Category Archives: Wetlands

Possible new snake for REGUA by Klaus Seehawer

Whilst counting Capybara, Katja and Helmut Seehawer found a wonderful green snake in the REGUA wetlands.   It has been provisionally identified it as Chironius multiventris.   If this is confirmed it would be a new snake for the REGUA snake species list.

Chironius multiventris showing blue irridescence (© Seehawer family)

The Chironius family of the Atlantic forest consists of five species of elegant green, grey, brown or black snakes.   The green variants are especially difficult to identify.

The common name of Chironius multiventris is cobra-cipó – liana snake.   It is a non-venomous snake that grows to nearly two metres.    The snake is diurnal and actively hunts for its prey in trees and on the ground.   It preys – good news for you birders out there! – mainly on amphibians.

The snake seen at noon right in the middle of the wetlands was 120 cm long and of a wonderful green colour with a blue shimmer reflecting from the sky above.  It was observed for a while and obviously distracted by hunting.

With the growing number of species across many taxa in the wetlands the number of snakes will also increase.   In intact Atlantic Forest habitat (without human snake killing) 80% of the snakes encountered will be nonvenomous.

Chironius multiventris well camoflagued (© Seehawer family)

On a separate occasion the Seehawer family encountered another large green snake on Green Trail.   This snake was possibly Chironius exoletus or Chironius bicarinatus, but they were not able to make a reliable identification as the colour and back marking was in between these two snake species.

Give snakes their space and enjoy the rare adventure of seeing one.

Klaus Seehawer

N.B. it should be noted that snakes are not easy to find at REGUA, their natural defence means they are well aware of human presence and will slip away rather than be found.  The Seehawer family are very experienced in finding snakes and walked in the forest with REGUA Rangers.

 

 

A weekend of Birding at REGUA

The Rio de Janeiro Birding Calender for 2017 successfully kicked off on March 11th and 12th at REGUA.

Some 30 local birders came to enjoy the wetlands and waterfall trail.    An early start, followed by Cirilo’s guiding enabled many first time birders to walk the yellow trail and see many of the over 180 species found in this habitat.

Some of the group with Cirilo (© Raquel Locke)

There were ample opportunities to present the work that REGUA has been devoted to and the project’s future plans.

People are always very receptive and positive and the end of the day was filled with promises of return visits and future enjoyment.

 

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.

Enormous crustacean found at REGUA

Our brilliant bird guide, Adilei, is well known to our birdwatching friends and visitors,  but what they do not know is that he is most devoted to his parents and on days off likes to spend time with them and the rest of his family.

Large Crustacean
Pitu Macrobrachium carcinus (© Adilei Carvalho da Cunha)

Last weekend Adilei’s brother-in-law caught a fresh water prawn, or Macrobrachium carcinus, commonly known as a ‘Pitu’. It was roughly 30 cm in length and close to a kilo in weight, the proportion of a lobster and a meal in itself! This large crustacean feeds exclusively on small fish, insects and leaf litter and is a good indicator of high quality water. We are only saddened that when found they are immediately collected, adding to their rarity.

Most of the locals talk wistfully about this freshwater crustacean, as many of the streams within the Guapiaçu watershed close to small villages have been fished out, and the days of big fish in the rivers has become a thing of the past. So when an example of this species is found it is a source of much entertainment in the local villages.

Although the species is locally threatened in the Atlantic Forest, it is it very widely distributed, ranging from Florida south to southern Brazil, and also found in many of the Caribbean islands, and therefore classified as Least Concern by the IUCN.