A Release Program to get Animals #Backinthetrees
Released Wildlife & Wildlife Sightings with TRR
About the Sarapiqui Release Site
The Release Site is an ever-expanding component of TRR. TRR has two properties, one parcel of 25 acres and another of 16 acres where the soft release program and interns house is located. Here, we provide volunteer and internship opportunities for zoology, biology, veterinary, and other wildlife professions to gain hands-on-experience with releasing and monitoring wildlife. TRR also expands the Education Program for the community to inform citizens about the importance of keeping wildlife wild and the influence humans have on the environment.
The Toucan Rescue Ranch has been releasing wildlife at this property for over 10 years. Here, we’ve released toucans, parrots, parakeets, sloths, owls, hawks, falcons, opossums, reptiles, and other wildlife. As a part of the program TRR has large soft-release enclosures that allow professionals to create natural environments in order to train rehabilitated animals natural behaviors and skills to be successful once released into their natural habitat.
We are in partnership with The Sloth Institute of Costa Rica to help further the research and release of captive-raised and rehabilitated sloths. TRR also works with a handful of other centers across Costa Rica that have species specific release programs to ensure success for that animal.
Release Candidates VS. Permanent Residents
What Makes a Good Release Candidate?
An animal that is brought to TRR with prior instincts and the knowledge of surviving in the wild is likely for release. Such cases are adult birds and mammals that undergo full recovery from injuries and exhibit behaviors that prove the animal will be successful in the wild. These behaviors include foraging for food, proper movement and strength when climbing, walking, flying, etc., fear of humans (not habituated), and strong instincts. TRR also releases toucan offspring from the breeding program.
ALL releases candidates and locations are a collaborative decision and agreement with TRR administration, TRR veterinarians, and Costa Rica's wildlife governing agency (MINAE).
Why do you have Permanent Residents?
An animal that is brought to TRR with severe injuries that will prevent it from eating, hunting, climbing, flying, foraging or supporting itself independently in the wild is considered unreleasable. TRR has an extensive Release Program for orphaned sloths, various bird species, and other small mammals. Animals that are desensitized to humans due to human interaction (like being kept as a pet) are considered unfit for release. This is because animal risks being captured and reintroduced into the black market as an illegal pet and could face animal neglect and abuse. As well as, have the chances of dying due to insufficient understanding of wild behaviors. Examples of non-releasable animals are parrots kept in someone’s home, an owl that has a missing wing, monkeys brought as orphans and do not have a troop to be released with, etc.
Partnered with The Sloth Institute of Costa Rica
In 2017 Toucan Rescue Ranch and The Sloth Institute came together to form Saving Sloths Together (SST), a Costa Rica wide project seeking to provide greater opportunity for sloths in need. By combining each organization’s skills and knowledge we are able to improve the process of sloth rescue, rehabilitation, and release in Costa Rica. This partnership utilizes scientific expertise, dedication, passion and decades of experience to provide the very best program for every sloth needing help at gaining a second chance at a life in the wild. www.theslothinstitutecostarica.org.
The Sloth Institute (TSI)’s vision is to expand scientific knowledge and education about the sloth to enhance their well-being and assure their conservation here and on this planet.
The Sloth Institute’s 3 part mission: 1) RESEARCH of captive and wild sloths. 2) COLLABORATION with other institutions that work with sloths around the world. 3) EDUCATION to generate and disseminate responsible and balanced information about sloths to the public.
Why do Sloths Need Help?
Historically, sloths have been a highly successful arboreal species however, growing human interactions and development in Costa Rica have made it difficult for them to thrive. As humans move further into the forests and coastlines, destroying natural habitats, sloths have been negatively impacted and greater numbers are dying. Couple this with the growing social media trends and publicities, sloths are faced with more threats to their survival than ever before. While Costa Rica sloths are not yet ENdangered, they are IN danger and need our help before it’s too late.
The Latest Release Program News
Valentine’s is a perfect time of year to celebrate love and show your loved ones how much you care about them. There are different ways you can express your care and feelings for someone, and what about showing it by supporting wildlife simultaneously? Leading up to Valentine’s Day, people around the globe spend the day […]Continue reading
We asked our Release Site team to create an updated Release Site Survival Guide of what it takes to live and work at the Toucan Rescue Ranch Release Site. They all put their heads together and thought about what could be most helpful for the newcomers wanting to know what they’re getting themselves into and […]Continue reading
More than just cute piggy noses or smiling eyes, sloths are incredible arboreal animals. Recently named as a national symbol in Costa Rica, they have gathered people’s attention, yet in more danger than ever: electrocutions, car accidents, and human development has destroyed sloth habitat. Saving sloths and helping them go #backinthetrees is Toucan Rescue Ranch’s […]Continue reading
TRR Raptor Release Program
The Breeding Program
The Toucan Rescue Ranch only breeds birds that can be released. For example, toucans that cannot be reintroduced back into the wild due to injuries or that are habituated to people for too long are candidates for the breeding program. After a DNA test to determine gender, the toucans are paired and placed in one of our breeding enclosures. With the parents here to raise the babies, the offspring are able to be raised wild and not become familiar with humans. Once the bird has reached a mature juvenile stage, the toucan is moved to a pre-release enclosure where it learns to fly, eat natural foods it would find in the rainforest and learn about its predators.
With Emerald Toucanets we learned a lot about breeding: nest logs, diets, duration of babies in the nest and much more. We are applying what we learned to the other species such as the Chestnut-Mandibled, Collared Aracari and Keel-Billed toucan, where we will hopefully be successful in breeding for eventual release.
We also have an owl breeding program where Striped owls, Barn Owls, Pygmy owls and Mottled owls have bred. Since these owls are from our area, they are trained and released at TRR headquarters. We have found that the releases have been tremendously successful and we are excited to be able to introduce native owls to our area.
Making National History
The Toucan Rescue Ranch is the first in Costa Rica and second in the world to successfully have captive-bred Emerald Toucanets! Due to this incredible feat, we have applied this knowledge to our other toucan species. We have found a gradual incline in breeding success at TRR.
We have been the first to have a captive-bred, parent raised Keel-Billed toucan. Additionally, we are seeing progress with our toucan pairs and they are beginning to mate and hatch babies. Stay connected with our newsletter for ongoing successes with our Breeding Program for release!
Toucan Rescue Ranch is constantly perfecting its toucan breeding program. In 2019, we had an exceptional breeding season and have hand-reared three keel-billed toucan chicks. All three of these healthy birds are integrated into a toucan release program where they will be taught foraging and hunting behaviors. As well as, gaining flight strength and adopting appropriate behaviors. Follow us on social media for #ToucanTuesdays to learn more!