Tapir

The Brazilian Lowland Tapir (Tapirus terrestris) lives only in South America. In Guyana, the tapir is also known as ‘Bush Cow‘ (the animal, not the vehicle).  Tapir are a uniform brownish grey and one of the largest mammals found in the Rain Forest, weighing in at as much as 250 kg! The tapir has a short stiff mane of dark hair which runs from forehead to shoulder, a short stumpy tail, four toes on its front legs and three webbed toes on its hind feet. With its elongated nose, this large, strange animal looks like a cross between an elephant, a hippopotamus and a cow, but its closest relatives are actually horses and rhinoceroses. Young tapir are mini versions of their parents but have bright yellow or white spotty stripes running along their sides and legs.

Their webbed feet make them adept swimmers and they can be seen on river edges, swamps or walking along lush river bottoms in the Iwokrama Rain Forest or forested areas in the Rupununi. They are all-terrain animals who are at home in any dense vegetation and forest. This shy vegetarian has an excellent sense of smell and uses its prehensile nose to sweep leaves, grass, shoots and fruits into its mouth.

Tapir (Photo by Duncan and Holland)

Tapirs are the largest forest mammal in Guyana and are usually silent, but snort and stamp in alarm. When they want to communicate, they do so with a loud, piercing whistle, and as they answer imitations of this call, hunters can easily find and shoot them for meat. As a result they are easy targets for hunters and this pressure along with habitat destruction has made them vulnerable to local extinction. Makushi people believe that new mothers should not eat tapir meat as the spirit of the animal would stamp on the spirit of the child and affect the development of the baby.

Rain forests are rich in biodiversity and are home to many different plants and animals as well as indigenous communities. Humans, even those who don’t live in the rain forest, rely on it for resources such as building materials (wood and lianas), medicine and fruits. Rain forests also provide essential environmental services for life on earth; they create soil as well as prevent soil erosion, produce oxygen though photosynthesis, maintain clean water systems, and are a key defence against climate change. 

The Iwokrama Rain Forest is 371,000 hectares, located in the heart of Guyana.  Our mission is to develop strategies for conservation and sustainable development for local people in Guyana and the world at large. We are involved in timber, tourism and training.  Come and visit us in the rain forest or at http://www.iwokrama.org.

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Jumbie story

I was having a conversation with someone recently who relayed that a woman she knew was complaining about having “seven jumbies” attached to her.

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Can Guyana afford parking meters?

‘Cities love meters – they are a “captive” income source. … unless you know someone or are a “public figure”, the city will tow your car if you have too many tickets.

20160629Development Watch29

Government spending and the economy

Last week the Private Sector Commission (PSC) urged the government to increase its spending to stimulate the needed aggregate demand to sustain business activity.

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Peru’s president-elect demands freedoms in Venezuela

Peru’s pro-business President-elect Pedro Pablo Kuczynski won his country’s elections by a hair with the last-minute help of a leftist party, but — judging from what he told me in an interview — he won’t budge on his criticism of Venezuela and other repressive regimes.

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Public financial management: 1966 – present (Final)

This is the fifth and final in a series of articles on the above aimed at highlighting the extent of our achievements in the post-Independence period.

LUCAS STOCK INDEXThe Lucas Stock Index (LSI) rose 0.54 per cent during the third period of trading in June 2016. The stocks of six companies were traded with 79,573 shares changing hands. There were three Climbers and one Tumbler. The stocks of Banks DIH (DIH) rose 1.98 per cent on the sale of 18,757 while the stocks of Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) rose 5.26 per cent on the sale of 41,667 shares. In addition, the stocks of Demerara Tobacco Company (DTC) rose 1.51 per cent on the sale of 13,603 shares. In contrast, the stocks of Demerara Bank Limited (DBL) fell 5.26 per cent on the sale of 4,324 shares.  In the meanwhile, the stocks of Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (BTI) and Republic Bank Limited (RBL) remained unchanged on the sale of 222 and 1,000 shares respectively.

Massy and Guyana (Part 1)

Steadfast Last year, this writer looked at the Massy Group of Companies formerly Neal and Massy to gain an understanding of the operations of this company which has been doing business in Guyana for the past 48 years. 

20160626table2jun

Value-added performance of the forest sub-sector: Erratic, weak, declining

Erratic Last week’s column highlighted what I consider to be a most distinctive feature of the extractive forest sub-sector’s performance in Guyana’s economy, during the past decade.

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The UK bids Europe farewell

On June 23 by a small majority, the British people voted to remove themselves from the European Union (EU). The decision has consequences for the Caribbean.

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