A Tapir Gallery Conservation Profile:
Rubén Wilfrido Núñez Sánchez lives in Baños (state of Tungurahua), Ecuador. He has earned high honors both in his schooling and his newly-begun professional life. Currently, his thesis is in progress at the Universidad Tecnica de Ambato, Facultad de Ingenieria Agronomica (Technical University of Ambato, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering). Ruben spends most of his time working to save mountain tapirs. Together he and Craig C. Downer developed an educational program which Ruben takes to schools, town meetings, police departments, businesses and other groups throughout portions of Ecuador. He works with government, organizations and private citizens to promote and teach conservation. He and Craig have also worked together on scientific ventures with the aim of protecting the fragile and vital Andean ecosystem.
A native of Baños, Ruben has been instrumental in creating interest in conservation in this beautiful tourist town located strategically between Sangay National Park and the newly-created Llanganates National Park. When many of us hear the words "national park," we think of an area where laws are enforced and wildlife is protected. Often, this is not the case in Ecuador. Setting aside a national park is a beginning, but too often laws are not enforced and education is the only way to insure that people learn to respect their wild heritage. Ruben devotes his efforts to this cause with charisma, energy and passion. In addition, he teaches economic alternatives that allow citizens to act on their new respect for the land and its abundant diversity of wildlife.
Ruben is also a leader in his community, and has spearheaded a change in the official name of his neighborhood; it now includes the word "Ecologico" - a word he helps his neighborhood live up to.
Work and Photo
Further description of Ruben's work and a picture of an outing in the mountains.
Conservation: a daily endeavor. Photo of a field trip with kids.
Map of Eastern Ecuador
This map shows some of the locations where Ruben conducts his work.
(Note: if the map doesn't appear to come in, wait a few seconds and it should pop into place.)
Donations and Donor List
What it takes to run this project, and names of those who have helped fund it.
Proposal to Save the Andean Mountain Tapir
An in-depth look at what Ruben does and why.
A report on Ruben's work during 1997.
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