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To improve the chances of survival and conservation of species and their habitat, as well as aid in the rational management of natural resources.
1. Rescue, rehabilitate and release wildlife
2. Environmental education
4. Co-administration of protected areas
5. Sustainable community development
ARCAS is a non-profit Guatemalan NGO formed in 1989 by a group of Guatemalan citizens who became concerned as they saw their precious natural heritage - especially their wildlife - rapidly disappearing before their eyes. It was originally created for a very specific and urgent purpose: to build a rescue center to care for and rehabilitate wild animals that were being confiscated from traffickers working in the UN-declared Mayan Biosphere Reserve in the northern Peten region of the country. Since its establishment, the ARCAS Rescue Center has grown into one of the largest and most complex rescue centers in the world, recognized as a model for the region, and certified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. It receives between 300 and 600 animals of more than 40 species per year and benefits from the support of over 400 ecotourists and volunteers.
In 1993, ARCAS opened its Pacific coast sea turtle and mangrove conservation project in the area of Hawaii. There, it manages the most productive of the 21 sea turtle hatcheries in Guatemala, rescuing over 40,000 olive ridley and leatherback eggs per year and collects detailed research data on the coastal and mangrove ecosystems. Also in Hawaii, it is working with the Guatemalan government to establish a 4,000 hectare protected area focused on the local mangrove wetlands.
Since the establishment of its projects in Peten and Hawaii, ARCAS has branched out into other very necessary areas of activity including environmental education, sustainable community development, ecotourism and reforestation, and is currently managing or participating in the management of over 10,000 hectares of protected area, including the Cordillera Alux mountain reserve on the outskirts of Guatemala City.
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