BRAZIL

New Refuge for Brazilian Parrots

Project Cost: $100,884

Funding Raised: $100,884

$869.69 per acre (1 acre = 43,560 sq ft)

100% of your donation goes towards Conservation Action.

2X The Impact

Thanks to a matching pledge from the National Committee of the Netherlands (IUCN-NL), a 116-acre nature reserve was established in partnership with the Associação Amigos do Meio Ambiente (AMA) to save the critical Araucaria forest while offering a refuge to the rare bird species that rely on its existence for continued survival. The new reserve, which adjoins other protected areas in the Santa Catarina Highlands, will be part of an ecological corridor and improve habitat connectivity for local species.

Found in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, the Araucaria moist forest is home to an impressive array of biodiversity, most notably its imperiled birdlife. Included among these species are the Vinaceous-breasted Parrot, the Red-spectacled Parrot, and the Crowned Solitary Eagle.

The forest, which is a relic of a once-extensive ecosystem, is threatened by logging, expanding agricultural production and the introduction of exotic species. Combined, these threats put the survival of many species at risk.

Rainforest Trust is partnering with AMA to create a 116-acre nature reserve that will save a critical Araucaria forest while offering a refuge to the rare bird species that rely on its existence for continued survival. The new reserve, which adjoins other protected areas in the Santa Catarina Highlands, will be part of an ecological corridor and improve habitat connectivity for local species.

Fast Facts

Location
Painel Municipality, Santa Catarina Highlands, Brazil

Size
116 acres

Key Species
Vinaceous-breasted Parrot (EN), Crowned Solitary Eagle (EN), Marsh Tapaculo (EN), Red-spectacled Parrot (VU), Paraná pine (CR)

Habitat
Araucaria moist forest

Threats
Logging, agricultural expansion, overgrazing

Action
Purchase 116 acres to create the High Altitude Parrot Reserve

Local Partner
AMA (Associação Amigos do Meio Ambiente)

Financial Need
$100,884

Price Per Acre
$869.69

Biodiversity

The Santa Catarina Highlands are home to the largest remaining population of the Endangered Vinaceous-breasted Parrot. Of the 2,500 remaining individuals, half are found in the Santa Catarina Highlands.

Other imperiled species found in the area include the Crowned Solitary Eagle and the Marsh Tapaculo. Due to its importance for these species and others, the area has been designated an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International. Brazil’s Ministry of Environment has also designated the area a high priority for conservation efforts. The Araucaria forest found in this area, which is composed of a unique mixture of broad-leafed and coniferous trees, supplies necessary food for the Vinaceous-breasted Parrot and other avifauna. The forest itself and its most notable tree, the Paraná pine, are extremely vulnerable. Less than four percent of the Araucaria forest remains and the Paraná pine has been declared by the IUCN as an Endangered tree species.

Challenges

Deforestation and the creation of exotic pine plantations have destroyed much of the original forests in the Santa Catarina Highlands. Introduced pine species outcompete and easily replace Paraná pines and, once gone, these trees recover slowly and only with difficulty.

The forests are further threatened by expanding agricultural production and cattle ranching. Stock allowed to enter the Araucaria forest prevent regeneration by trampling and consuming vegetation.

Communities

The Santa Caterina Highlands are primarily populated with the descendants of Portuguese and Italian immigrants. Long established, these communities have developed a local economy based on agriculture, cattle ranching and, increasingly, eco-tourism.

Ecotourism in the area centers on the annual gathering of Red-spectacled Parrots, which is the largest concentration of parrots in the world. Tourists from around the globe come each year to see upwards of 20,000 birds. Local residents have taken advantage of this interest by organizing Red-spectacled Parrot and Vinaceous-breasted Parrot festivals. These activities have bolstered ecotourism and led to the construction of new infrastructure and the development of local crafts.

Solutions

Creation of the High Altitude Parrot Reserve will preserve an important fragment of Araucaria moist forest, while supporting populations of threatened bird species like the Vinaceous-breasted Parrot, the Crowned Solitary Eagle, and the Red-spectacled Parrot, among others.

Creation of the reserve will also help establish an ecological corridor connecting it to other protected areas in the Serra Catarina Highlands. In addition, damaged areas will be reforested with native plants and Friends of the Environment will work with the owners of neighboring lands to build partnerships and encourage local involvement in conservation efforts. Friends of the Environment will also collaborate with higher education institutions in the region and with federal environmental agencies, including Santa Catarina’s Environmental Police Unit, to monitor the reserve and ensure its successful management.