Baby olinguito found in SavingSpecies project site. Photo by SavingSpecies/Juan Rendon.
Our conservation partners in Colombia have just returned from an extensive conservation trip deep in the La Mesenia Reserve forest restoration project—and they have some fantastic images to share!
Recall that in August we reported on the discovery of the olinguito, a new mammal species, and the first new carnivore discovered in over 30 years. Scientists named it Bassaricyon neblina, in the raccoon family, Procyonidae. We were thrilled to learn that the olinguito lives in our project site in the fragile, fragmented cloud forests we are restoring—with your generous help—in the western Andes of Colombia, one of the most biodiverse and at-risk areas on the planet.
These are clearly young olinguitos—they are so tiny that they almost fit in the gentle hands of our conservation experts. Note the bright, curious eyes, and the nose, adapted for snooping out bits of fruit from the forest.
And of course, the olinguito’s feet are adorable! The photos show off the olinguito’s claws, used to traverse the trees of the cloud forests, and also the textured pads on the bottoms to better grip branches.
As science-driven as SavingSpecies is, even we couldn’t help but be moved by these spectacular new photos, fresh from the field. It is a joy to know that we have been helping to protect this wonderful creature all this time. Enjoy the pictures, and please share them with your friends and family!