Site Meter
Send Us An Email
Panama Guide

Welcome to Panama Guide
Wednesday, August 16 2017 @ 09:53 PM EDT

View Printable Version

The One That Got Away - Fisherman Lives to Speak of Croc Attack in Panama

Animals & Pets By Eric Montenegro for La Critica - Adrián Alvarado shows part of the injuries to his right shoulder caused by a crocodile attack. You can still see the teeth marks on his skin left behind by the crocodile that wanted to eat him. The sharp teeth of the huge reptile raked his skin as he was returning from a swim near the beach of Puerto Caimito in the Republic of Panama. He said the attack occurred at approximately 2:00 am, after he had returned from an evening of fishing in the ocean and he was returning to his house. He tied his "panga" (fiberglass fishing boat) to a branch and dove into the water for a swim. He suddenly felt something grabbing him by the right shoulder that hauled him down toward the bottom. He continued swimming down and managed to get away from the crocodile. Eventually he was able to get away and went to the shore once he was sure the crocodile was not following him. Once out of the water he was able to see the blood flowing from the wounds left behind by the attack, in addition to the many puncture wounds in his skin. He added that he was sure it was a crocodile that attacked him. According to Adrián he decided to just go home to rest, but the next day the pain in his shoulder was practically unbearable and he could not move it. It was then when relatives decided to take him to the Hospital Nicolás A. Solano, where they dressed his wounds, gave him antibiotic injections, as well as pills for pain and fever. Some of the wounds are still open and bleeding and must be constantly dressed. Adrián says he is not afraid of going back into the water or to return to fishing, although he is aware that the site of the attack is infested with crocodiles and it is necessary to take some precautions. For now, says Adrián, he will not go back to work until he has recovered from the attack. His friends have changed his nickname to the "Crocodile Hunter." (Photo Credit: La Critica)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

7-Foot Long Crocodile Calling, Can Fluffy Come Out To Play?

Animals & Pets By Melquíades Vásquez for the Panama America - National Police units caught a 2-meter long crocodile in Santiago, Veraguas, after it tried to attack a dog that was tied up outside of a house. The dog's owners were away at the time of the attack. The crocodile was found in the neighborhood of La Luz and residents of the area said this same crocodile has eaten other dogs and chickens in the area. Resident Beatriz Villar said the crocodile came as far as the door of her house trying to eat a dog. When she heard the dog barking she looked outside and saw the crocodile that had it's mouth open and was about to eat the dog. She immediately called the police whose units managed to control the animal. They then waited for ANAM officials to arrive to return the animal to its natural habitat. RECOMMENDATIONS: Authorities would like to inform the community that if they see one of these animals near their houses they should not attempt to catch them. They should just close their doors and windows and the animal will move away from the house. Keep animals and children away, and call the police, ANAM, firemen or SINAPROC. (Photo Credit: Melquíades Vásquez / EPASA)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Sea park plan hits choppy waters in western Panama

Animals & Pets By Chris Kraul for the Los Angeles Times - SAN CARLOS, PANAMA - A marine mammal theme park proposed by a group of ex-Sea World executives for this isolated stretch of Western Panama has been stalled by animal rights activists who claim "swim with the dolphins" attractions are cruel and anti-environmental. Business and local government boosters say the project could help transform this impoverished region into a tourist mecca by creating jobs and fueling foreign investment. The area "could become the next Orlando," said Mark Simmons, formerly a senior dolphin trainer at the Sea World parks and now executive vice president of Wildlife International Network, the Orlando, Fla., company proposing the project. They see a huge regional market primed by Central and South Americans who, because of tighter restrictions, have been unable to get tourist visas to the United States. But a coalition of 65 environmental and animal rights groups and activists, including Greenpeace, Humane Society International and Jacques Cousteau's granddaughter Alexandra, sees the proposal as a crucial test in protecting dolphins from exploitation. (more)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Activists try to sink Panama marine park

Animals & Pets BY CHRIS KRAUL for the Los Angeles Times SAN CARLOS, Panama -- A marine mammal theme park proposed by a group of ex-Sea World executives for this isolated stretch of western Panama has been stalled by animal rights activists who claim ''swim with the dolphins'' attractions are cruel and anti-environmental. Business and local government boosters say the project could help transform this impoverished region into a tourist Mecca by creating jobs and fueling foreign investment. The area ''could become the next Orlando,'' said Mark Simmons, formerly a senior dolphin trainer at Sea World parks and now executive vice president of Wildlife International Network, the Orlando-based company proposing the project. They see a huge regional market primed by Central and South Americans who, because of tighter restrictions, have been unable to get tourist visas to the United States. But a coalition of 65 environmental and animal rights groups, including Greenpeace, Humane Society International and Jacques Cousteau's granddaughter Alexandra, sees the proposal as a crucial test in protecting dolphins from exploitation. (more)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

What To Do When A Skunk Gets In The Garbage Can

Animals & Pets By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Having a skunk in your garbage can turn into a vexing proposition. There's almost no way to deal with the problem without coming away smelling like both skunk and garbage. If you ignore the problem until the morning you'll find your garbage has been spread all over the backyard, that it all smells like skunk, and you're out there cleaning it up. Back in the summer of 1975 we had a regular visitor, a huge striped skunk, "Stinky", who became a regular at the backyard buffet. Dad first called the police station, who laughingly suggested "stop feeding him so well." Taking that advice to heart, and being a mechanically oriented problem solver, he devised an array of physical defenses to include a metal garbage can rack to keep the cans upright, bungee cords over the top to keep the lids on, and motion sensor lights to deprive "Stinky" the cover of darkness. While these perfectly humanitarian (or is it skunkatarian) methods proved successful, "Stinky" just moved 120 feet south, and our problem got pushed off on the neighbors. (more)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

World’s Best Coffee Captures Record Price in Online Auction

Animals & Pets LONG BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--World famous coffee estate, Hacienda La Esmeralda, set another record when its Esmeralda Especial coffee sold for a stunning $130 a pound during an online auction on May 29. The Panama coffee producer was recognized for producing the world’s best coffee during the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s (SCAA) 2007 Roasters Guild Cupping Pavilion Competition on May 7, an event Hacienda La Esmeralda also captured in 2005 and 2006. This year marks the third time in four years that the Panama coffee producer sold coffee for a world record-setting price. After nearly eight hours of negotiating by six different bidders, 10 bags of Esmeralda Especial – each weighing 50 pounds – sold for $65,000. Commercial-grade coffee is currently selling in the commodity market for just above a dollar per pound. The winning bid was entered by an alliance consisting of 49th Parallel Roasters, Coffee Klatch Roasting, Groundwork Coffee Company, Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea, The Roasterie, Roastermasters.com (Willoughby’s Coffee & Tea) and Zoka Coffee Roaster and Tea Co. (more)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Birds Relax in Tropics Like Humans

Animals & Pets By LiveScience Staff - Humans aren't the only creatures that kick back and relax in the tropics. Birds that live in tropical areas lead a more leisurely pace of life and use less energy than their cousins in colder climates, new research shows. Researchers studying bird physiology traveled to Panama where they captured 69 species of tropical birds and measured their basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the minimum amount of energy they expend at rest, used solely to maintain their bodily functions (such as breathing and heart rate). They compared the BMRs of the tropical birds to those of 59 species of temperate birds, and found that the tropical birds used 18 percent less energy. "We found that tropical birds have a slow pace of life which is reflected in how much energy they spend to stay alive," said team member Joseph Williams of Ohio State University. These findings, published online this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, correspond to other aspects of the birds' lives, such as their longer life span and slower growth compared to birds living in temperate climates. (more)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Panama Facing Crocodile Population Explosion

Animals & Pets By Grisel Bethancourt for the Panama America - Panama is in danger of facing an overpopulation of crocodiles in areas like the Panama Canal drainage basin, thanks to the lack of a plan to manage the species. Basic information is missing, such as how many crocodiles there are and where they are, because a study started in 2001 by the Smithsonian and the Institute of Farming Investigation, was stopped in 2005 due to lack of funding. The subject becomes relevant after the disappearance this week of a fisherman who was dragged into Miraflores lake along the shores of the Panama Canal by an enormous crocodile. This lake is visited by families who fish for Peacock Bass and Tilapia in the area. A specialist from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Miryam Venegas, recommended that authorities should place a restriction in the area of Miraflores when the crocodiles are procreating, during the months of January and February.
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Crocodiles attack fishermen in Panama Canal

Animals & Pets Earth Times.org - Panama City- Hungry crocodiles, with their powerful jaws and great strength, have become a real threat for fishermen in the Panama Canal, residents on the banks of the waterway said Friday. The most recent attack took place Thursday in Miraflores, where a man was most likely killed when a crocodile attacked three fishermen ending their day's work on the Pacific part of the canal. Fishermen Pedro Rodriguez and Joel Ibarra Salazar said the animal - more than three metres long - attacked the group, grabbed their colleague Fermin Perez, 38, and quickly submerged him. The two other members of the group could do nothing to rescue the missing fisherman. The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) noted that the three men had entered the area illegally, but units of ACP and National Service for Civil Protection were cooperating in the search for the missing man, presumed killed by the reptile. In tropical areas, crocodiles can be up to seven metres long. Attacks on humans are often reported near large rivers, lakes and deep ravines, especially due to the destruction of their habitat and the disappearance of the fauna that usually serves as their food.
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Crocodile Attacks and Kills Fisherman in Panama Canal

Animals & Pets By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com Panama City, Panama: Apparently one of the large crocodiles that live in the waters of the Panama Canal have taken another victim. A crocodile reported to be "at least ten feet long" by witnesses attacked and apparently killed 38 year-old Fermín Perez at 2:00 pm this afternoon while he was fishing for tilapia with two friends along the shores of the Panama Canal. 60 year-old Pedro Rodríguez Gonzáles and 28 year-old Joel Ibarra Salazar survived the attack and were able to escape, but there was no sign of Perez. The crocodile leapt out of the water, grabbed onto Perez and pulled him under the water before his companions could react. The entire incident was over in a matter of seconds. According to a press release, units from Panama's National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC), the Canal Protection Division of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), and the Police Directorate of Intelligence and Investigation (DIIP) of the National Police participated in the search for Perez. Both cayman and crocodiles live in the waters of the Panama Canal. Cayman grow as large as twelve to fifteen feet, and crocodiles are bigger and can get as large as eighteen feet and weigh as much as a ton.
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Environmentalists Threaten to File Complaints Against Ocean Embassy

Animals & Pets By JORGE D. GUTIÉRREZ SANJUR for the Panama America - The director of Panama's Aquatic Resources Authority (ARAP) Richard Pretto will be the subject of a complaint filed by the Humanities Foundation before the Public Ministry said Anabella Herrera of the Front for the Defense of Dolphins, for complicity and violation of the law. She said they would file a complaint of unconstitutionality against all actions taken by Panama's Marine Corridor Board, which met on Thursday. Herrera said Ocean Embassy, which wants to construct an aquarium in the El Higo district of San Carlos, has not had any experience in developed countries, and that's why they are now focusing their attention on poor nations such as Panama in spite of international laws to protect marine mammals. "Ocean Embassy wants to come to Panama as a demagoguery of conservatism," said Herrera. She said they are trying to bring down the ex-Vice President of the United States Al Gore who is an environmentalist politician who is against the captivity of dolphins. On the other hand the Municipal Council of Panama rejected the company's claim in paid advertisements recently that the Provincial Council of Panama had unanimously supported their plan. In a press release the President of the Provincial Council of Panama Iván Picota said the representative of the inhabitants of Panama City did not vote in Monday's session held in San Carlos. Picota said the councilmen (from Panama City) have not yet made a decision on this matter.
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Panama's Marine Board Meets on Dolphin Project

Animals & Pets By Alexis Graell for the Estrella de Panama - The Marine Board of Panama will take as long as necessary to study the project presented by Ocean Embassy to construct a dolphin theme park in the area of San Carlos, said Richard Pretto, Administrator of the Aquatic Resources Authority of Panama and the President of the Marine Corredor Committee. Pretto said that as a first step the company has presented a proposal, then the Committee will evaluate that proposal, and then finally each of the members of the Committee will make their recommendations based on that document. Pretto said they are not only evaluating one protocol but several. One has to do with the capture of dolphins, as well as the treatment of the animals, another regarding how they will be transferred from the point of capture, and another protocol that will dictate the daily handling of the animals. The revision of documents is a long and detailed process, and in fact they have been working on this issue for more than a year and a half. He said they are just starting to see Ocean Embassy's proposals for the required protocols and that they are long and details. He said the Marine Board will continue meeting to review and refine the plan, and therefore there is no way to be able to predict when the process will be completed. (more)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Ocean Embassy Presents Plan in San Carlos Today

Animals & Pets By Eliana Morales Gil for La Prensa - Richard Pretto, director of Panama's Aquatic Resources Authority (ARAP), could not enter his office in Curundú yesterday. The reason? Students, environmentalists, and activists chained themselves to the ARAP facilities to protest against the resolution that allows for the capture of dolphins and to keep them in captivity. In the end, as the Director of ARAP, Pretto will make the final decision as to whether or not Ocean Embassy's plan to capture dolphins in Panamanian waters is viable, as established last 18 January 2007 by a majority vote of Panama's Marine Board. Before the ARAP can make its decision, the nine members of the Marine Board will discuss the method of capture proposed by Ocean Embassy. These discussions will take place today, at 9:00 am, in the office of the Mayor of San Carlos, where the project has the approval of local authorities. After today's meeting the members of the Marine Board will send their recommendations to the ARAP. "We need time to see the document, which means we will not be expressing our opinion today (Thursday)," said Héctor Guzmán, representative of the scientists on the Marine Board. (more)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Diving with Dolphins in Honduras

Animals & Pets
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

If You Love Dolphins, They Will Love You Right Back

Animals & Pets
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Ocean Embassy - A Simple Quiz to Help You Form an Opinion

Animals & Pets I know lots of people out there are trying to decide right now if they are for or against the Ocean Embassy plan in Panama to capture live bottle-nosed dolphins and to use them to teach little school children about how wonderful the marine mammals are. Ocean Embassy's program would be managed by environmentalists and marine mammal experts from around the world, and would present a unique opportunity for people to actually swim with and interact with dolphins. In case you still have not made up your mind as to where you stand on this issue, I challenge you to take this simple test (no cheating). Open up this article, take a look at the picture below, and make a snap-decision. You have .01 microseconds to decide so be ready...
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Flipper's Fate To Be Decided in Next Episode, Stay Tuned...

Animals & Pets By Eliana Morales Gil for La Prensa - Next Thursday, 3 May 2007 at 9:00 am, there will be an important meeting regarding the controversial subject of the capture of bottle-nosed dolphins in Panama. The official request from Ocean Embassy for permission to capture the dolphins will be presented to the nine members of the marine board. The board will discuss how the dolphins will be captured, how many dolphins can be captured, and under what conditions. Ocean Embassy wants to build a Disney-style theme park in the El Higo sector of San Carlos. Richard Pretto, the Director of the Aquatic Resources Authority (ARAP), said yesterday the protocol would allow for the capture of eighteen dolphins per year, would allow for the company to work with the mammals for five years, and would allow for a total of 90 dolphins to be captured. "It is a much more strict protocol than what is used in the United States," said Pretto. The proposal will be submitted to Panama's Maritime Board, comprised of the National Authority on the Environment (ANAM), the National Maritime Service (SMN), the Panamanian Institute of Tourism (IPAT), representatives from the fishing industry, civil environmental protection groups, the University of Panama, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), scientific organizations and the ARAP. The Maritime Board will study the document and will forward their recommendations to the ARAP, and it will fall to Richard Pretto to finally decide if the Ocean Embassy project in San Carlos will be approved or not. Celma Moncada, of the Humanitas Foundation, said yesterday that local and international environmentalist organizations are on alert status. "It is not possible for them to take a position when the Supreme Court has not yet decided on the shelter of guarantees presented against the decision allowing the capture and captivity of marine mammals", she said. This weekend environmentalists prepared an action plan to continue protesting. (Editor's Rant Follows)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Male Birds Use 'Wingman' Approach to Score With Females

Animals & Pets By Jeanna Bryner - Adult male lance-tailed manakin on a branch (Emily DuVal). Some birds take the “wingman” approach to scoring a mate, the ornithological equivalent of two guys sallying up to a hot girl in a bar in hopes that one will get lucky. This behavior isn’t totally selfless, however, and it turns out males of one tropical bird species receive future benefits from helping out an alpha pal. The wingman of the lance-tailed manakin (Chiroxiphia lanceolata) is more likely to elevate to center stage than feathered friends who don’t play supporting roles, said Emily DuVal of the University of California, Berkeley's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, lead author of a new study on the bird courtship behavior. Buddy system - Grace and athleticism are optional for males in human courtship, but both are mandatory in manakin courting. Pairs of male lance-tailed manakins perform complex dances of “leapfrog” stunts and flight displays to woo interested females. When the curtain falls, only the dominant male gets the chance to mate while the beta bird, or sidekick, heads nestward alone. (more)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Birders' Paradise: Former radar installation transformed into a prime spot

Animals & Pets By Maryann Haggerty for the Washington Post - "King vulture at 1 o'clock!" Winnie yelled down the steep stairs from the lodge's observation deck. "King vulture at 1 o'clock!" From throughout the rest of the building, half a dozen or so other guests materialized, interrupting their siestas. One man wore only shorts, no shirt or shoes. Everyone aimed binoculars high into the sky. Where? There! Up, up, against the big cloud - big, the biggest, the highest - up there! Got him! Someone pulled out a guidebook to Central American birds and read a description of the huge, white-bodied scavenger that soared far above the Panamanian forest. It's a bird that you would never see in North America and only rarely here. "Unmistakable," the book said. "I like unmistakable," another woman said, as Winnie did a little victory dance. (more...)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Taking 'Boomer' For A Walk

Animals & Pets When I was about six years old dad decided it was time to get a dog. We headed down to the local shelter to take a look and the strays that had been dropped off for one reason or another. My sister and I fell in love with this HUGE dog named 'Boomer' who, according to the person who ran the shelter, had been dropped off by his former owner because he had gotten too big for the small apartment they lived in. Boomer was big by any standard - some kind of a mix between a golden lab, mastiff, and draft horse. And at the time I was a skinny little kid. My new pet outweighed me by about 150 pounds, but that was cool because he was really happy all the time and friendly, and for me he was just a big goofy dog that liked to play (cool.) In the afternoon that we took Boomer home, I decided that I wanted to take him for a walk. I clipped the leash onto his collar and headed for the door. My dad's famous last words were "just hang onto him, don't let him get away." Right, got it. No problem. And, I headed for the street.
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

You Gotta Love Flickr...

Animals & Pets When scientists go on vacation, maybe they should leave their digital cameras at home. I mean, I don't know who posted this photo on Flickr, but anyone who knows how to use the word "Macrobrachium carcinus" in a sentence has my respect. Let me get some practice, I'd like my macrobrachium carcinuspass in butter with garlic, and I'll take that with a cold beer, maybe some arroz con coco... (bet I get slapped.)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Using RFID Tags to Track Migratory Movements in Panama

Animals & Pets (Open Spectrum.info) From "ZSL uses tiny 'Oyster cards' to track wasps," Zoological Society of London, 24 January 2007: "ZSL scientists studying animal behaviour have been tracking the movements of the paper wasp in Panama with high-tech radio tags to find out why they drift from nest to nest. "Eusocial insects like the paper wasp (Polistes canadensis), including bumblebees and honey bees, have previously been observed drifting from nest to nest, but this is the first time scientists have been able to monitor them effectively enough to find out how much drifting goes on and why. "Antennae were placed on the entrances to 33 wasp nests while tags with unique identities were painlessly attached to the thoraxes of 422 female paper wasps. The antennae recorded the tag number each time a wasp flew in or out of a nest, in the same way Londoners touch-in and touch-out with their Oyster cards on the tube. This allowed researchers to accurately track and record their movements between different nests. "The research generated surprising results: the wasps drifted between nests at a rate 31 times higher than ever recorded before. Scientists found that wasps drifted to nests on which their close relatives lived. "By observing the wasps, scientists found the drifters behaved as workers on the nests they visited, helping raise the young of their relatives. Females in eusocial insects like paper wasps are haplodiploid, which means they are genetically more closely related to their sisters than their own offspring. This means the drifting wasps are able to increase the chance of their genetic material being carried on, especially as predation tends to result in entire nests being wiped out. "ZSL scientist and report author Seirian Sumner said: 'We were very surprised to find out that 56 per cent of the wasps drifted from nest to nest. Like the workers in most eusocial insect societies, these drifting wasps do not reproduce themselves, but instead pass on their genes by helping raise relatives. We were excited to discover that they did this [by] helping on several different nests, rather than just their home nest. " 'Drifting behaviour in social insects has always been rather difficult to quantify and a puzzle to explain. The "mini-Oyster cards" have revealed a new level of understanding into this behaviour.' "
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Ashland firm helps stamp out a pest

Animals & Pets By Carol Hazard for the Times-Dispatch - An Ashland engineering firm is involved in protecting the United States from reinfestation of the dreaded, potentially lethal screwworm fly. McKinney and Co. designed a new fly-breeding laboratory in Panama, where adult male flies are zapped with X-rays, rendering them sterile. The sterile male flies are released by aircraft over targeted areas. They mate with females, which mate only once. The unfertilized eggs won't hatch -- and the reproductive cycle is broken. The process of controlling the man-eating fly began in 1957 and was hailed as a huge success when the first large-scale production facility was opened in 1976 in southern Mexico. The Panama plant replaces the one in Mexico. Its operation ensures a biological barrier for all of Central and North America to prevent infestation from South America. McKinney and Co. also provided on-site construction management during the 30 months that the $36.5 million complex was built. The Screwworm Rearing Facility, which can produce more than 150 million sterile flies a week, was completed in July. For engineering excellence on this project, McKinney and Co. was presented one of five Grand Awards given by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Virginia, a trade group.
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Denver Zoo Tries To Save Tiny Endangered Frog

Animals & Pets (Source) DENVER -- The Denver Zoo is part of an effort to save a disappearing frog species that has become Panama's national symbol of nature. Scientists fear that sometime next year, the last wild Panamanian golden frogs will die. The species is being destroyed by a fungus that is also wiping out other amphibian species. But about two dozen zoos including the Denver Zoo have several hundred of the frogs in captivity. The fungus was only the final blow for a species whose numbers have long been dwindling because of deforestation, overcollection and water pollution. So far, the Denver Zoo is one of only three zoos that have been able to coax captive-bred Panamanian golden frogs to reproduce. The zoo is part of Project Golden Frog created to try to save the critically endangered frog. Rick Haeffner, the zoo's reptiles curator, said one of the biggest problems the program faces is that until the fungus goes away, there's nowhere to release the frogs into the wild. Native to Central America, the Panamanian frog's bright colors provide a good example of warning coloration. Its skin produces poison when it is attacked, causing pain to its predator.
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Panama to Host Regional Animal Health Organization

Animals & Pets Panama, Nov 24 (Prensa Latina) The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) will establish its sub-regional host in charge of Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean in Panama starting in 2007, official sources said here Friday. A communiqué by the Agricultural Development Ministry (MIDA) of Panama said the OIE decision is recognition of the work of the Panamanian government in this sector. MIDA president Guillermo Salazar will sign a document in Brazil on Monday to legalize the establishment of the sub-regional host in Panama. Created in January 1924, OIE has among its objectives to spread scientific information on veterinary science and improve the zoo-sanitary situation in the world. It also brings advisory for animal disease control and guarantees health security of world trade.
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Panama hotel is lifeboat for imperiled frogs

Animals & Pets By Manuel Roig-Franzia for MSNBC: EL VALLE DE ANTON, Panama - The guests in Rooms 28 and 29 at the Hotel Campestre here in this lush volcano-crater town get the full spa treatment. Daily cleansing rinses. Exotic lunches. Even 24-hour room service. It would all be so lovely, a real dream, if they could only go outside every once in a while. But they can't. Not ever. One step outside, or in their case one hop, and they'd be goners. Thus is the lot of Panama's -- and perhaps the world's -- most unusual hotel VIPs, the darling little Panamanian golden frogs of El Valle de Anton. The frogs, considered so lucky in Panama that their images appear on lottery tickets, are in big trouble. They're on the run from a vicious fungus that has already wiped out as many as 120 species of amphibians in Central America. The Hotel Campestre might be their last hope. If the golden frogs make it, this crumbling backpackers' hangout could very well provide a revolutionary new model for handling one of the world's most endangered species. More than 300 frogs ended up at the Campestre, which sits in the shadow of steep mountains at the edge of a dormant volcano's crater about 50 miles southwest of Panama City, because of an audacious and quickly confected plan.
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Dealing With Fruit Flies

Animals & Pets One of the things you'll encounter in Panama are those pesky little fruit flies that apparently come from nowhere as soon as you buy a bunch of bananas. Honey from Altos del Maria posted this tip - "I think Kookie sent me this tip to get rid of fruit flies. Put a few squirts of dish soap in about half a cup of apple cider vinegar and place it near your fruit. It is working; the fruit flies are collecting in the bottom of a small bowl of the mixture. Be careful shopping here for apple cider vinegar. There is a lot of plain vinegar with caramel coloring mascarading as apple cider vinegar on the shelves here. I found Musselman's & Heinz brands of the real stuff at Rey in PC. Honey"
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Local zookeeper wings to Panama to help save frog species

Animals & Pets (By: Misty Edgecomb) (August 28, 2006) — John Adamski spent his summer vacation walking through the thick underbrush along Panamanian streams and snatching dozens of tiny gem-colored frogs from the air as they leapt away from his footfalls. He put in hours of hard labor installing fish tanks in the tropical heat, spent his nights in a hotel suite bathing hundreds of frogs in an antifungal solution — and he can't wait to go back. Adamski, a reptile and amphibian expert at Seneca Park Zoo, recently returned from western Panama where he joined an international effort to save the tiny Panamanian golden frog and its colorful brethren. Hundreds of different types of tree frogs thrive in Panama's forests, but scientists predict that these tiny blue and green and orange frogs could soon disappear from the face of the earth. An infection known as the chytrid fungus is sweeping through Central America, decimating frog populations that are already struggling against development and pollution. Some estimate that as many as a third of all known amphibian species are at risk of extinction. The chytrid fungus attacks an amphibian's skin, impeding the frog's ability to breathe. Anti-fungal baths can save individual animals in captivity, but there's no treatment for frogs in the wild. (more...)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Rescuers race to save Central American frogs - Fungus puts species at risk of extinction

Animals & Pets By Jenni Laidman - El Valle de Anton, Panama: Kent Bekker of the Toledo Zoo starts his day swinging a makeshift net across damp grass. It's about 8:30 in the morning, and already, the air is near liquid with humidity. One doesn't so much move through the day as swim through it. Nothing dries out. Skin glistens with sweat even when the evening's mountain breezes make light jackets necessary. Car interiors smell of mildew. An abandoned damp towel sprouts a carpet of mold. A climate that allows a gardener's dream of lush flowers is the perfect breeding ground for fungi. It is also the ideal home for a fungus few here have heard of. It's called chytrid (KIT-rid), or formally Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, and it's completing a deadly sweep through Central America. It threatens to kill nearly all of Panama's frogs, as it has in Costa Rica and Mexico before this, and as it is doing on every continent on the planet. It's why the Toledo Zoo sent Mr. Bekker to Panama. He's part of a team attempting an unprecedented feat: the rescue of dozens of frog species from extinction. Mr. Bekker snaps his net through the air as though it were a flag, hoping to dry it out just a bit. It's a cloth bag, and it sticks to itself. He looks in the plastic cup humming with the insects he's collected so far. There are not enough to feed all the frogs. (more)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Cultural Transmission In Bats: When Listening For Dinner, Bats Learn From Their Neighbors

Animals & Pets In an exciting study that provides new understanding of how animals learn -- and learn from each other -- researchers have demonstrated that bats that use frog acoustic cues to find quality prey can rapidly learn these cues by observing other bats. While numerous examples are known of instances where predators can use so-called "social learning" to learn new visual and olfactory cues associated with prey, this kind of learning of an acoustic cue had not been previously described. The work is reported by Rachel A. Page and Michael J. Ryan of the University of Texas at Austin and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and appears in the June 20th issue of Current Biology. The fringe-lipped bat, Trachops cirrhosus, uses frog calls from different species as acoustic cues to assess the palatability of its prey. Previous experiments have shown that T. cirrhosus is extremely flexible in its foraging behavior. In the new study, Page and Ryan investigated the role of social learning in bat foraging flexibility. Comparing three different learning groups, the researchers measured the rate at which bats learned new foraging information: in this case, the novel (experimental) association of the calls of a poisonous toad species with the presence of palatable prey.
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks