In October 2015, the first 20 Black-fronted Piping Guan (Aburria jacutinga) will be released at REGUA, the fruit of a partnership between REGUA and Birdlife International’s Brazilian partner SAVE Brazil , a project supported by Brazil’s cosmetic giant “O Boticário”.
This stunning Guan was discovered by German ornithologist Johann von Spix in 1819 in his travels in Rio state, not 50 km from REGUA. Even in 1837 Charles Gardner described their abundance in the same place describing the hunting of the species by locals. Noted Brazilian ornithologist Helmut Sick still noted local presence in 1915 in the Serra dos Órgãos but by 1950, but sadly not even two hundred years after their discovery, they were extinct in Rio State.
Although REGUA released 20 birds in a trial in 2009, the project will be the first major concerted effort to get the birds back in nature in its home ground.
The birds for release will be sourced from renowned captive breeders, Institute Tropicus. Adolescent birds will be transported to North Fluminense University ( UENF) for full veterinary health checks and final preparation for release under the care of Dr. Carlos Ruiz Miranda, before arriving at REGUA this coming October.
Doctorate student Livia who completed her master at REGUA will monitor the birds with radio tags as a means to learn this species’ behavior in the wild. The subsequent generated information will help understand the needs of the species and with further releases in the next two years, followed by two years of further monitoring, it is hopeful that with this effort and knowledge, the birds will provide the basis for an initial population of the species in the forests of Rio de Janeiro
Everyone is very excited and the release pen at REGUA is currently being refurbished in their preparation.