Forest Monkey Tales: How I make the decision to dedicate my life to monkeys?

In today’s post I want to talk about my decision to dedicate my life to monkeys. This question was asked in a twitter feed a couple of weeks ago. For some people the decision to dedicate their lives to a specific group of organisms was one they make early in life. For others has been a search after working with different groups.

In my case, I decide about my career in my childhood. However, my decision to dedicate my life to study monkeys came later, when I was at university. When I decide to study biology, I was thinking to dedicate my life to marine mammals, especially dolphins and whales. However, studying these animals in Colombia means a few opportunities and high costs.

During my career I was fortunate enough to spent time on different groups and to take advantages of different experiences, one of which take me to Tinigua National Park to study monkey’s behavior. It was there in the middle of the forest, observing a group of red howler monkeys, that I make my decision of dedicate my life to study monkeys. It wasn’t always easy, especially in a country like Colombia in which dedicate your life to research outside a university is full of challenges.

So, in my case it was a process, that take several years and some experiences with different groups, as well as taking advantage of the opportunities that life give me. Probably the best way to answer this question is a combination of luck, experiences, take advantage of opportunities and persistence to follow your dreams…

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Monkey Forest Tales: Why is so important to reduce and control plastics use in natural areas?

On today’s post we want to reinforce the importance to control and reduce plastics use in natural areas. We all have heard about world campaigns to reduce and control plastic use, especially in national parks, forested areas, rivers and oceans.

But why is so important to reduce this type of waste? Because plastics, like plastic bottles, plastic plates and plastics glasses are garbage that last too long to decompose and remains in the forest, rivers, lakes, and oceans for several thousand years.

Additionally, this kind of waste usually damage the fauna that live in these areas. For example, plastic bags in the water looks like jellyfish swimming and sea turtles eat them by mistake, causing them to die drowned. Several species of birds have been found dead because they eat plastic pieces instead of food and died of hunger.

In the study area of Zocay Project, during different months of the year we found plastic waste in different areas of the forest. Most of this plastic waste came from other farms and from people passing through roads and farms and not taking their garbage with them.

During rainy season, streams and rivers increase their levels and the water drags all these plastics inside the forest, and it accumulates on stream curves. During dry season, streams reduce its levels and some of the plastics that went down to the bottom, become visible.

So, if you visit natural areas such as farms, national parks, rivers, and ocean, before going back to your homes, take with you all those plastics and recycle them in your city to reduce the effect of this kind of waste in our environment.

© Copyright Disclaimer. All pictures used on this web page are protected with copyrights to Xyomara Carretero-Pinzón. If you want to use any of these pictures, please leave a message on the website. Thank you.