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This month, there have been several events in Brazil to launch the Portuguese version of ABAYOMI, THE BRAZILIAN PUMA: The True Story of an Orphaned Cub.
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Here’s the report from Kitty Harvill, the illustrator, who is a half-time resident of Brazil:
The launching of ABAYOMI, um Encontro Feliz in Campinas, in the São Paulo state (Campinas – SP), Brazil and its environs was a great success. Beginning with a program in Vinhedo-SP, sponsored by the mayor’s office, with more than 400 teachers in attendance and including a slideshow presentation and reading of the book.

The following day we held an art workshop at the Casa da Criança Paraítica de Campinas, a school for handicapped children. I began with a large canvas and quickly painted an outline of ABAYOMI, inviting the children to create a “Floresta Feliz” or happy forest for him. There was much excitement in the crowd, both with the activity of painting and with the story of ABAYOMI, having been read by the Communications Director of FMC, our sponsor of the book here in Brazil as a project of the Brazilian Ministry of Culture.

We held our second workshop on Wednesday, with equally wonderful results, involving all the students at the private school, Escola Ativa. Many thanks to all who helped in the organization of these events, but most especially to my husband, Christoph Hrdina, who is not only the administrator of the project through the Ministry, but more than an assistant in our workshops, involving the children and serving as occasional translator for me, when my Portuguese wasn’t quite up to the task. Darcy and I have collaborated on a project that is not only timely but critical to the environmental issues that are pressing on these urban areas at this time on our planet.

For more, see this article in the Brazilian press; or read the same article as a Google Translated document.

A special thanks to Márcia Rodrigues, Ph.D. and Sergio Ferreira, the puma scientists who are responsible for taking care of Abayomi and bringing his story to their community.

Watch Kids Paint a Puma

This is what children’s books can do: bring together a community around kids.

If you can’t see this video, click here.

Photos from the Brazilian Launch of Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma

Click on the photo to see if full size.

The Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge does an annual count of its bird population, and this year brings a welcome surprise. Last year’s count was about 400,000 Laysan albatrosses, and that shot up this year to about 700,000. Midway Atoll is now the largest colony of Laysan albatrosses in the world. Read the FWS press release.

Be Wisdom’s Friend: Like Her Page on Facebook!

This photo shows the density of nesting birds on Midway Atoll. Laysan albatross population is up over 50%.
This photo shows the density of nesting birds on Midway Atoll. Laysan albatross population is up over 50%.

Wisdom laid her egg on December 3, 2014 and the hatch date is expected to be about February 6, 2015. Look for news here when she hatches her latest!

This ebook tells the story of Wisdom, the Midway Albatross, the oldest known wild bird in the world. Possibly the oldest mother in the world, at the age of 63+!
This ebook tells the story of Wisdom, the Midway Albatross, the oldest known wild bird in the world. Possibly the oldest mother in the world, at the age of 63+!
Volunteers count the albatrosses on Midway Island.
Volunteers count the albatrosses on Midway Island.

Today, we feature art from illustrator Kitty Harvill and her friends. Last January, she started a Facebook group devoted to creating a weekly nature art challenge. Each week, Kitty posts a photograph and challenges the artists to do an original painting based on the photo. Week 51, late in December 2014, the artists were challenged by photos of the puma named Abayomi. Here’s what Kitty says about the group and the challenge.

Week 51 Challenge: Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma

We are an international art group on Facebook, www.facebook.com/groups/natureartchallenge/ and we work from a new photo from nature each week. Many weeks are dedicated to the causes of endangered species and partnering with the organizations or biologists that work on their behalf. Our membership spans 4 continents and we have partnered for causes around the world, including Brazil, Morocco, Indonesia, the Philippines and Madagasgar. Here is my introduction to WEEK 51 (ABAYOMI’s) :

WEEK 51 – Merry Christmas week !! ABAYOMI is our subject this week as a special Christmas present to two very special people, biologist Márcia Rodrigues and her husband Sérgio Ferreira. These two work tirelessly in the rescue and rehabilitation of wild pumas. This past year they achieved the opening of the Wildlife Rehabilitation & Training Center, where Abayomi and other young pumas undergo special training in order to be able to return to the wild. Another special thank you to writer, Darcy Pattison, who helped us bring Abayomí’s story to the world – and now our group has a chance to bring more awareness to the problems these pumas are facing today by providing our paintings to raise awareness of their plight.

Visit the Abayomi Project here (in English) :http://www.icmbio.gov.br/corredordasoncas/en/abayomi-project

And in Portuguese :http://www.icmbio.gov.br/corredordasoncas/pt/projeto-abayomi

Happy Painting & MERRY CHRISTMAS !!!

Abayomi Paintings

by Christoph Hrdina
by Christoph Hrdina
by Kitty Harvill
by Kitty Harvill
by Charith Pelpola
by Charith Pelpola
by Teri Jordan
by Teri Jordan
Collage of illustrations from Week 51 Nature Art Challenge. Click to see full size.
Collage of illustrations from Week 51 Nature Art Challenge. Click to see full size.

Read more about Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma

2015 National Science Teacher's Association - Outstanding Science Trade Book
2015 National Science Teacher’s Association – Outstanding Science Trade Book
‘s story.

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