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29th November 2013

State Council's final sentence protects owl monkeys and their habitats revoking hunting permits

The second instance ruling of the State Council (Consejo de Estado) of Colombia, revoked the hunting permits of owl monkeys (Aotus vociferans) for malaria research that were granted to the Foundation Institute of Immunology of Colombia (FIDIC). The sentence adheres to the first instance ruling issued by the Administrative Court of Cundinamarca (Popular Action No. 25000232400020110022701, filed by the primatologist Dr. Angela Maldonado and the solicitor Gabriel Vanegas).

Magistrate Enrique Gil Botero protected the collective rights regarding administrative morality as well as the sustainable use of natural resources in border areas, focusing in the conservation of owl monkeys. In addition, he ordered environmental authorities to regulate repopulation fees, as established by law.

"The courtroom emphasized that the decision is not an attempt to undermine scientific research in the country, but that, for the use and exploitation of animals by humans, it is necessary to comply with legal requirements and to ensure they are not subject to cruel and degrading treatments".

The sentence of the State Council, which orders the creation of a verification committee in order to guarantee compliance to the judgment, sets out a new challenge for Entropika's team as member of this committee: ensure the implementation and fulfillment of the sentence. For example, if a new permit is granted, the FIDIC is obliged to implement a captive breeding program of the species it wants to use.

We believe the decision to be a historic achievement for the conservation of Colombian wildlife and their ecosystems. It also makes it clear that we can still put our hopes in the Colombian judicial system, and we wholeheartedly welcome the decision of the State Council. Fundación Entropika once again would like to convey its gratitude for the continuous and unconditional support of the following institutions and individuals, who joined our cause for the last five years:

  • Funding institutions: The Whitley Fund for Nature, The Rufford Small Grants, Rainforest Concern, WWF - EFN, The International Primate Protection League (IPPL – US), The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV - UK), The Kilverstone Charitable Trust, and The American Society of Primatologists.
  • Campaign and institutional support: Tikuna communities in Colombia and Peru. The Colombian Primatological Society, The National Police (Leticia), San Marcos University and CITES Peru, The European Parlament, The DuMond Conservancy, The International Primatological Society, The European Federation for Primatologists, The Poruguese Primotological Society, ProWidlife, and the team of the senator Jorge Londoño. We would also like to thank Colombian journalists for the objective publishing of the State Council’s ruling.
  • Logistics and relevant documents: National University of Colombia (Bogota): Claudia Brieva, Prof. Thomas Defler and Marta Bueno. Universidad Javeriana: Dr. Manuel Ruiz. Andes University: Dr. Pablo Stevenson. Oxford Brookes University: Prof. Simon Bearder. Amacayacu National Park: Eliana Martínez and Alex Alfonso.
  • Individuals: Lina Pelaez, Xyomara Carretero, Dr. José Arturo Gutiérrez, Dr. Sian Evans and Dr. Robert Cooper, Dr. Eduardo Fernández-Duque, Dr. Mika Peck, Martin Stanley, Jaime Maldonado, Thomas Lafon, Catherine Bearder, Jairo Osorio and Entropika’s volunteer team.
  • Research permits: Colombian Park system, Ministry of Interior of Colombia and Ministry of Agriculture of Peru.

Click here to see the State Council's ruling, here to see the full version (in Spanish), and here to see an article in El Espectador.

10th October 2013

Test flights of the DJI Naza quadcopter

The GoPro Hero3 camera mounted on the DJI Naza quadcopter was tested in Europe before being taken to Colombia, where it will be used in a study that aims to develop an intelligent process used for the automatic taxonomic identification of prominent tropical tree species from very-high resolution aerial imagery in the Southern Colombian Amazon. The multi-rotor device was built by Dr. John Murray of Lincoln University, UK, and donated by Dr. Mika Peck of the University of Sussex, UK. More info on the project can be found on our projects page.

11th September 2013

The Aotus Project at the European Federation for Primatology, Antwerp, Belgium

Entropika presented the latest updates on the research and legal case of the Aotus Project at the 2013 congress of the European Federation for Primatology (EFP), in a presentation entitled "The Role of Primate Conservation to Fight the Illegal Trade in Primates: The Case of the Owl Monkeys in the Colombian - Peruvian Amazon". The EFP has shown their support by writing a letter to the Judiciary system in Colombia, where the popular action in favour of the conservation of Owl Monkeys and against their trafficking in the Amazon, is currently being studied by a magistrate who is preparing the second instance ruling.

30th July 2013

SUP team arrives to Leticia

Entropika would like to proudly announce the safe arrival of the Stand-Up Paddling (SUP) team in Leticia. For a month the team paddled the 1300 Km of Amazonian waters that separate Napo, Ecuador from Leticia, Colombia. This adventurous initiative donates to Entropika an Eco-Canoe, a sustainably manufactured boat made by the Cofán indigenous group, and an outboard motor which will be key to our conservation work in the tri-border area. We would like to deeply thank the bravery and dedication of Mika Peck and his team and congratulate them on this life-time achievement. More information on the journey can be found on the official SUP Facebook page.

May 2013

20 years of the Whitley Awards

Fundación Entropika would like to congratulate the Whitley Fund for Nature for their twentieth anniversary and for their vital support to grass-root conservation around the world! We are very proud of being part of the institutions supported by the WFN.

30th April 2013

Interview of Angela Maldonado for Radio Fantástica

Angela Maldonado, dedicated to the conservation of Amazonian biodiversity:

"Angela and her team at Fundación Entropika design methods that generate income for indigenous people, giving them incentives to abandon unsustainable hunting of monkeys and as such not affect the Amazonian ecosystem.”

1st April 2013

Stand up, and paddle, for the Amazon!

In July 2013 Dr. Mika Peck will lead an international team aiming to be the first to descend the Amazon River using inflatable Stand Up Paddle boards. The team will face a month of challenges on one of the mightiest rivers traveling over 1300 km through the Ecuadorian, Peruvian and Colombian Amazon before finishing at the border with Brazil. They aim to cover up to 80 km a day to raise funds for conservation and sustainable livelihoods while increasing awareness of the issues facing the Amazon basin. Please help Mika and his team to get to Leticia - give a donation or read more about this initiative here!

8-12th March 2013

Visit from The DuMond Conservancy

We had the visit of Dr Sian Evans, director of the DuMond Conservancy (US), and Dr. Robert Cooper, one of the first scientists conducting primate census in Colombia during the early 70s. Both of them are experts in the Aotus (night monkeys). We gave them an update of the current advances of the popular action to stop the illegal trade in night monkeys for biomedical research. Although currently trapping permits are revoked, however the regional environmental authority and the biomedical facility continue releasing monkeys after experimentation into indigenous territories. A supporting letter for the popular action was submitted by Dr Evans and Dr. Cooper to the court. In addition, we established collaboration between volunteers from the DuMond Conservancy and the participatory video group “Omagua” from Mocagua indigenous community. This project will start in April-May, 2013.

January 2013

Meeting in the European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium

We had the opportunity to meet with Ms. Catherine Bearder, MEP of the Liberal Democratic Party of southeast England, who is part of the team that oversees the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Colombia-Peru. An overview of the progress of the popular action that aims at eradicating the illegal trade between Colombia and Peru of owl monkeys used in malaria research was given during the meeting. As a result, Ms. Bearder sent a communication to the President of Colombia, Mr. Juan Manuel Santos, to stress the importance of following the agreements of Colombia’s treaty with the EU, especially with regards to the environment.

29th November 2012

Ciencia a Conciencia: First International Forum on Animal Testing, Bogota, Colombia

The Green Party, led by Senator Jorge Londoño’s team, organized this forum to bring together national and international experts on the subject of animal testing for research and education, and facilitate an objective debate regarding Law 165 (Colombian law on the protection and ethical use of animals in research currently being proposed to the Colombian congress). Entropika has had the opportunity to present the legal and social context of biomedical research in the Colombo-Peruvian Amazon. Dr. Nicholas Palmer of the BUAV (England) made an excellent presentation on the alternatives available in the European Union to replace the use of animals for, both, the manufacturing of cosmetics and research on malaria, according to international standards and the concept of the 3 Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement).

29th September - 8th October 2012

Visit of Dr. Mika Peck - Darwin Initiative Scoping Grant

Entropika, together with the participation of the Amacayacu National Park and the University of Sussex (England), organized a series of workshops given to the indigenous communities and stakeholders from Leticia and Bogota. These workshops sought to identify crucial needs for the implementation of a project that will strengthen local economies as conservation strategy for applying to a Darwin Initiative grant in 2013.

21st August 2012

New investigation from the BUAV on the trade in night monkeys in Peru and Colombia

The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection is a leading animal protection organisation based in the UK. Sarah Kite, BUAV Director of Special Projects stated:

"Our investigation reveals not only the cruel nature in which these owl monkeys have been torn from their homes and families, but also the destruction that hunting causes to forests that are home to a host of species. We urge the Colombian and Peruvian CITES authorities and governments to put an end to this cruel trade and to focus efforts on preserving their rich and diverse native wildlife."

Click here to see the full BUAV press release.

12-17th August 2012

XXIV Congress of the International Primatological Society (IPS), Cancun, Mexico

New information on the ecology (Argentina), conservation (Colombia) and non-invasive use of owl monkeys (Aotus spp.) in laboratories (U.S.) was presented during the IPS symposium titled "The Biology of Owl Monkeys: A Poorly Understood and Unique Anthropoid". Several primatologists backed the request of A. Maldonado of obtaining the IPS’s institutional support for the popular action that aims at eradicating the illegal trafficking of this genus used for malaria research in Colombia. As a result, we obtained a letter of institutional support from the IPS which was approved during the assembly.

5th July 2012

Sentence of Popular action in favour of the conservation of night monkeys in Colombia

On 5th July 2012, Judge Claudia Elizabeth Lozzi Moreno from the Administrative Court of Cundinamarca provided a first instance ruling against the Institute of Immunology Foundation of Colombia - FIDIC, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia, and the Corporation for the Sustainable Development of the Southern Amazon - CORPOAMAZONÍA. The Popular action instituted by Angela Maldonado and the environmental solicitor Gabriel Vanegas, protects the collective rights and interests of Colombian society which are infringed by the permits granted to the FIDIC, legally represented by Dr. Manuel Elkin Patarroyo, for the studying and scientific hunting of the Aotus vociferans (Amazonian night monkey), used in the research of a "synthetic vaccine for malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum" in the Colombian department of Amazonas.

The verdict recognizes the defending entities as culpable of not complying with their duty to ensure the protection of biodiversity and the integrity of the environment, and of not complying with Colombia's international commitments to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora – CITES; simultaneously incurring in a number of environmental, administrative and, in general, anti-juridical, irregularities and anomalies.

This Popular action was instituted in April 2011 and accepted by the court in June 2011. The hard evidence provided was compiled by more than 50 appendices composed of:

  1. Legal documents regarding the permits granted to the FIDIC since 1999, acquired through right of information requests to the environmental authorities.
  2. Scientific publications from the FIDIC that presented the use of Aotus nancymaae and Aotus nigriceps in their research (including translations into Spanish done by sworn English-Spanish translators).
  3. Interviews and trapping methods carried out by Peruvian collectors of night monkeys recorded in 2010, while we collected Aotus nancymaae from Peru, under the research permit (Resolution) N° 428-2009-AG-OGFFS-OGEFFS, granted by the Peruvian Ministry of Environment. This work was done in collaboration with Peruvian biologists from the San Marcos University (Lima, Peru).
  4. Several technical concepts granted by Colombian universities.
  5. Scientific publications confirming the population status of Aotus spp. in the Colombian-Peruvian border (2010-2011).
  6. Denounces made by Peruvian community authorities regarding the continuous trade in night monkeys.

The court's decision is the first step to stop the illegal trade in night monkeys, as current permits were revoked. From the 4 institutions that were sued, only the FIDIC and the Ministry of Environment appealed. The law case against the FIDIC will thus be transferred to another court. This achievement, that sets a step forward in strengthening the environmental law and the conservation of natural resources in Colombia, could not have been possible without the support of several institutions and individuals. We therefore would like to deeply thank:

  • Funding institutions: The Whitley Fund for Nature, The Rufford Small Grants, WWF - EFN programme (Andrea Santy), The International Primate Protection League (IPPL – US): Dr. Shirley McGreal and team, and The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV - UK).
  • Campaigning and institutional support: Tikuna communities in Colombia and Peru. The Colombian Primatological Society, San Marcos University and CITES, Peru (Fanny Cornejo and Dr. Victor Pacheco). The DuMond Conservancy (Dr. Sian Evans), ProWidlife, The Contraloria del Amazonas (Dr. Jairo Osorio - 2011).
  • Logistics, technical concepts, publications revisions and other relevant documents: National University of Colombia (Bogota): Claudia Brieva, Prof. Thomas Defler and Marta Bueno. Universidad Javeriana: Dr. Manuel Ruiz. Andes University: Dr. Pablo Stevenson. Oxford Brookes University: Prof. Simon Bearder. Amacayacu National Park: Eliana Martínez and Alex Alfonso.
  • Individuals: Lina Pelaez, Xyomara Carretero, Dr. Bernardo Ortiz, Dr. Eduardo Fernández-Duque, Dr. José Arturo Gutiérrez, Martin Stanley, Jaime Maldonado, Thomas Lafon, and Entropika’s volunteer team.
  • Research permits: Colombian Park system and Ministry of Agriculture of Peru.

Click here to see a shortened version of the judgment and here to see the full version (in Spanish).

12-21st May 2012

Sounding the Amazon basin with the IDEAM

Together with Jennifer Fowler from the University of Montana, USA, Jaime Tamayo and Fredy Jiménez from the IDEAM (Colombian meteorological services) of Leticia, Entropika tested a radiosonde system developed by GRAW. The advantage of using GRAW is that it is cheaper than the system currently used by the IDEAM, while keeping similar standards of quality. This year, no soundings were launched in Leticia, as radiosonde prices have increased. It should be noted that this issue is recurrent in developing countries of Africa and South America.

The GRAW radiosonde system was found to work perfectly well, reaching altitudes of 30 kilometres without difficulties, for as much as half the price of the radiosondes currently used by the IDEAM. This system proves to be a viable alternative to conduct cheaper daily soundings in Leticia.

The week of soundings was concluded with a presentation and demonstration of a sounding flight to the orphanage "La Aljaba". Pictures of this educational outreach can be found here.

March - May 2012

The floods in the tri-border area leave numerous victims behind

The level of the Amazon river over March to May 2012 was higher than ever recorded before in the tri-border area, engendering devastating floods and forced population migration. The Amacayacu National Park and houses in the communities located along the rivers have had to be evacuated.

Around 230 families from the indigenous communities of Mocagua, San Martin, Palmeras (Colombia), Vista Alegre and Yahuma (Peru) lost their cultivations. In places located on lower grounds, such as the community of Palmeras, houses have had to be evacuated. In Vista Alegre, and other communities on the Peruvian side of the Amazon River, floods and subsequent damages were more severe and, in some cases, entire communities were wiped off the map. However, support of the Peruvian authorities has been almost non-existent.

The indigenous communities of the Amazon river are currently going through a difficult period. The major impact on human livelihoods is the scarcity of food caused by the destruction of local crops. Other consequences of the floods see the discontinuation of a vast majority of economic and academic activities. At this point any help is welcome. Donations can be sent to Entropika in order to buy tools and seeds to re-locate local crops.

5th March 2012

"Hunting by Tikunas in the Southern Colombian Amazon" by Angela Maldonado

This book presents the results of Entropika's community-based research with the active involvement of Tikuna indigenous people. Furthermore, it provides recommendations for the implementation of a conservation strategy in the study area.

Available at:

4-11th February 2012

Entropika and the Aotus Project in Maimi, Florida

A. Maldonado and T. Lafon were invited by Dr. Sian Evans from the DuMond Conservancy to give 3 oral presentations on the Aotus Project: at the Amazonia Festival at Monkey Jungle, at Florida International University and at the Terra Environmental Institute for Research. Entropika is now working together with Terra and the DuMond Conservancy in the design of a canopy camera to record behavioural information of night monkeys.

During the launch event for the Book "Engine 2 Diet" by Rip Esselstyn (US professional athlete), organised by the American organic food chain Whole Foods, T. Lafon and A. Maldonado gave poster presentations and distributed yellow chilli samples for promotion purposes. In addition, at the Amazon Festival at Monkey Jungle, T. Lafon gave posters presentations about the yellow chilli project.

15-19th August 2011

IPPL (US) – Entropika at the 61st Meeting of the CITES Standing Committee

The 61st Standing Committee (SC61) meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Geneva, Switzerland, discussed crucial issues regarding the trade of wildlife and flora, such as enforcement matters and the trade and conservation issues in species. Entropika participated in the meeting as a delegate from the International Primate Protection League, an American NGO with whom it has been working since 2006. Our main aim was to provide baseline information on the illegal trade in night moneys for biomedical research market in Leticia, Colombia. Delegates from the range countries where the trade is carried out (Brazil, Colombia and Peru) were contacted during the SC61 as well as the CITES animals committee. With collaboration and advice of national and international NGOs, we are now working together with a research team from the San Marcos University from Lima, Peru, on a document that will provide CITES with the necessary evidence to control the trade of night monkeys in the tri-border area. Click below for more information.

Species Survival Network report on the elephant debate
Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary of the SC61
El Comercio article, 21st August 2011

4th August 2011

Potable water for Vista Alegre, Peru

With the financial support of the US organisation the $10 Club, Entropika installed the first basic potable water system in Vista Alegre, one of the Peruvian communities part of the Aotus Project. Vista Alegre was one of the main providers of night monkeys for the malaria research market in Leticia, Colombia, and currently applies a hunting ban on these primates.

More information on this project can be found here.

19th May 2011

Campaign against the trade of wildlife in the Amazonian tri-border area: Using night monkeys (Aotus spp.) as flagship species

Presentations of wildlife veterinarian Mauricio Vargas-Madrid and Dr. Angela Maldonado, given at the auditorio de la Biblioteca del Banco de la Republica, Leticia, Colombia. The symposium was attended by NGOs, regional governmental authorities, schools, associations of indigenous authorities, higher education institutions, civil society, amongst others. Click below to see the presentations (in Spanish).

Conservation biology of Aotus (Vargas)
Illegal trade of Aotus (Maldonado)

1st April 2011

Launch of the Water Cylce Project (WCP)

The main aim of this project is to provide potable water and basic sanitation to six Tikuna communities located at the Colombian-Peruvian Amazonian border. The WCP is the first bi-national project aiming to implement clean technologies in this Amazonian region.

More information on the "Projects" page of this website.

29th March 2011

Release of the Amazonian Fruit Guide

Combining traditional ecological knowledge with scientific knowledge, Andres Barona with a group of local co-investigators from the Tikuna indigenous communities of Mocagua and San Martin de Amacayacu, identified key plant species for local people and wildlife. This material provides baseline information for education in botanic for indigenous people and students at Amacayacu National Park and its overlapping Tikuna communities, in the Colombian Amazon. Click here to see the Fruit Guide (in Spanish).

21-25th February 2011

Testing AnaSonde-3M sounding equipment in the Colombian Amazon

Jennifer Fowler, physics instructional laboratory coordinator from the University of Montana, USA, and Abby Thane, her student, came to Leticia to test sounding equipment developed by AnaSphere and train Entropika's staff in the collection of meteorological data (temperature, relative humidity, atmospheric pressure). This project is to be integrated into Entropika’s work in climatology, aiming to raise awareness on climate change through local training and the setting up of weather stations in private reserves and other study sites.

23rd November 2010

The Aotus project on Caracol TV

Short documentary "Mujeres que luchan en la selva" presented by Crónicas Caracol.

15th September 2010

International Congress of Primatology, Kyoto, Japan

Oral presentation of "Trade in night monkeys Aotus spp. in the Brazil-Colombia-Peru tri-border area: International wildlife trade regulations are ineffectively enforced".

Dr. Jane Goodall and Dr. Maldonado discussing possible ways to stop illegal trade of night monkeys in the Colombian-Peruvian border area.

20-23th July 2010

Visit from a group of students from The Durell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, Kent University, UK

Filming of the documentary "Living on the Edge" where evidence of the illegal trade in night monkeys was recorded.

15-17th June 2010

Visit from Chris Kraul from Los Angeles Times

Interview for the article "In Colombia, activist works to preserve monkeys".

Los Angeles Times article, 10th July 2010

13th May 2010

NGO reception at The HSCB Private Bank, London, UK

Speech as winner of the HSBC Whitley Award and questions session.

Martin Stanley and Peter Bennett from Rainforest Concern, long-time donors of Entropika.

12th May 2010

The Whitley Awards Ceremony at The Royal Geographical Society, London, UK

Fundación Entropika wins The Whitley Gold Award 2010.

Pictures of the ceremony
The Telegraph article, 13th May 2010
El Tiempo article, 13th May 2010
El Tiempo article, 15th May 2010
Planeta Caracol Radio interview

Press contact: +573135374990

Team of The Whitley Fund for Nature and finalists of The Whitley Awards 2010.

10th May 2010

The Aotus project at The Whitley Awards

Short documentary of the Aotus project presented by David Attenborough at The Whitley Awards 2010.

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