As the garden and surrounding area matures, the list of birds and mammals seen around the feeders increases. Recent additions to the more usual tanagers and euphonias have included Rusty-margined Guan, Orange-winged Parrot and up to five Tufted-ear Marmosets. But the feeders continue to attract visitors at night as well with several species of bats at the hummingbird feeders.
Two weeks ago the first Lowland Paca Cuniculus paca was seen feeding on bananas. Lowland Pacas are one of the most favoured quarry for hunters, and so the appearance in the garden is another favourable sign of the reduction in hunting pressure. The provision of manioc roots underneath the feeder encouraged the Lowland Paca to return on the following three nights, so it is hoped that this will be a regular visitor to accompany the evening caiparinhas on the terrace.
The World Land Trust has raised £200,000 for REGUA to purchase 12 small plots of land totalling 326 hectares above the village of Matumbo, to create a safe corridor between existing REGUA land and land owned by REGUA partner Carlos Lemgruber (the ‘Matumbo Gap’). So far the sale of eight of these plots has been completed, and it is hoped that the remaining four will be finalised over the next few weeks. Determining the boundaries and the land ownership for each of the plots has been extremely difficult and time consuming, and many of the plots have multiple family members which make negotiations lengthy and complex. However this is a critical block of land in an area that is facing increased urbanisation and hunting pressure.