Eric Damon Walters
National Wildlife Humane Society wrote -
Touch the Jungle is an Ecuador rainforest Wildlife and Habitat protection project and a Conservation Ally of National Wildlife Humane Society. Tracy Wilson, Program Dir. of TTJ, is a Wildlife Advisory Council member of NWHS
The main interests of this project are:
• Protect threatened rainforest habitats
• Protect rescue, and rehabilitate native animals.
• Empower local people to preserve the rainforest and protect its wildlife.
These goals are inter-dependent. Wildlife cannot survive without habitat. The habitat cannot survive if the local people don't protect it. The local people cannot survive without wildlife and the forest. Yet extreme poverty and lack of jobs cause many communities to accept the offers of loggers and miners just to provide their families with the necessities of life. If we want local people to support and protect the rainforest and its wildlife, then we must support them. This Touch The Jungle does, by supporting community projects such as health care and education, and assisting them in developing environmentally-friendly sources of income such as ecotourism.
Since 1995, Touch The Jungle has been working with Playa de Oro, a community in Ecuador's Choco Rainforest. This village has designated all of its 25,000 acres of primary rainforest as a reserve for margays and other endangered wild cat species such as ocelots and jaguars. In exchange, Touch The Jungle has supported the community's low-impact ecotourism project. This project, which is entirely in the hands of the local people involves hosting visitors from all over the world, so that they may experience and better understand rainforest. You can even visit the project yourself in person!
Touch The Jungle has been actively involved in wildlife rescue since 1995 in Playa de Oro but the needs of wildlife have grown enough to build a new facility. The Touch The Jungle Wildlife Rescue Center opened in the summer of 2010 the in cloud forest area of Intag, Ecuador. The TTJ wildlife rescue center takes in injured or orphaned wildlife, as well as rescues animals from markets and illegal poachers, rehabilitates the animals until they are healthy enough for release. The animals are released back into the wild into the protected reserve at Playa de Oro. Most wildlife we work with are endangered species, so it is very important they return to the wild to continue to contribute to the gene pool for the species survival.