Tales from the Jungle: News and Updates!

Tales from the Jungle: News and updates!

I can’t believe it is already the end of August! The dwindling days of summer and the time when families would normally start to mentally prepare for going back to school. As we are all aware, however, 2020 has been far from normal! (Updates) 

In the spirit of summer, this month we celebrated National Lazy Day (check out our “lazy” yawning sloth video below), reflected on some of our favourite nature books for sloth lovers, and learned some impressive facts about the ultimate sloth predator, the mighty jaguar.

Most importantly, however, we have officially resumed our community-based sloth conservation programs after 4-months of quarantine! 

Throughout the last few weeks, we have been dropping hints about the launch of a new conservation initiative that Team Sloth have been working hard on behind the scenes.

In this newsletter, you can learn all about this exciting new project, see why some sloths are wearing state-of-the-art backpacks and join us in the fight to end sloth exploitation! 

 

Sloth Friendly Network

update sloth friendly

I am delighted to officially introduce you to our latest sloth conservation strategy! The Sloth Friendly Network is built on the belief that every single property has the potential to provide safe habitat for sloths, and every single business has the potential to educate customers on how to protect wildlife.

How it works:
  • We provide community members with everything that they need to make themselves as sloth-friendly as possible – for free
  • This includes planting native trees, installing wildlife bridges, and providing all educational materials needed for businesses to teach guests about the ways they can help to protect sloths.
  • It’s a win-win scenario: property owners benefit through having more wildlife on their land, and we reward them with accreditation to the Sloth Friendly Network which boosts income.
  • Visitors to Costa Rica can browse our database of Sloth Friendly businesses when deciding where to stay or spend their money!
  • Learn more about SFN

 

Upcoming research!

sloth research updates
Photo: Suzi Eszterhas

This month we have acquired five new Sloth Backpacks which will be used to investigate how habitat disturbance is impacting the behaviour of sloths. 

What is a sloth backpack? Little elastic harnesses (made-to-measure for each sloth and hand-sewn by me) wrap around the sloth’s shoulders. These backpacks contain 2 things:
  • A tracking device to tell us where the sloth is.
  • A tiny data logger called a ‘Daily Diary’ that records over 3.5 million data points every single day! This includes movement, activity, direction of travel, energy expenditure, height in the tree, temperature and humidity!

These backpacks allow us to continuously monitor wild sloth behaviour and the results will help us to better develop conservation strategies to facilitate the peaceful co-existence of sloths and humans!

 

Back in Action: Connected Gardens

Connected gardens reforestation updates

In April this year, we were forced to suspend all of our community-based conservation efforts due to the coronavirus pandemic. We were finally able to relaunch our Connected Gardens project this month (following new guidelines from the Ministry of Health) and our team have been busy planting trees and building bridges! 

 

Siping with sloths?

‘Sips with sloths’ and ‘after-school slime with sloths’. These are the latest in a string of cruel and exploitative encounter experiences being disguised as education and conservation. We stopped sloth yoga. We stopped sloth sleepovers. We stopped sloth swimming lessons. We can stop this too. Please help us end sloth exploitation by signing the petition!

 

Cycle to Work Day

Here in the South Caribbean of Costa Rica bikes often outnumber cars, and so to commemorate “Cycle to Work Day” we would like you to join us on our daily commute to the office! Check out the video above and be transported to the Caribbean to experience Team Sloth’s journey to work (featuring a surprise sloth sighting!). I hope it brightens your day!

 

Behind the scenes with a sloth Photographer!

We are so excited to celebrate World Photography Day with our beloved friend and award-winning wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas!Photography day best sloth updates

A lot of the amazing pictures we share of sloths are taken by Suzi and we are proud to have her as a trustee of our foundation. To celebrate this day we asked Suzi to choose her all-time favorite photos of sloths and to share the behind the scenes story of how she managed to capture each image!

 

Know your sloth predators!

jaguar sloth predator

#InternationalCatDay (August 8th) fell on a “Cat-urday” this year, and to celebrate this feline-friendly day we chose to highlight a cat who’s fate is intertwined with that of sloths, the jaguar! Do you know what the word “jaguar” means? Read this article to find out how sloths and jaguars are more similar than you may think!

 

It’s National Lazy Day!

and what better animal to talk about than the sloth! Not only because of their ‘lazy’ reputation, but also because in most languages the word ‘sloth’ also directly translates as ‘lazy’! But are sloths really that lazy? 🤔🦥

The answer is NO! What we often interpret as laziness is actually very successful survival strategy. Find a comfy spot, grab a favourite snack and relax watching sloths being… well…sloths! But do sloths deserve their lazy reputation? And how do they survive in the wild if they can’t run away? Enjoy the video and find out the answers!

 

Do you love books as much as we do?

nature book updates

Last Sunday (August 9th) was “Book Lovers Day.” So if you’re looking for a good book to wrap up these summer days, here are 20 of our favourite books about nature and wildlife (as well as some personal favorites from Team Sloth!).

 

 

Overshoot Day

circular economy linear economy

Good news for us and our planet! Earth Overshoot day (August 22nd) is three weeks later than it was in 2019, a 9.3% reduction in our collective ecological footprint, largely due to COVID-19 lockdowns.

Have you heard of Earth Overshoot day? Essentially, it marks the day in which globally we have consumed more resources than the Earth is able to regenerate in a year. The Global Footprint Network uses 15,000 data points per country to provide this snapshot, a way to conceptualize humanity’s impact across the globe.

Although the situation may seem daunting, we can start living within our means by mimicking how our ecosystems function and shifting from a linear to a circular economy.

From carbon neutral cargo ships to urban reforesting (check out our Connected Gardens program) to zero food waste shops, there are so many inspiring initiatives forging a more sustainable future. Check them out on the #movethedate interactive map! ♻️

Did you know that on our website you can offset your carbon footprint by planting trees? 🌿

 

Dog Day!

dog day updates

Happy international dog day! Did you know that dogs are the second leading cause of death for sloths in the wild? Don’t worry this is not a morbid post to hate on dogs! (We here at Team sloth are all big dog lovers).

We want to tell you about our what we do to prevent sloths being attacked by dogs:
• We launched a protect called ‘oh my dog’ where we sponsor to spay or neuter stay dogs ( or families that can’t afford to ) and promote responsible pet ownership.
• Build canopy bridges to prevent sloths encountering dogs on the ground.
• Plant trees to bridge gaps in the canopy.

Do you want to support any of the above projects and help save sloths? You can find links to each project on our website. We have also written a blog post with our 5 top tips for dog owners that care about wildlife!

#internationaldayofthedog #internationaldogday #dog #puppy #reaponsibleowner #training #sloths #slothconservation #perro #diadelperro

 

Our favorite time of the year is near!

As we creep towards the end of 2020, thoughts are starting to turn towards preparing for everyone’s favorite time of year.  A time to relax, eat too much food and fall asleep on the couch… of course, we are talking about International Sloth Day on October 20th (don’t worry, we won’t mention the ‘C’ word just yet)! In the run-up to this special day we will be bringing you an exclusive series of sloth-themed events so keep checking our website for the latest updates!

In the meantime, I hope you stay happy and healthy – and thank you for supporting our mission to create a safer world for sloths! 

All the best from the jungles of Costa Rica,

-Dr. Rebecca Cliffe

Founder and Executive Director

Bonus: #2020 Challenge: Sloth edition