In Brazil, strengthened protection for the Amazon, communities and the Little Blue Macaw | WWF

In Brazil, strengthened protection for the Amazon, communities and the Little Blue Macaw

Posted on
08 June 2018
As the globe celebrated World Environment Day on 5 June 2018, Brazil announced the creation of three new protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon and Caatinga biomes to preserve the country’s rich biodiversity and the people and wildlife that depend on it.
 
From the establishment of the Extractive Reserve (Resex) Baixo Rio Branco-Jauaperi, between the states of Roraima and Amazonas, to the Wildlife Refuge (Revis) and Environmental Protection Area (Apa) of Ararinha Azul (Cyanopsitta spixii / Spix´s Macaw), in the state of Bahia, the announcement is expected to help protect the habitats of species such as the puma, ocelot, anteater and manatee and preserve fish stocks and other natural resources for local indigenous communities in the Amazon. In addition, the creation of the two protected areas in the Caatinga biome mark the first step of ambitious efforts to bring back the Little Blue Macaw or Spix's Macaw to the wild.
 
The inspiration behind animated film Rio, the Spix's Macaw is endemic to Caatinga and was last seen in the wild in 2000. At present, an estimated 160 individuals are living in breeding grounds, mainly in Qatar and Germany, and a global technical and scientific effort is underway to reintroduce the parrot to its home in the wild. The creation of the two protected areas in the Northeast region is the first step of the plan.
 
Miles away in the Amazon, the new Resex Rio Branco-Jauaperi will also help protect the home of a great diversity of plants, fish and animals – and communities. Studies indicate the presence of at least 42 mammal species in the region, at least ten of which are listed in the official list of mammals threatened with extinction in Brazil. Established at the confluence of the Branco and Jauaperi rivers, whose waters are known to vary from crystal clear to white and almost black in the Rio Negro, the park will also help protect vital fish stocks for the Amazonian communities who face increasing pressures due to predatory and commercial fishing.
 
Mauricio Voivodic, executive director of WWF-Brazil, celebrated the creation of the new protected areas, underlining the challenge of implementing and consolidating the areas. ”The signing of the decrees is the important initial step. WWF-Brazil will continue to support the effort to consolidate protected areas, their sustainable use and the protection of biodiversity," he said.

To find out more about WWF-Brazil and our work in the region, click here
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