Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Ecosystem Services in Guapi Assu, Brazil

Reserva de Guapi-Assu

Reserva de Guapi-Assu, Brazil

Site location and ownership

Reserva Ecológica de Guapi Assu, owned and managed by WLT partner REGUA, is a 6,300 hectare reserve situated 80km from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

The Guapi Assu pastoral farm was owned for many generations by the Locke family and REGUA was set up in 2001 by Nicholas Locke, the latest member of the Locke family to inherit the Guapi Assu lands. REGUA is a not-for-profit conservation organisation comprised of local landowners and community members who all support Nicholas’ core mission – to protect the Atlantic Forest of the upper Guapi Assu River Basin.

Biodiversity value

The reserve comprises a mix of standing Atlantic Forest and cleared agricultural and grazing land in the valley bottom and protects an area of Atlantic Forest, or Mata Atlântica as it is known in Portuguese.

The 7,000 hectare Guapi Assu Reserve protects a unique range of habitats including highland rainforest and lowland wetlands. It is home to an impressive array of wildlife including at least 420 different types of birds and 55 mammal species, the most charismatic of which include the Spectacled Bear, Ocelot and Sloth.

Part of the 2006-2007 plantings

Part of the 2006-2007 plantings, Guapi Assu, Brazil

Conservation action

Guapi Assu was originally a pastoral farm and so much of the forest cover was cleared for cattle fodder. To encourage wildlife back into the area, WLT’s project partner, Reserva Ecológica de Guapi Assu (REGUA), is working to expand protected lands around Guapi Assu and is implementing an ambitious restoration strategy, regenerating a central wetland area and reforesting core pasture lands located around the water’s edge.

WLT reforestation programme

The programme in this area is restoring the valley bottom to a mixture of wetland and forest. The approach to reforestation involves high levels of aftercare including fertilization, staking, and irrigation to ensure fast growth and low mortality of seedlings.

Community benefits

This is important not just for the diverse and abundant wildlife found in the area, but also for the regulation of the water source supplying many surrounding settlements.

The future

REGUA has become a local leader on habitat restoration and is now winning contracts with Brazilian organisations for the provision of saplings and further reforestation on its own reserve for CSR purposes.

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