COMING BACK HOME
Every year, millions of wild animals are removed from nature by human activities or as its a consequence. The causes are diverse: deforestation, pollution, attack by domestic animals, being run over, wildlife trafficking, among others. Many of these animals are sent to the Wild Animal Screening Centers (CETAS), either through seizures by inspection agencies, rescues, or voluntary delivery by the population. Due to the large number of animals illegally removed from the wild, the CETAS often end up operating at full capacity.
After a period of rehabilitation that can vary from a few days to years, some animals have health and behavioral conditions to return to nature. The release of these animals, when done under technical criteria, in addition to bringing benefits to the well-being and health of ecosystems, also serves to make room for other animals to be rehabilitated in the CETAS.
The release process is provided for by law and regulated by Normative Instruction 23/2014 of the Brazilian Environmental Agency (IBAMA). However, depending on the species, this can be complex and laborious, requiring field logistics that are often beyond the operational capabilities of the CETAS team and inspection agencies. Because of this, some animals end up staying longer than necessary in captivity and lose the opportunity to be released.
In Santa Catarina, the only CETAS in the state is located in Florianópolis and since June 2019 it has been co-managed by the Espaço Silvestre Institute (IES), in partnership with the Environment Institute of Santa Catarina State (IMA). As in most CETAS in Brazil, CETAS-SC receives thousands of animals per year, many of which can return to nature.
And this is where Silvestres SC comes into action!
With extensive experience in wildlife management, IES set up a task force with the support of partner institutions to, through the Silvestres SC Program, carry out the release and monitoring of wild animals rehabilitated at CETAS-SC throughout the state of Santa Catarina. Thus, the program aims to increase the capacity to receive animals for rehabilitation at CETAS, in addition to contributing to animal welfare and the conservation of native wildlife. In addition to responsible releases, the Program also proposes to reintroduce species that were locally extinct in strategic locations, contributing to the maintenance of healthier ecosystems throughout the state.
The Vinaceous-breasted Amazon Reintroduction Project in the Araucárias National Park/SC is now part of the Silvestres SC Program. Click below to know more about the project:
Mission and objectives:
(1) Guarantee the destination of fauna with responsible releases for conservation purposes or not;
(2) Promote the restoration of ecological interactions that were lost in defaunated forests;
(3) Conduct monitoring of small, medium and large vertebrates in forest remnants in Santa Catarina;
(4) Create a fundraising network for the cause of wild animals;
(5) Develop technical training work, environmental awareness and social communication
DEFAUNATION AND REINTRODUCTION
Biodiversity loss is one of the greatest challenges humanity has to face today. Thousands of species are disappearing every year and at an accelerating rate, and many more are facing a reduction in the number of individuals in the wild. In the last four decades alone, there has been a loss of approximately 30% of the abundance of terrestrial vertebrates, mainly in tropical regions. As a result, forests and other environments are becoming devoid of animals, a process known as defaunation, which has numerous consequences for the functioning and maintenance of these environments. When an animal goes extinct or occurs in very low numbers in one location, it also loses the ecological interactions that the species participates in.
In this context, in addition to population reinforcement through responsible releases, a possible approach that has been increasingly used to reverse the problems caused by defaunation is the reintroduction of species in places within their naturally occurring areas, but which are locally extinct (Seddon et al. 2007; IUCN/SSC 2013).
Thus, in addition to meeting the disposal demands of CETAS and rehabilitation institutions, these approaches bring the benefit of animal welfare and enable them to fulfill their biological role in nature, reversing the defaunation process and contributing to the restoration of ecosystems.
Possui residência médica, mestrado e doutorado em medicina veterinária pela Universidade Estadual Paulista, UNESP, campus de Botucatu na área de inspeção e tecnologia de produtos de origem animal com ênfase em saúde pública, zoonoses, epidemiologia, bioestatística, biologia molecular e microbiologia. Durante sua carreira acadêmica esteve envolvida em projetos de extensão nos quais abordava temas como boas práticas no campo e sustentabilidade agropecuária. Foi voluntária do CETAS-SC em 2019, pouco antes da pandemia, com o objetivo de ressignificar sua profissão e migrar para a área de ecologia.
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