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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Project to Build Monkey Bridges in Costa Rica

The Clean Wave and SalveMonos Foundation started a fundraiser to repair, maintain, and install monkey bridges throughout Guanacaste, Costa Rica. 

“Monkey Bridges have been designed to facilitate safe crossing of electric lines for howler monkeys and other species. These bridges consist of insulated power lines and rope “ladders” running across the road,” explained the organizations.

Through a study, the organizations realized that by 2021 at least 142 monkeys (Alouatta palliata) had suffered accidents due to electrocution on power lines. The 142 animals involved in the accident represented 34% of the estimated population of howler monkeys in the Tamarindo area.

According to The Clean Wave, these bridges will help the animals that use electric lines to cross to avoid the electric lines and instead use the Monkey Bridges. The project’s primary focus is the Howler Monkey; it is used as a flagship to represent all at-risk animals.

“The principal threat to Howler Monkeys exists in rapidly developing urban environments, most commonly gaining attention with international tourists. This includes Tamarindo and Playa Grande, where development in recent years has led to an environment busy with people and town expansion into previously forested habitats,” explains The Clean Wave.

In addition, the foundations seek to carry out reforestation campaigns to help the animals in the area and the ecosystem in general.

As economic activities and residential areas expand, so do electrical wiring networks that invade or fragment patches of vegetation where animals live. Deaths will continue without appropriate passages for these animals and may even increase.

Precisely, the foundations highlight that “rapid economic development and urbanization, especially for the sake of tourism, is encroaching on native ecosystems and wildlife habitat, notably that of howler monkeys.”

In many cases, constructions and developments do not contemplate a mitigation plan to prevent animals from suffering these accidents.

A joint effort is needed to preserve nature, animals, and the area’s beauty, which is its main attraction. This infrastructure is urgently required to save the animals from the damage caused by human activity.

To donate and collaborate with this project, visit The Clean Wave  

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