NEWSLETTER 1 (2008)
Project Progress Summary
Dear friends of Rainsong, March 12, 2008
Greetings from paradise !!!
Hope all is well in your world !!!
Here at Rainsong we have some exciting news !!!
Finally, after almost 2 years of bureaucratic redtape and delays, we have received our permits from MINAE !!!
Since March 2005 we have been caring for animals and birds in our Wildlife Rescue Center.
When possible we treat and release.
We’ve notified the communities in the area that our Wildlife Rescue Center is now operating, so we’re expecting to rescue more animals and birds as people become increasingly aware of the Sanctuary. We hope people will make more of an effort to rescue wildlife, now that there’s a Sanctuary established in the area for their welfare.
We are currently caring for several animals that are not candidates for release due to permanent injuries. These animals will be involved in our Reproduction for Reintroduction Programs.
We are also reproducing the Red River Turtle, the most endangered terrestrial turtle specie in Costa Rica.
Reproduction of this specie in captivity is very difficult. If we succeed, we’ll be the first to accomplish it. The first turtle egg was laid November 16, 2006. Our biologists tell us the incubation period is over 4 months !!! May 1st, 2007 our first egg hatched !!! We currently have 21 turtles (3 species), and we have released many others. Our turtles are obviously happy with their garden habitat. They continually lay more eggs. We have over 20 eggs in incubation at the moment.
Our Conservation Education Program has been very successful. In 2006 we made numerous presentations with biologists and scientists in the local elementary schools of Cabuya, Montezuma, Delicias, and Cobano. We hope to cultivate and promote awareness and respect for animals’ rights amongst the schoolchildren. December 16,
2006 Rainsong organized an Excursion for 24 schoolkids –winners of one of our Conservation Education contests—to visit Curu. Curu is a private reserve near Paquera which is pioneering the reintroduction of scarlet macaws and spider monkeys.
In 2007 Rainsong began sponsoring excursions for the schoolchildren in the local elementary schools. They visit the animals in our Rescue Center, then go for a hike thru the Reserva Cabo Blanco with a wildlife guide provided by Rainsong, then enjoy a picnic lunch (also provided by Rainsong) and receive prizes and toys that Rainsong volunteers have brought as donations. Transportation for the groups is provided FREE by Keiner at Transportes Rodriguez in Cobano. THANK YOU KEINER !!!
Rainsong is also sponsoring many other activities in the local schools, such as : artcamps, drawing contests, story contests, and conservation awareness talks, all with the help of Rainsong volunteers.
If you would like to help us with our Conservation Education Program, please send us an email (subject title: MARY – SCHOOLKIDS). The prizes we award to the children are donated by Rainsong volunteers from all over the world. They bring the prizes with them when they come to Costa Rica to help with Rainsong’s projects.
We are currently organizing materials for a CD to be awarded to the children. We need material contributions regarding many different themes besides Conservation Education. Personal hygiene, personal safety, social skills, etc. are some of the additional subjects we’d like to cover in our CD. If you can contribute to this effort please send the material to our email address (subject title: MARY—CD FOR KIDS). We also need drawings of birds, animals, reptiles, and insects to be used for coloring books for the kids.
Richard Stocker, of Hotel Amor de Mar in Montezuma kindly donated his unique art for coloring books for the kids. THANK YOU RICHARD !!!!! Richard designs coloring books for young cancer patients. For more info contact him by email > firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com
Hotel Amor de Mar is one of our sponsors who helps us with a monthly donation of $20 towards animal care costs – vet visits, medicines, etc. We need more monthly support to continue expanding our capacity to care for more animals. If you can help please contact us !!!
Every Monday Mary goes to the veggie fair in Cobano to buy fruits and veggies for the animals in the Rescue Center. Miguel and Chico (Verduras de la Peninsula) generously give Rainsong discounts and often freebies for the animals. Mary spends usually $90 to $120 weekly just for fruits and veggies.
Much of the fruits and veggies for the animals we grow or gather at Rainsong…….. Bananas, plantain, coconuts, papaya, breadfruit nuts (castana), cacao pods, palm nuts, guava (guayaba), tamarindo, starfruit (carambola), Ylang Ylang berries, water apple (manzana agua), caimeto and other zapotes (custard apple family), sweet mandarin oranges, mangos & avocados when in season, sprouts, guanabana, hibiscus flowers……
Significant Fact > Many of you may have heard of Flower Essences, used as medicinals. Flowers have a curative vibration that modern man is just beginning to explore. Our biologists tell us flowers are a very important part of most wildlife species’ natural diet. We provide flowers to all our furred & feathered citizens at Rainsong, turtles & reptiles, too.
Ed at Hotel el Ancla de Oro in Cabuya continues to be a great ally to Rainsong. He allows Rainsong volunteers to stay at his hotel for half price. Also our biologists, veterinarians, zoologists, and other scientists who come to help Rainsong stay at Ed’s hotel for a discount. THANK YOU ED !!!
Geoff & Karen McCabe , of Delicias de Montezuma, continue to be tirelessly faithful in their concern & support for the Rainsong project. Thru Geoff, Tropisphere Realty has also made significant contributions to the project, THANK YOU GEOFF, KAREN, & TROPISPHERE !!!!
Because we accept ALL species into the Rescue Center, our Management Plan was necessarily complicated & bulky. A team of 3 biologists (headed by our beloved friend Costa Rican wildlife biologist Johnny Villareal) worked in their spare time for 6 months organizing all the caretaking data for each species. This cost Rainsong $2000 US !!!(half-price !!!). Geoff and Karen personally paid $1200 of this cost. The rest of the money we raised thru our Reforestation Program. We help landowners plan their reforestation projects. To promote reforestation in the area we sell rare & endangered tropical hardwoods and native fruit trees for only $1 each. For tree lists visit our Website.
Jeano and Sandy Hebert of La Abuela de Tambor have been extremely generous in helping the project. We deeply appreciate their willingness to spend their time & resources to help the Sanctuary. THANK YOU JEANO AND SANDY !!!!
Errol Castro, owner of Ferroca Ferreteria y Deposito, S.A. in Cobano has been exceptionally generous , by granting Rainsong huge discounts on materials for constructing enclosures for the animals . Also , Errol has been AND CONTINUES TO BE extremely patient regarding payments. We appreciate greatly his cooperative support for the Sanctuary. THANK YOU ERROL !!!!
We’d like to thank all the volunteers who’ve come from all over the planet to help us with the Sanctuary project.We’ve met some wonderful friends thru the volunteer programs. .MUCH THANKS TO ALL OF YOU !!! The volunteers’ lodging fees help provide for food and medicine for the Sanctuary animals.
VISITORS’ DONATIONS – MUCH THANKS to all the unnamed visitors who have toured our facilities and made donations to Rainsong. Until we obtain funding thru grants we will continue to operate thru donations, the volunteers’ fees, and our personal $. The donations are vital to the ongoing operations of the Rescue Center.
THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH !!!
FUNDING > To fund the construction of the larger enclosures in the Sanctuary up on the farm, we have decided to sell one or more lots (1000 meters, or more). The spots available have panoramic views, very lovely. If you or anyone you know is interested in being our neighbor, please send an email (subject title: MARY—LOTS ) . We can send you photos of the views (Pacific Ocean, Isla Cabuya, the jungle mountains of the Reserva Cabo Blanco), and photos of our private waterfall in virgin forest. We’re trying to be patient, waiting for the perfect neighbor. Yet, we’re very anxious to continue construction of the Sanctuary on the farm. Spread the word !!!
SLOTH SEARCH > Our efforts to find witnesses of sloth sightings in the area continue. A surprising incident in May 2006 validated our claim. MINAE officials found a baby sloth on the fence of the Delicias cementery !!
They sent it to the sloth rescue center on the Carribean coast. If we had facilities ready, we could have received it here at Rainsong. What a disappointment !!! But , regardless, we’re excited by this incident ! Proof positive that our claim is correct !!! And this time MINAE officials are our witnesses.!!! Consequently, we expect to encounter less resistance from MINAE regarding our plans for a sloth reproduction for reintroduction program. We hope to build the enclosures soon, and start the paperchase for permission to bring sloths for breeding purposes from the sloth rescue center near Cahuita, Limon Province. See new updates on our website.
Many biologists, veterinarian students & licensed doctors, scientists, zoologists, etc. from Costa Rica and many other countries (USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, England, France, Spain, etc.) have been helping us generously with animal caretaking advice, designs for enclosures, decisions regarding topographical layouts in the Sanctuary, technical information, and documents regarding other aspects of establishing a wildlife rescue center.
We would like to thank all those who are helping us with consultations and advice. Also, please contact us if you have advice or information to contribute.
CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS COMPLETED TO DATE: (all costs are estimates)
ELECTRIC installations to Sanctuary – $800
WATER installations to Sanctuary -- $1000 +
Volunteers Lodge – $6000 + -- 2-story house with kitchen, shower, and bathroom. Sleeps 10, dorm-style.
(needs exterior walls before rainy season).
Loft House (“Honeymoon Hut”) -- $2000 + (still needs cement floor and fixtures).
Landscaping and Development of Butterfly Gardens (open-air) – with help from our friend and butterfly expert
Gene Rooks of Puntarenas.
1. 2 meter x 3m chainlink enclosure with cement floor and pool. Suitable for wildcats, sainos, or other
large animals. $2000+
- 5m x 4m enclosure for Raymond Jr., our peacock friend/gate guard. $800 +
- AVIARY – 3m x 7m x 3m tall screened habitat for all our rescued birds (small species). We have 10 residents (at the moment), 5 species. $2500 (still needs cement floor and pool).
- Garden Habitat for the Reproduction of Turtle Species -- 6m x 6m enclosure with new swimming pool for aquatic species. $1500 +++ We have to re-cement the pool now because a slight tremor in December cracked the new pool in several places.
- 3m x 3m x 3m tall chainlink house with cement floor and pool. $800 Intensive Care housing. Has been home to tepezquintles, hurt owls, recovering pelicans, “Nipper” pisoti, and porcupines (exercise room).
- Monkey House for “Tarzan”, our rescued one-armed white-face monkey – 2m x3m x 1 1/2m tall, (chainlink, gravel floor) $400
- Kinkajou House for “Kinky” our recovered kinkajou (25% of her body was burned by electrocution on the ICE primary lines) – 3m x 4m x 3m tall screened house with cement floor $500+
- Porcupine Sunroom for our growing population of arboreal porcupines. 3m x 4m x 4m tall screened house with cement floor and pool. $700
- Various large cages for intensive care housing in the hospital. $40 each.
- 7m x 7m Piñuela (cactus) Living Fence enclosure for our resident collared peccary (saino) “Piggle”
Cost – 6 trips hauling cactus in Manuel’s pickup truck (c15,000 each trip , that’s $30 x 6 = $180.
PLUS : “gallons” of sweat & blood from the volunteers who helped transport and plant all those
darn prickly cactus !!! THANKS , ALL OF YOU !!! That was a real labor of love !!! For our
SPECIAL THANKS TO >
Our treasured friend. The future of the Sanctuary project is secure in the hands of Ben, & other nature-lovers like him !!!
Computer genious (he helps mary with the website) and Hotel el Ancla de Oro owner
Marta Guardia – our legal eagle
Geoff & Karen McCabe
Dr. Vet. Johanna Ramirez Granados
Memo Cordero (our construction boss) & Carmen (his wife), who helps with animal care
Biologist Natalia Corrales
Gene Rooks – butterfly expert and consultant
Johnny Villareal Orias – Costa Rican Wildlife Biologist – Management Plan Supervisor
Susan Rhind & Murray Ellis – Australian Zoologists
Rodney Slade and Tesco U.K. for a gift of 30 kilos of stainless steel pots and pans for Rainsong
Colegio de Biologos de Costa Rica
Happy trails !!!
Mary & Simon at Rainsong