Brazil

Safeguarding the Atlantic Forest by expanding REGUA

Project Cost: $192,019

Funding Raised: $192,019

$639.96 per acre (1 acre = 43,560 sq ft)
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100% of your donation goes towards Conservation Action.

2X The Impact

Thanks to generous support from our donors, we have successfully reached our fundraising goal for this project.

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.
 

Photo: REGUA Reserve. Photo by Reserva Ecológica de Guapiaçu-Brazil.

Fast Facts

Location:
Brazil

Size/Acres:
300.5 acres

Key Species:
Southern Muriqui (EN), Crowned Solitary Eagle (EN)

Habitat:
Atlantic Rainforest

Threats:
Agricultural land development, mining and timber industries, poaching

Action:
Land Purchase

Local Partner:
Reserva Ecologica Guapiacu-Brazil

Financial Need:
$192,019.20

Price per Acre:
$639.96

Total Metric Tons of Carbon Storage:
39,000

Biodiversity

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.  

Photo: The Critically Endangered Southern Muriqui. Photo by Andre M. Lanna.
 

Challenges

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.  

Photo: Lagoinha house. Photo by Reserva Ecológica de Guapiaçu-Brazil.
 

Communities

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.  

Photo: Local students gathered after a conservation education program. Photo by Will Freeman.
 

Solutions

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. (Students participating in reforestation activities. Photo by Will Freeman.)