Wild Futures and the primate pet trade

By Paul Michael Reynolds MSc
Education Officer and Primate Keeper
Wild Futures-Primate Conservation

Wild Futures is a UK registered charity founded upon five decades of experience as a leader in the field of primate welfare and conservation, education, and sustainable practice. We are committed to protecting primates and habitats worldwide, with our UK flagship project The Monkey Sanctuary housing monkeys rescued from the primate pet trade and other abusive captive situations.

Our primary focus at Wild Futures is to protect primates and one of our main methods for achieving this is through education. Our education program raises awareness of the serious conservation and welfare implications for victims of the primate pet trade and other issues affecting primates worldwide. Some of the monkeys at our Sanctuary were born in the wild and through both legal and illegal means, have ended up as pets in Europe. Kodak the capuchin (see photo below), started his life in the rainforest and probably witnessed his family group shot. He then found himself transported across the globe to Greece where he was kept in a photo shop, until his owner realized he needed to be with others of his own kind. He is now the alpha male of his own group at our Sanctuary.

Kodak is one of the primates at The Monkey SanctuaryKodak ©Wild Futures

We estimate with the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) that there are approximately 6,000 privately owned primates in the UK, with further evidence suggesting it could be higher and there are signs that the primate pet trade is on the increase. Our Sanctuary witnesses the damage caused by this trade every day. Of the 37 monkeys residing at our Sanctuary, many of them display serious physical and psychological problems resulting from their time kept as pets. Our campaign work has led to much advancement, including political recognition that the trade in primates as pets is an issue within the UK, the publication of the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Privately Kept Non-Human Primates (to be used in conjunction with the Animal Welfare Act 2006) and strong public support, which has resulted in a parliament led committee discussing the UK primate pet trade.

We are working hard to protect primates and their habitats worldwide and strive for the day when all monkeys are free from the threat of the pet trade, free from malnutrition, mental, physical and emotional suffering.

Author Bio:
Paul Reynolds began his work at Wild Futures as a volunteer after completing his MSc in 2010, and after a period of time as a volunteer entered into his current role as Education Officer. He is driven and committed to ending the exploitation of primates for any purpose. You can email him at paul_reynolds@wildfutures.org

Paul Reynolds who works with Wild futures in preserving primatesPaul talking about Maya the Woolly Monkey

Water Conservation

I keep having the same discussions with different lodges concerning water conservation. This is one of the 5 areas of my Eco Rating Exam. The 5 areas are Energy, water, recycling, land and conservation, and community.

Water conservation makes a lot of sense because there is a big water problem worldwide.  Wikipedia has an article on it here: Worldwide Water shortage, they claim there is a water scarcity in every continent of the world. The map below shows it:

Water scarcity worlwide

The Eco Rating Exam stresses water conservation. Lodges and Tours in very wet and rainy areas feel that they shouldn’t be held up to the same standards because there is an abundance of water where they are.  I have tried to incorporate some things into the questions of the Eco Ratings Exam.  For example, one of the questions is do you re-use gray water for irrigation?  This makes no sense if you have so much rain water that you don’t even have to irrigate.  I solved this question by adding this as a possible answer: Water is abundant and there is no need to collect gray water. There is another question that lodges do score lower on if they answer no.  That question asks if they record their water usage as part of water conservation.  So far, I have been tackling this question on an individual basis but maybe it’s time for some guidelines.

Our overall goal is promoting ecotourism.  As such, I think eco lodges and tours are in a great position to help educate people and act as the fore front for Global change.  By recording usage and conserving to some extent, even when they don’t have to because of an abundance shows the world that it’s important. As with most things in life, this is a progression.  I’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts about this water issue.  the more it is discussed, the more we will move forward towards change.

Here’s a quick way to share your opinion.
Do you think lodges/tours should have to record their water usage if they are located somewhere with abundant water?

Bryn Elltyd Eco Guesthouse

Zero carbon, 1883 guesthouse business lines up for UK wide eco award

 

Eco Guesthouse in the U.K.

House is at bottom of this ramp that was used to lower slate wagons on to ffestiniog steam railway. Railway is so old it is pre steam engines. 1830,s it all rolled with gravity2ok long

**2014 Winner of Considerate Hotelier Green Team**

Bryn Elltyd eco guesthouse, 700ft up in Snowdonia has made it to the last 3 in the prestigious Considerate Hotelier awards. This national UK competition examines the sustainability and green ethos of, usually much larger hotels. Ceilia and John’s tiny 3 star, 6 bedroom, guesthouse are on a shortlist of 3. Pitted against the likes of the Best Western Hotel chain’ hotel in Suffolk.  It does not worry them, last year they competed in the awards against large 20 bed, 5 star hotels. They won and sat next to the Savoy green team to discuss carbon reduction.Lake in background is one of 2 hydro plants within 200m. This one has LAKE pumped up 3k and 400m up hill most nights. When they want power, open tap and full power in 6 seconds. store wind power electric etc

Steam train at back

Very old steam train

Green does not mean compromise as Bryn Elltyd shows. Wi fi, sauna, 3 electric car charge points etc. It is all carbon neutral, all energy comes from renewable. Having had solar panels since 1983 John and Ceilia like to think they tread lightly on the land for their grandchildren. Many organizations discuss climate change and carbon reduction, but this business has acted and runs only on renewable energy.

Heating uses a local wood bye product that is turned to gas and burnt at 900c. Amazingly for a house up a Welsh mountain it has computer inter-grated solar panels that work to make hot water. Other solar arrays make 240v electric. All the work has been done by John or by employing local engineers.

Spot the solar thermal and solar electric arrays. turf roofed lined with sheeps wool and cosy.

Spot the solar thermal and solar electric arrays. turf roofed lined with sheeps wool and cosy.

Rain can be a welcome resource here. It is harvested to flush loos(toilets) and water the garden and there are also two commercial hydro plants within 200m. Sewerage goes through 3 natural biological chambers then a small reed bed and into a duck pond, with ducks. John says ” Don’t panic the system is smell free and the loo flushing is normal.  Bryn Elltyd was built in 1883, had an out side tap in 1983 and has now evolved into carbon neutral. It has been a long adventure using my 25 years experience of teaching technology and engineering. High tech solar integration works, as does low tech conservatories, soaking up the heat into 39inch thick walls and vents to put this warm air into the house.  Together with my wife Ceilia we did what most parents dream about. The children went off to uni so we put the house on the market, sold up and moved to this stunning area where we used to holiday. Take care in the Hobbit room, lined with cozy sheep’s wool, turf roofed and dug into the mountain. It has had two marriage proposals in it so far……..’’

The Considerate Hotelier Awards are in London on 13th June.  It was won last year by the Savoy hotel and our little green zero carbon guesthouse with 6 bedrooms is against  a 34 and a 396 bedroom hotels that are part of national chains. No worries.

To see their listing go here: Bryn Elltyd Eco Guesthouse in the UK

Maya Luna Eco Lodge

Maya Luna Eco Lodge in Mexico

Maya Luna Eco Lodge is located 4km south of the small fishermans town of Mahahual at the Costa Maya, the Caribbean coast of Mexico.

All 4 beach front bungalows with oceanview have a private bathroom, king-size bed, ceiling fan, hammocks and upstairs a private roof-deck. Extra beds for each studio are available. One bungalow is completely accessible for people in wheelchairs; Electricity is generated via solar panels. All rooms have 24 hours of electricity. To save energy, we use energy efficient lamps and fans in the main building and the rooms. For its water supply hotel Maya Luna uses rain water falling on the roof to be collected in large basements under the terrace. A basement for waste water was constructed and consists of different compounds with filters installed. After filtering the water can be used for irrigation.

The restaurant-bar at the waterfront offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. Our menu offers a selection of European & Mexican dishes with an Indonesian flavor. One of our specials is a stuffed pineapple with shrimps, cashew nuts, rice, chile poblano & omelette, topped with coriander. From local fisherman we buy their “catch of the day”. All inclusive packages on request.

Majahuitas Resort on Bay of Banderas, Mexico

Majahuitas Resort Mexico

Majahuitas Resort Mexico is situated in a secluded area of the Bay of Banderas

Just 15 minutes south of the bustling city of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and yet a world away.  The only way to get there is by boat.  You are surrounded by the Pacific Ocean in front and the jungle in back which adds to the delightful feeling of seclusion. You are minutes from the hustle and bustle of a big city, yet feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere. At Majahuitas Resort Mexico you will feel be able to relax and enjoy the area in peace.

Come relax in seclusion with only 8 small cabins.  Here at Majahuitas Resort Mexico you can relax to your hearts content or if you’re feeling energetic, we have the following activities included with your stay:
Kayaks
Stand-Up Paddle Boards
Snorkeling gear
Beach Volleyball
Table Tennis
Daily Guided tour and hike to Quimixto Waterfall from 10-2pm.
Movie Night for classics on the beach once a week.

Visit our listing page with more information >>

Tranquil Seas Resort

TranquilSeas Eco Lodge

TranquilSeas has intimate boutique cabanas nestled amongst lush foliage. From your cabana you are just footsteps to the beach, snorkeling, private pool, bar a restaraunt. As you would expect from a tropical island, the lush green exotic jungle that laces Roatan provides a canopy for many indigenous birds and creatures that are the backbone for the golden palm-fringed beaches.

Tranquilseas Eco Lodge, Diving Center, Restaurant & Bar, Roatan, Honduras – Unique island accommodation & Padi Dive Resort set amongst beautifully landscaped tropical gardens, secluded from the hustle and bustle and yet easily accessible to some of the great adventures to be had on Roatan.

Whether you are looking for a Honduras or Roatan hotel or Eco Lodge, complete Padi diving resort for your Roatan diving experience, or are just passing through and want to spend a few nights vacation on the hidden gem of Roatan, Honduras; Tranquilseas Eco Lodge is where you will be able to do as much or as little as you like. Situated on the North side of Roatan, You will find our established Cabanas nestled in amongst exotic flora and fauna providing unique lodge accommodation in Roatan.

Visit our listing page with more information >>

Eco friendly tropical resorts and hotels

Eco Friendly Lodges & Hotels

Eco friendly tourism involves responsible travel to natural areas where they conserve the environment and improve the welfare of the local people. The lodges, resorts and hotels on this website are characterized by environmental and cultural awareness and respect. Often the goal of an eco friendly resort or hotel is to not only offer an environmentally responsible environment but also to educate their visitors on preserving the fragile ecology of the area.

Find an Eco Friendly Lodge for your next vacation destination >>

Eco Hub Mexico

Eco Hub Mexico was created by conservationists

They offer you some of the very best ecotours, adventure tours, conservation expeditions and vacations available in Mexico and beyond including kayaking, whale-watching, wildlife & nature,  snorkeling, surfing, scuba diving, white shark cage diving, backpacking, bicycle tours, cultural and sightseeing trips, conservation adventures and much more.

We are a family run business. The creators, Jazel Durazo and Jay Gittens, have personally travelled the length and breadth of the beautiful Baja California peninsula which gave rise to this unique collection of hand-selected ecotours, eco adventures, vacations and accommodations. Since then we have quickly expanded our services into the Yucatan peninsula, Chihuahua, Sonora, Nayarit, Oaxaca and Jalisco and are currently in the process of  expanding our booking services to cover other pristine, special or otherwise naturally beautiful areas of Mexico, central America and other Latin-American countries.

We are true travellers, ecotourists and conservationists with a passion for life and all that is natural (except mosquitoes!).

Our business is based upon being completely upfront and transparent to both you, the traveller, and the tour operators, conservation organisations and accommodation owners listed in this directory. In business, honesty is the most important thing.

Main objectives;

  • to supply a top quality, informative online resource for ecotours, adventure tours and other excursions in Mexico and beyond.
  • to promote tourism that has a limited impact on the environment and is sustainable for the long-term.
  • to support conservation efforts and encourage individuals to incorporate conservation into their everyday lives.
  • to always be creating new opportunities and business for ourselves and those we work with.
  • to be upfront and transparent in all our business dealings.
  • to always be progressing, working towards our many dreams and encouraging others to also.

Our Mission;

‘To be a leading choice for sustainable travel and adventure in Mexico and beyond.’ …… gradually transforming Eco-Hub Mexico into a living, breathing,organic resource packed with fun excursions, package vacations and a number of special once-in-a-lifetime adventure travel experiences.

Our Promise to you;

All ecotours offered by Eco-Hub Mexico are, to the best of our knowledge, provided by tour operators who have a passion for the environment and the interactions with the environment that they offer to you. Our team are committed to regular monitoring of our tour providers standards of service.

Conservation;

Eco-Hub Mexico, and our very own MarineScape Conservation, are supporters of a cutting-edge marine turtle conservation project in Jalisco, Mexico. Click here for more details.

Yoga is better when surrounded by nature, especially in the tropics

Guess What? Yoga is better in nature

Breathe deeply… The air is clean at tropical eco resorts in the heart of Bali, Indonesia. While Ubud is commonly considered the yoga capital of Bali, its rapid growth, traffic congestion and poorer air quality is now sending nature lovers further into the hills of central Bali where not only is the air clean, but you can also drink and bathe in pure mountain spring water and eat clean local food.

The traditional heart of Bali is rich in culture, the way Bali used to be before tourism ran rampant in the south of the island. Here in central Bali you navigate your way by which volcano you are on. The largest volcano, Mount Agung in the east rises to over 3,000m. The slopes are too cold and barren to be inhabited but Agung provides a stunning sky scape that can be seen from nearly anywhere in Bali. Heading west, the steaming active volcano of Yoga in nature in Bali, IndonesiaMt Batur rises inside the collapsed volcano of Kintamani.

On the western slopes of Kintamani at 1007m elevation, surrounded by nature, near Plaga and the famous big long bridge, is Bali Ecovillage. Here the days are mild but be prepared to rug up in front of an open fire of an evening. Bali Ecovillage provides two yoga spaces and free classes for guests when they have guest yoga teachers from April to November to help guests connect with the beautiful location. Yoga makes more sense in nature and many guests have experienced the joy of their very first yoga class here in the mountains. Both yoga spaces, one indoor and one large outdoor bamboo bale have views across a valley to a wall of trees where often the mountain mist can be seen rolling down the valley. The 19 bed resort is available to hire for yoga and health retreats. Bali Ecovillage has more of an earthy farm stay feeling than a resort and is a wonderful place to connect with nature.

Further west, closer to central Bali is Bedugal and another volcanic mountain Batukaru. On the south west slopes of Mt Batukaru, in north Tabanan district, you will find two Eco lodges in even greener rainforest surroundings.  Bali Eco Stay, a boutique and very comfortable 5 bungalow eco resort can expand to 14 beds for small retreat groups. The lovely rectangular timber yoga bale has food forest views and is available for self practice or for yoga retreats. The grounds of the resort have lovely mixed tropical gardens over looking rice paddies with views to the ocean. The resort sources the purest of water from a mountain spring and  is on the banks of a small mountain stream that tumbles down a stunning waterfall, providing hydro power to the resort. At only 400m elevation, the weather is mild and you only need a light cardigan on the coolest of evenings. www.baliecostay.com

From Bali Eco Stay take a 20 minute drive through jungle, food forest and coffee plantations, with a slight climb in elevation up to 750m, to find the award winning Sarinbuana Eco Lodge. It’s round yoga bale makes a stunning presence as you wander down a winding stone path towards the forest. With timber floor and a towering woven bamboo roof, this is a happy place to breathe in deeply the clean mountain air while you stretch and twist your body through yoga. The bale was built for retreat groups up to 14. Do your own yoga or book a private yoga lesson from Val who lives just 100 m up the mountain. www.baliecolodge.com

Val and her husband Craig plan to open their own rainforest retreat and spa, complete with forest yoga bale by mid 2014. www.balicascade.com So eco lovers… Head to the mountains of Bali to discover unique and wonderful Eco lodges where you can breathe in deeply the fresh clean air and stretch and twist to give your body a yoga holiday. Be prepared to get off the beaten track where the roads are bumpy, but doesn’t that just add to the adventure and make you feel clever for finding these special secret places in the heart of Bali. By Miss Ronnie Eco Tropical Resorts Journalist 2014.

Eco Lodge for sale on the Caribbean in Mexico

Eco Lodge for sale on the Costa Maya in Mexico
Maya Luna is located on beach front property on The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, a world class coral reef. The hotel offers diving, snorkeling, fly-fishing, trawling and bird watching. It is a small boutique type Eco Lodge on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. This is known as the Costa Maya in the Yucatan Peninsula, known as a desirable place to travel. The beachfront restaurant offers a daily variety of Mexican, Oriental and European flavors with staff well trained and willing to stay on.

Maya Luna is located near the small town of Mahahual. This is one of the most relaxing places and nature abounds. Tranquility is there in abundance in the unspoiled environment.

Hotel Maya Luna is located two miles south of the important Mexican-Caribbean cruise ship port and little fisherman’s town MAHAHUAL, known as Puerto Costa Maya. It is a 4.5 hours drive from the international airport of Cancun, at 360 km (219 miles). Chetumal, at 140 km (89 miles) and 1.5 hours, has a national airport with flights from Mexico City. There are daily bus services from Costa Maya to Cancun and Chetumal. Most tourists arrive in rental cars.

Maya Luna is owned by a Dutch couple. They built the resort in 2003. Their mission-statement: Maya Luna must be an eco-resort where the guests feel at ease, the Mexican employees gain a rewarding living and the owners make a fair profit.

The resort facilities include four spacious beach front bungalows that all have a beach terrace downstairs and a private roof deck upstairs, a king size bed or individual beds, bathroom, closet, hot and cold water, drinking water, beach chairs, and hammocks. One of the bungalows is fully equipped for wheel-chair travelers.
The two floor main building: Downstairs consists of a beach front restaurant, fully equipped kitchen, reception, palapa-covered patios, public toilets, and storage. Upstairs has two rooms, storage and a huge ocean view terrace.
All the buildings and parking places are situated in beautiful, tropical gardens.
The eco-resort runs 24 hours on a solar panel system with back-up generator, rainwater with big cisterns and septic tanks for the dirty water. Wireless and cellular telephone are available.
All the permits, land titles, environmental impact study and all business permits are in order. Tax and social security payments are up to date. Maya Luna has a permit to build 2 more bungalows. If you are interested, please contact the owners at info@hotelmyaluna.com.