

· Our unofficial data by Lenin Roseles states that we now have over
3000 Titis!

· We are going to be doing an official count as soon as possible.

· KSTR is very grateful to have helped make saving this species
possible.

· Please support our monkey bridge program by adopting a bridge.

· If you want a bridge, please go to adopt a bridge at:
http://www.kidssavingtherainforest.org

Thanks so much for reading this article and please contact us if you want
more information. You can also visit our Souvenir Store where 100% of the
proceeds go to save the rainforest. It is located at the Hotel Mono Azul
in Manuel Antonio.


Jennifer Rice
President
Kids Saving The Rainforest
http://www.kidssavingtherainforest.org

1/13/13 KSTR Mono Awareness/Beach Cleanup Project

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The purpose of this project was to educate the public, locals, vendors, and visitors about the dangers of feeding the monkeys. We were armed with flyers of 11 reasons why this is harmful to the monkeys. Also we charted the results as a field study recording how many groups we spoke with, whether or not they spoke English, if the people we spoke with were receptive, and finally, and mostly importantly, if they were informed.