All posts by Sue Healey

Tapir Awareness Programme

As we progress the Brazilian Tapir (Tapirus terrestris)  re-introduction programme, it is vital that the local communities are aware of the project and understand the value of Tapirs to the diversity of the forest.

Nicholas and Raquel are working with the Team on this vital issue – considering the possibility of the Tapirs advancing into local fields and feasting on manioc, corn and guava!

Prof. Maron Galliez and Joana Macedo with Young Rangers
Prof. Maron Galliez and Joana Macedo with Young Rangers (© REGUA)

Brazilian Tapirs have been extinct for the last 100 years in the state of Rio de Janeiro.   They can reach 300 kilos and their diet is based on fruits, leaves and shoots, making them very important seed dispersers and soil fertilizers.

It is not only the adults that are involved in this education programme however.    Professor Maron Galliez and Joana Macedo recently organized a session with the  Young Rangers.

After the Team explained what Tapir are and the reason for their re-introduction, there was a lively audience participation session which the Young Rangers thoroughly enjoyed.

 

 

 

 

Tufted (Brown) Capuchin

A troop of 20 Tufted (Brown) Capuchin were seen on our Casa Anibal/ 4 X 4 trail on 7th November.

Tufted (Brown) Capuchin (Cebus apella)
Tufted (Brown) Capuchin (Cebus apella) (© Paul Duffner)

Cirilo (one of our resident bird guides) was walking with Paul Duffner and his family when they happened across these delightful creatures.

Paul’s daughter Clara had volunteered here in March 2012 and was amazed by the changes in the forests and the growth of the trees.

 

 

Young rangers learn about palms

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Sara talks about Palms at REGUA (© REGUA)

Our Young Ranger project covers many aspects of the REGUA project and the biodiversity of the Atlantic Forest. Sara Colmenares, a Colombian lady undertaking her doctorate degree at REGUA, is studying palm diversity along the altitudinal gradient at REGUA and within the Serra dos Órgãos National Park. Sara recently gave an excellent talk to the Young Rangers about palms and we’d like to say thank you to Sara for a most interesting talk.

Tom Locke

Tree Planting update

The weather at REGUA has been very wet this October but laced with hot sunny days.

The Planting Team are getting ready to plant the area that caught fire earlier in the year. This is an area of degraded grass.   It is a good area and the burning actually accelerated the process of clearing the grass as we prepared the land for planting the trees.

Ridged area is the next to be planted
The ridged area is the next to be planted (with last years planting in the foreground) (© Sue Healey)

The trees waiting in the nursery to be planted out, and we have been gathering seeds and making new seedlings for next year’s planting already.

We aim to start planting in November and will be planting around 25,000 trees in this area.
Last years area of 10,000 trees looks great with strong growth, we have continued to maintain the land by clearing the grass from around the young trees and keeping an eye out for fires and pest damage.

The largest areas REGUA planted in 2013/2015 are also looking fantastic with a Bare-throated Bellbird Procnias nudicollis calling around the trees.

Young Rangers meet snakes

Vital Brasil Institute produces antivenom, for snake, scorpion and spider bites.  Guilherme Jones, a young biologist working at the Institute, was invited by REGUA to give a talk on venomous snakes of the Crotalus, Bothrops and Elapidae genera.

REGUA’s Young Rangers were thrilled to have the opportunity to get a close-up view of some live snakes which were carefully and diligently handled by Guilherme.

Tom Locke

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Guilherme Jones shows snakes to the Young Rangers (© REGUA)

Jacutinga at Funchal School

Jacutinga model
Jacutinga model

Funchal school recently organised a Science Day in which the Black-Fronted-Piping Guan (Aburria jacutinga) was the star of the day.

 

The reintroduction project of this species at REGUA will soon take place and Livia Dias, the biologist in charge of monitoring them was present with her young son, Artur.

 

With models of the bird and information on the re-introduction process,  and the part that these arboreal birds play in the overall biodiversity of the forest, the day was a great success.   Both Raquel Locke and Prof. Carlos from REGUA were delighted to attend.

Livia Dias, Raquel Locke and Staff at Funchal School
Livia Dias, Raquel Locke and Staff at Funchal School (©REGUA)

 

Meeting with local members of the community and especially education in local schools is a vital part of the re-introduction project and also fits well with REGUA’s mission to further environmental education work in the area.

 

Congratulations to the headmaster, teachers, pupils and staff for this wonderful event.

Tom Locke

Elias Faraht school 

Elias Faraht school in Cachoeiras Municipality has visited Regua in the previous two years and developed a regular visitation programme.    This third seminar was (as previously) drawing on their interest in our restored wetlands.   Using them as a base for interdisciplinary studies on hydrology, soil diversity, fauna and tree composition.

The teachers organised the seminar which consisted of students aged 13-15 presenting their work to an audience of parents and school staff.

The Seminar opened with REGUA`s slide presentation and ended with the REGUA GGV Project restoration video.

Special thanks to Professor Denecir, Elias Faraht´s Headmaster and Teachers for the support and recognition given to the project and the wonderful opportunity to promote REGUA´s Conservation and Environmental Education work in the municipality.

Tapirs

Whilst on holiday in the southern Amazon area, I came across a muddy path with these Tapir tracks.   The animals move through the forest looking for muddy pools and water holes, making tunnel-like paths.   They feed on the lush growth promoted by these wet areas.

Tapir print
Tapir print (© Sue Healey)

As they move around their territory, they defecate,  depositing seeds they have consumed.   This promotes future plant growth and increased diversity of plant species throughout the forest.

Its exciting to think that we will have these tracks around REGUA in the not too distant future with our re-introduction project.

For more information about the Tapir re-introduction project see our Mammal page.

Black-fronted Piping-Guan

One of the most important aspects of any reintroduction programme is the education of the local community.    Part of the Black-fronted Piping-guan re-introduction project comprises a series of Teacher Training Courses for local schools.

Alecsandra Tassoni from SAVE Brasil (BirdLife International branch) recently held the first of a series of these courses at REGUA.    The event was attended by 15 teachers from three neighbouring schools in Guapiaçu, Matumbo and Funchal.

Alecsandra Tassoni (5th from right back row) with Raquel Locke (centre front) and local Teachers. (© REGUA)

The aim of these courses is to introduce this charismatic bird to local school teachers, and explain the background to the re-introduction, with details of its conservation status, its ecological role and the need to protect existing forests to guarantee the perpetuation of this and all species.

The teachers were keen to know abut the project and the importance of this bird to the biodiversity of the forest, and were delighted to have the educational material to support them back in the classroom.

The day was a great success and everyone learned much about the Black-fronted Piping-guan and its future release at REGUA.

Three more RPPN certificates are granted

REGUA was delighted to attend a presentation in Rio recently for three more areas of the Reserve to be granted RPPN status.

Presenting 18 awards to various land owners were  André Correâ,  Rio de Janeiro State Secretary for the Environment and Paul Schiavo, Director of Biodiversity for the State Institute of the Environment (INEA).

Nicholas (far right) receiving three RPPN Certificates
Nicholas (far right) with other recipients of RPPN Certificates (© Sue Healey)

The 18 new certificates cover around 900 hectares, bringing the total number of RPPN protected areas to 78 and a total area of 11,000 hectares.   They are located in 12 local authorities across the State and are contributing to the preservation of important fragments of Atlantic Forest.

André Correâ acknowledged that the owners of the 78 RPPN areas had achieved their work  without support and congratulated them saying:
“The most ancient civilisations said that the life is worthwhile when your son is born, you plant a tree and write a book. You are going there, are contributing with your legacy, with much more than a tree, and who knows that these RPPNs will not serve as inspiration for a book.”

He added that the State Environment Agency want to  ….
” build a policy of tourist attractions. Let’s build a sustainable tourism programme, ecotourism, for RPPNs.  Another important issue is how to trade in the stock of carbon held in these preserved trees. This may become attractive to make a RPPN not only by the legitimate gesture of wanting to preserve the heritage”

Paul Schiavo added
“The creation of private reserves means that society is moving towards managing to participate in the day to day control of areas  fundamental to guarantee life.   Many of these private reserves are the major water sources in a region.   We will increasingly encourage, facilitate the creation, so that those gaps that the state does not fill is complete by individuals“ 

Their words totally confirm REGUA’s successful model for sustainable ecotourism supporting the mission of the long-term conservation of the forests of the upper Guapiaçu river basin.