The Atlantic Rainforest 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 7% of the original forest remains, and what is left is becoming increasingly fragmented. Find out how the WLT is helping...
WLT's Atlantic Rainforest 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 Guapi Assu Reserve with the nearby International Primatology Centre to create a vital wildlife corridor.
Other projects in Brazil:
WLT was instrumental in the establishment of the Guapi Assu 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 Guapi Assu Reserve. Land purchases include the addition of the BIAZA reserve, funded by BIAZA member zoos as part of the WLT Wild Spaces Programme.
The Atlantic Rainforest is a centre of endemism.
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).
Only 7% 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
Reserva Ecologica De Guapi Assu (REGUA)
Acres supported by WLT: 3,083 acres (1,248 ha)
REGUA is situated only 80km North-East of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in the Serra dos Órgãos Mountains. The reserve spans from around 30m above sea level at the wetland areas up to 2000m, 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.