Every year, millions of wild animals are removed from nature by human activities or as a result of them. The causes are diverse: deforestation, pollution, attacks by domestic animals, pedestrians being run over, trafficking in wild animals, among others. Many of these animals are sent to the Wild Animal Screening Centers (CETAS), either through apprehensions by inspection bodies, rescues or voluntary delivery by the population. Due to the high number of animals illegally removed from the wild, CETAS often end up operating at full capacity.
After a rehabilitation period 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 carried out 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 CETAS. The release process is provided for by law and is regulated by IBAMA IN 05/2021. However, depending on the species, this can be complex and laborious, demanding field logistics that are often beyond the operational capabilities of the CETAS team and the inspection bodies. Due to 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 Instituto Espaço Silvestre (IES), in partnership with Instituto do Meio Ambiente (IMA). As in most CETAS in Brazil, CETAS-SC receives thousands of animals per year, many of which can be returned to nature.
And this is where Silvestres SC comes into action!
With vast experience in fauna 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. In this way, 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 wild fauna. 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 Red-breasted Parrot Reintroduction Project in the Araucárias National Park/SC is now part of the Silvestres SC Program.Click here to find out more about our roxinhos project.
(1) Ensure the destination of fauna with responsible releases for conservation purposes;
(2) Promote the restoration of ecological interactions that have been lost in defaunated forests;
(3) Monitor small, medium and large vertebrates in forest remnants in Santa Catarina;
(4) Create a fundraising network for the cause of wild animals;
(5) Develop work on technical training, environmental awareness and social communication.
Biodiversity loss is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity today. Thousands of species are disappearing every year and at an accelerated pace, 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 vertebrate animals, mainly in tropical regions. As a result, forests and other environments are becoming empty of animals, a process known as defaunation, which has numerous consequences for the functioning and maintenance of these environments. When an animal becomes extinct or occurs in very low numbers in one location, there is also a loss of 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 areas of natural occurrence, but which are locally extinct (Seddon et al. 2007; IUCN/SSC 2013).
Thus, in addition to meeting the demands for the disposal of CETAS and rehabilitation institutions, these approaches benefit animal welfare and enable them to fulfill their biological role in nature, reversing the process of defaunation and contributing to the restoration of ecosystems. .
Maria Luiza Ramos
Raiane S. Guidi