Kids Saving the Rainforest

Kids Saving the Rainforest – April 2024

Greetings from Kids Saving the Rainforest!

As passionate advocates for wildlife conservation, we are reaching out to you to share the remarkable progress and achievements that Kids Saving the Rainforest (KSTR) accomplished in the year 2023, thanks to the invaluable support of various local companies. Moreover, through this report, we aim to underscore the utmost importance of conservation.

The relentless increase in human consumption of natural resources has pushed numerous species onto the path of extinction. At Kids Saving the Rainforest, we have witnessed a significant surge in the number of animals requiring rescue, underscoring the urgency of our conservation efforts.

Consequently, we have felt an unwavering obligation to expand our projects and address the escalating demand for assistance and intervention. This includes substantial investments in research initiatives, reforestation programs, wildlife crossings, and community education endeavours.

We cordially invite you to extend your invaluable support to our conservation endeavours in Quepos and Manuel Antonio. By pooling our resources and leveraging our expertise in sustainability, we can forge a powerful alliance to tackle the critical challenges that jeopardise the region’s precious flora and fauna. Together, we can protect and enhance the ecosystem for the generations to come.

About Kids Saving the Rainforest

For the past twenty-five years, Kids Saving the Rainforest (KSTR) has been an influential non-profit organisation operating in Quepos and the Manuel Antonio area. Committed to education, awareness, and sustainable development, KSTR strives to emphasise the importance of conserving the region’s flora, fauna, and overall environment. The organisation emerged from the urgent need to preserve and protect the tropical rainforest and its wildlife from prevalent threats in the area.

The Pacific coast rainforest of Costa Rica faces an imminent risk of disappearance due to the expansion of the tourism industry, urbanisation, oil palm cultivation, and other agricultural activities. Human development has encroached upon wild spaces to a startling degree, leading to the displacement of numerous animals. The proliferation of roads, urban developments, logging routes, and palm plantations has fragmented habitats and disrupted their natural distribution areas. Consequently, the number of injured wild animals has increased, and species populations have experienced significant decline.

KSTR’s mission is to safeguard the diverse flora and fauna of Costa Rica’s Pacific coast through our various conservation projects. The central initiative of our organization is the KSTR Wildlife Rescue Center, where we rescue, rehabilitate, and release sick, injured, and orphaned animals back into their natural habitats. Animals that cannot be released, either due to being illegally kept as pets or due to permanent injuries or disabilities, receive lifelong care at the KSTR Wildlife Sanctuary.

Additionally, KSTR actively works to mitigate conservation issues by taking proactive approaches, including conducting ongoing research, implementing community education programs, participating in reforestation initiatives, and promoting the development of wildlife bridges. These comprehensive initiatives aim to promote long-term sustainability by addressing the underlying problems that necessitate animal rescue.

Wildlife Rescue Centre

Kids Saving the Rainforest manages the only authorized Rescue Centre in the cantons of Quepos and Parrita, which includes a wildlife veterinary clinic. Here, we rescue, treat, and rehabilitate injured, sick, and abandoned wild animals. Our dedicated team of professionals and volunteers provides cutting-edge care to over 300 rescued animals every year. Without this centre, the majority of these animals would not survive!

Tragically, many animals are injured or orphaned due to human-related causes, and the only way to help them is through human intervention. The most common reasons for rescues include electrocution injuries, road accidents, illegal pet trade, or attacks by dogs and cats.

The rescue centre plays a vital role in our conservation efforts as it allows us to rescue animals affected by habitat fragmentation and deforestation, human-wildlife conflicts, and provides a database to record the reasons for animal rescues. This information helps us understand the impact on species populations and seek solutions.

In the past year and a half, we have seen a tripling in the number of animals we rescue. As a result, we have had to increase our staff and resources to meet the demand for all the animals in need of assistance. We need funds to cover the operational expenses of the Wildlife Rescue Centre, but additional funds are also needed for the maintenance and construction of enclosures in the pre-rehabilitation, rehabilitation, and pre-release areas. These enclosures are essential for the animals’ well-being and successful reintegration into the wild.

Animals rescued by KSTR in 2023 due to human-wildlife conflicts

During the year 2023, Kids Saving the Rainforest received a total of 228 animals, of which 141 were mammals, 79 birds, and nine reptiles. Out of these, 64 individuals were rescued due to direct or indirect human related causes. The most prevalent causes were seizures resulting from the illegal possession of species, electrocutions from power lines, and attacks by domestic animals such as dogs and cats. These are followed by other causes such as vehicle collisions (cars, boats, etc.), injuries inflicted directly by humans with bladed weapons (e.g., machetes), injuries/fractures associated with human infrastructure (e.g., cables, windows), pet trade, and fishing waste (lines and hooks).

These numbers are subject to some margin of error, as in many cases, the lack of detailed information about the reason for rescue can lead to an underestimation of these results. Especially with orphaned babies and fledglings, they have not been included since, in many cases, they do not require real assistance, and people bring them to the rescue centre mistakenly believing they need help and have been abandoned by their mother. It is also worth noting that while reptiles do not represent a significant portion of the animal influx, 77.7 percent of them enter the centre due to anthropogenic causes.

Castration/Vaccination Campaigns for Dogs and Cats

In December 2023, KSTR launched castration and vaccination campaigns to address the pressing need for controlling the population of freely roaming dogs and cats, thereby minimising their interactions and negative impact on wildlife.

Kids Saving the Rainforest frequently encounters cases of wild animals that have fallen victim to attacks by dogs and cats, as well as mammals affected by diseases transmitted by domestic pets. Through our castration campaigns, we actively contribute to managing the overpopulation of dogs and cats, thus reducing the risk of wild animals falling prey to domestic pets.

To date, we have successfully neutered 60 domestic animals. The generous sponsorship of Pacific Paradise Resort, Miguelito’s Pizza Express, Sabromar, and Restaurante Marlin has played a crucial role in covering the costs associated with veterinary surgeons performing the surgeries, including anaesthesia, medications, vaccines, de-wormers, and other essential materials. Their invaluable support has enabled us to carry out these campaigns effectively and make a significant impact.