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Animal Rehabilitation & Rainforest Conservation Merazonia

Merazonia

Animal Rehabilitation & Rainforest Conservation
Mera, Ecuador Merazonia NGO | Merazonia
Merazonia combines passion for nature with a professional approach on animal care and release, along with rainforest conservation.

Project Details

Merazonia works with Ecuador’s Ministry of Environment to rescue, rehabilitate, and release illegally-trafficked Amazonian animals back into the wild.

Merazonia is a dynamic wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre located on 250 acres of Amazon rainforest, near Mera, Ecuador, South America.

We combine passion for nature with a professional approach on animal care and release, along with rainforest conservation.

Volunteers help us in the day to day care of the wildlife.

Merazonia has a young team of people who encourage volunteers to help think of ways we can improve the park. We are currently caring for well over 100 animals, including: capuchin, tamarin, red howler and woolly monkeys; many species of parrots and macaws; kinkajous and other small mammals; and sometimes felines.

Because rehabilitation is an important part of what we do, the group of animals we look after often changes, with animals being released or moved to other refuges, depending on the care and environment they need.

Merazonia aims to be a true rehabilitation centre and therefore focuses on animals that are endemic to our region and that can potentially be released back into the wild.

Therefore Merazonia has a strict hands off policy for most of its animals! As we try to focus on rehabilitation, it is very important to minimize any human interaction with the animals, as this is the first vital step towards their rehabilitation.

All founding members of Merazonia have a background in volunteering and worked as volunteers at several wildlife centres throughout the continent, before joining forces and embarking on a new adventure: creating their own wildlife rescue centre, with a focus on rehabilitation.

The first work started in the fall of 2004, with every partner investing his own money in the project. This was enough to buy 100 hectares of rainforest and invest in building materials. There was no access to the land other than a small jungle path, and we commuted between the town of Mera and the land every day.

By the time the basic structures were up and all paperwork issues were sorted, it was early 2009. On a day in January, a small baby tamarin monkey called Lukas, was brought over the bridge and truly inaugurated Merazonia as an animal refuge. Little Lukas grew up to lead his own group of tamarins and lived a free life on the Merazonia premises.

Since then, hundreds of animals, as well as volunteers, have crossed that same bridge. Slowly the centre expanded, so more animals could receive our professional care. With so many fury residents, volunteers nowadays mostly spend their time taking care of the animals. We continue to build towards a better centre every day: enclosures get improved, diets get adjusted and release projects are executed with more detail and innovative methods.

We are proud to have built this centre with our own hands, along with the many volunteers that joined us. Merazonia was truly built by volunteers for volunteers (and animals of course) and this remains a big part of what makes Merazonia special.

The main focus of the project is on
NPO Status
Yes, registered non-profit organisation
Foundation Year
2004
Contact Person
Frank Weijand
Spoken Languages
English

Social Impact

Over the past years we have implemented many successful rehabilitations. The list of reintroduced animals includes: tamarin monkeys (3 groups), three and two toes sloths (around 50), kinkajous (10), a Neotropical otter, several felines (margay, ocelots and oncillas), agoutis, anteaters, armadillos, boas and coatis.

Rehabilitation programs
We will continue to responsibly releasing animals. We never know what tomorrow brings and sometimes we focus our time and energy on a new arrival, especially if it has a good prospect of being released and time is of the essence. Our longer term goals include a release program for woolly monkeys and red howler monkeys. Rehabilitation of social and intelligent animals such as primates, take a lot of investigation, observation and money.

Results
In 2015 a total of 47 animals arrived at Merazonia. Of these, 31 were successfully released, 6 were transferred to a more appropriate centre for release, and 7 are still residents of Merazonia. Sadly 3 of the animals that arrived the past year died of their injuries.

Pursued Sustainable Development Goals