Natutama's Manatee Diploma
One of Fundacion Natutama's main aims is to educate children about the protection of endangered species in the unique and beautiful environment of the Colombian Amazon.
Through educational activities and games, posters, leaflets and talks in local schools and community centres, their campaigns encourage local people to protect endangered species such as dolphins, turtles, pirarucu and manatees and manage the habitat so people and animals can live and prosper side by side. As part of this campaign, Natutama has introduced Diplomas for each of the different endangered species. Children are awarded the diploma after studying the biology, ecology and legislation which affect the animals and committing to collaborate in the conservation of the species. The programme extends to children in Bogota and Cali as well as the children in the Amazon.
Manatees are particularly vulnerable as they do not start to reproduce until they are 6 years old and then only have one baby every 3 years. Working with the local community and fishermen of Puerto Narino, Natutama undertakes an annual census of the local manatee population which has doubled since they started conservation and educational work in 2002.