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The Atlantic Rainforest is one of the world’s most threatened biodiversity hotspots. Originally spanning over 500,000 square miles across Brazil, less than 10% of the forest remains. Yet, the Atlantic Forest harbors a similar number of species to the Amazon. Rainforest Trust’s Brazilian partner REGUA is leading efforts to protect this severely threatened rainforest. By strategically purchasing rainforest acres in Brazil’s Guapiaçu Valley in the state of Rio de Janeiro, REGUA has created a secure 22,466-acre reserve that provides critical protection for many of the Atlantic Rainforest’s most threatened species. But as development pressures from the capital cityRio de Janeiro expand into the valley, the integrity of the local ecosystem faces mounting challenges. Rainforest Trust and local partner Reserva Ecológica de Guapiaçu-Brazil seek $192,019.20 USD to expand the reserve by 300.5 acres by purchasing three properties that have been negotiated already. These titled parcels provide connectivity among a complex of protected parcels within the reserve.
*Carbon Storage figures represent estimated metric tonnes of CO2 equivalents stored in above-ground live woody biomass at the project site, as converted from Aboveground Live Woody Biomass Density data provided by the Woods Hole Research Center through climate.globalforestwatch.org.
Southern Muriqui (EN), Crowned Solitary Eagle (EN)
Agricultural land development, mining and timber industries, poaching
Reserva Ecologica Guapiacu-Brazil
Price per Acre:
Carbon Stored (metric tonnes of CO2 equivalents)*:
REGUA Reserve safeguards essential habitat for 60 mammal species, including Pumas, Ocelots, Jaguarundis, Three-toed Sloths, Vulnerable South American Tapir and South America’s largest and rarest primate, the Endangered Southern Wooly Spider Monkey.
REGUA supports 466 bird species, of which 118 are endemic to the Atlantic Rainforest. Eleven bird species are listed as Endangered or Vulnerable including the Crowned Eagle and Brown-backed Parrotlet.
Urbanization, agriculture, timber and mining industries, poaching and small scale deforestation all threaten the fragmented remaining Atlantic Rainforest.
This has added additional pressure in the valley with the construction of vacation homes by Rio de Janeiro’s wealthier residents. Proposed development projects threaten to further fragment forests in the Guapiaçu Valley unless quick action is taken.
REGUA Reserve is set within a scarcely populated watershed made up of farming communities with the dominant agricultural activities of lowland crops such as corn, yams, cassava and okra, whilst banana plantations are still found on hillsides.
It is also well known for its fruit production of guavas, coconuts and lemons, and all crops, along with cattle, are transported to Rio. The Partner recognizes that it can only succeed in its mission by working with local communities. With an active education and community outreach program, as well as workshop offerings for university students, REGUA has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to involving local citizens in their conservation work. All of REGUA’s nine forest guards come from local villages. Some of REGUA’s best guards were once hunters and are excellent trackers; these guards play an instrumental role in successfully deterring poachers from the REGUA Reserve.
Thanks to the generous support of our Board members and other supporters who cover all of our operating expenses, Rainforest Trust is able to allocate 100% of donations to conservation action. No board member receives financial benefit and our staff salaries are modest.
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