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Edging Toward Extinction: A Report on the Status of Wildlife in Latin America, is the result of a three month research project undertaken on behalf of The Institute for the Study of Animal Problems (ISAP), a division of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The project was a preliminary study with the following objectives. First, it provides ISAP and HSUS with a broader base of information on international matters pertaining to man's relationship with animals. Second, the report includes recommendations concerning the role which HSUS could perform within the growing international conservation movement. Third, the report mav. serve as a basis for a more detailed study if considered desirable.

It is the author's premise that the efforts of any U.S. or international agency - be it governmental or private - in the less developed nations can only be as effective as the contact organizations and individuals in each country. This is true whether the proposed activity is the creation of a national park to protect a nation's threatened fauna and flora, or a development project aimed at enhancing the socio-economic quality of human life. This notion is further discussed in Section Ill.

One of the first objectives of the project was the designation of and approach to organizations and individuals in Latin America and other countries who share HSUS's concern about wildlife and animal welfare issues in Central and South America. To this end a total of 156 questionnaires (see Appendix D) were sent to the twenty-one nations of Latin America, three to European-based organizations, and two to authorities in the United States. Additional questionnaires were enclosed in each mailing together with a request that they be forwarded to other appropriate authorities. By the end of the project period, only a limited number of completed questionnaires had been received from Latin America and Europe. Further responses are anticipated because the majority of the correspondents are known by the author to be concerned with and responsive to the issues with which the study deals. Concurrent with other research activities, twenty-two interviews were conducted in the Washington, D.C. area with officials of U.S. government agencies involved with domestic and international legislation and activities pertaining to Latin American wildlife; with representatives of private conservation organizations, some of whom operate in Latin America; with spokesmen for the pet industry;· and with officials of the Organization of American States.