Target: Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica
Goal: Stop the destruction of howler monkey habitats for the purpose of tourism expansion
The tourism industry is booming in Costa Rica, which is great for the economy but devastating for howler monkeys native to the region. Construction of new all-inclusive resorts and gated-community condominiums requires bulldozing of rare rainforest leaves, fruit, and flowers that these monkeys depend upon for food.
Unlike most other monkeys, howlers stay in a central location with their community of 12-15 individuals rather than moving long distances throughout the jungle. This makes the endangered species very susceptible to habitat destruction. Howlers are arboreal creatures that spend their entire lives in treetops. If their treetops are replaced with high rises and power lines, they will have no chance of survival.
Howler monkeys have no other option but to relocate to unsafe city streets and cocoa plantations when their forests are destroyed. This also creates a long term ecological effect because howlers play a key role in the regeneration of plant life. The monkeys disperse seeds in their dung, which is an important resource for beetles that recycle these nutrients back into the soil.
Additional rain forest destruction in this region is senseless and unnecessary. As with many tourist areas, restaurants, bars, and hotels come and go as businesses are mismanaged and infrastructure collapses. Countless vacant buildings and empty lots currently line the streets of the most popular cities and coastal towns. New businesses could easily utilize these unused and wasted spaces, which have already undergone natural destruction, to rebuild upon and pursue new businesses.
Sign the petition below to urge the Costa Rican government to utilize existing vacant and unused spaces to simultaneously improve the tourism industry, while also avoiding the destruction of new land at the expense of the howler monkeys.
Dear President Laura Chinchilla,
The senseless and unnecessary destruction of the howler monkey’s natural habitat in Costa Rica must be stopped.
Although the expansion of the tourism industry is essential to the nation’s capital growth, a majority of tourists visit the region with the expectation of viewing wildlife. Because the howler monkeys are some of the slowest and largest species of monkeys in the Costa Rican rainforests, they are one of the easiest exotic creatures for tourists to view and enjoy.
I am urging you to consider the implications upon your country if the howler monkeys cease to exist. Not only do the howlers play a vital role in Costa Rica’s ecosystem, but they also encourage tourism to continue for generations to come.
Please take actions to ensure that developers utilize existing vacant space for new construction before destroying the trees that howler monkeys depend upon. Enough of the rain forest has already been destroyed and there is little one can do about it. You can, however, prevent the expansion of destructive practices and preserve the howler monkey species for future generations to enjoy and adore.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Alyssa L. Ochs