Saving threatened habitats worldwide

The Atlantic Forest, Brazil

REGUA landscape

The Atlantic Forest is one of the most important eco-regions in the world and a biodiversity hotspot, but sadly it is considered the second most threatened biome on the planet. Only seven per cent of the original forest remains, and what is left is becoming increasingly fragmented. Find out how the WLT is helping...

Project aim

WLT's Atlantic Forest project is located in the Tres Picos State Park in the Serra dos Órgãos Mountains, state of Rio de Janeiro Brazil. The project aims to link the existing Guapiaçu Reserve with the nearby International Primatology Centre to create a vital wildlife corridor.


Reserva Ecológica de Guapiaçu (REGUA) »

Other projects in Brazil:

Keepers of the Wild »

How WLT is helping

WLT was instrumental in the establishment of the Guapiaçu Reserve, when it provided seed funding to REGUA to buy land and increase the size of a protected area in the Serra dos Órgãos Mountains. Since then WLT's support for REGUA has grown.

WLT has helped fund the purchase of privately owned fragments of land to extend the Guapiaçu Reserve. Land purchases include the addition of the BIAZA reserve, funded by BIAZA member zoos as part of the WLT Wild Spaces Programme.

Urgent funding needed

Although we continue to support land purchase, WLT is focusing its fundraising efforts in Brazil on the Keepers of the Wild Appeal. Funds will go towards supporting rangers with WLT's project partners including REGUA.

Donate to Keepers of the Wild »

We also support habitat restoration through our Plant a Tree programme, which plants one tree of a native species (the seeds are often collected from the existing forest floor) in the reserve for £5.

Plant a Tree for £5 »

Plant Five Trees as a Gift »

Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth
Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth at REGUA © Lee Dingain


The Atlantic Forest is a centre of endemism.


55 species including: Puma (Puma concolor), Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus variegatus) and the Woolly Spider Monkey (Brachyteles arachnoides).


Over 450 species including: Sawbilled hermit (Ramphodon naevius), Elegant mourner (Laniisoma elegans), Swallow-tailed Cotinga (Phibalura flavirostris), Channel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos vitellinus), Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant (Hemitriccus orbitatus) and reintroduced Red-billed Curassow (Crax blumenbachii).

Threats to the Atlantic Forest

Only seven per cent of the original area remains, most of which consists of isolated fragmented patches. The massive destruction of the Atlantic Forest has been described as "one of the biological tragedies of this century" and preventing more loss of the rainforest is a priority for international conservation efforts.

  • Sections of the Tres Picos Park are still privately owned and therefore under threat
  • Main threat: Clearing of the forest for coffee plantations and logging for hardwoods.
  • Clearing forest for cattle ranching
The REGUA wetlands
The wetlands at REGUA. Since their restoration the wetlands are now home to Caiman and Capybara © Alan Martin

The Reserve

Reserva Ecologica De Guapiaçu (REGUA)

Acres supported by WLT: 3,083 acres (1,248 ha)

REGUA is situated only 80 kilometres North-East of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in the Serra dos Órgãos Mountains. The reserve spans from around 30 metres above sea level at the wetland areas up to 2000 metres, thus providing a range of unique habitats and it is one of the last locations where original Atlantic Forest remains intact at all altitudes.

To ensure maximum conservation benefit it is often not sufficient to declare an area a reserve. Therefore REGUA also takes a proactive role in reserve management including habitat restoration, biodiversity monitoring, species reintroductions and education and community projects.

Map of the Guapiaçu reserve »

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