Saving Giant Anteaters thanks to the Red Siskin

Photo credit: SRCS Gallery

The coordinator of the Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) project, Erin Earl, from The South Rupununi Conservation Society (SRCS), was recently accepted as a member of the Anteater, Sloth, and Armadillo Specialist Group from the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC).

The SRCS, one of our founding partners, has dedicated more than 20 years to the conservation of Red Siskins in Guyana. With the sighting of a population in Guyana at the beginning of the millennium, our partners have joined the efforts to contribute to the species preservation through scientific research, conservation and environmental education actions. At present, the SRCS team has significantly contributed in terms of information related to population estimates, feeding, breeding, socialization, and favorite habitats.

Nevertheless, their researches went beyond, and from 2018 have advocated the development of conservation plans for another threatened species: the Giant Anteater. Erin Earl, the project’s coordinator and now member of the IUCN/SSC Anteater, Sloth, and Armadillo Specialists Group (ASASG), can contribute on a large scale to the protection of this species.

The ASASG is part of the Specialists Group organized in the framework of IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC). The organization evaluates the status of conservation of all xenarthrans species (anteaters, sloths, and armadillos), the IUCN Red List of threatened species, providing technical support to the rehabilitation centers and zoological institutions caring for them.

This alliance represents an important step for the species conservation in Guyana, and is a great example of how safeguarding the Red Siskin and conserving its habitat directly influences the research and preservation of other species in the area.

The Red Siskin Initiative is an international partnership of public and private institutions communities and people working to help understand, protect and restore sustainable populations of the Red Siskin.

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The Red Siskin has been an inspiration for generations of Venezuelan singers, poets and painters, but unsustainable harvest, and habitat loss and degradation have brought the Red Siskin close to extinction.

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