Reconnecting the Atlantic Forest of Brazil

Photo of black lion tamarin.

The beautiful–and endangered–black lion tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysopygus). Photo by Gabriela Cabral Rezende.

SavingSpecies is proud to support a massive, multiyear, multispecies effort to restore the spectacularly diverse Atlantic Coastal Forest of Brazil! This tremendous endeavor, the result of years of scientific research and collaboration with local land owners, farmers, and conservationists will help bring back one of the world’s most important forests—forests that have been pummeled by centuries of human activity—and whose forest fragments have imprisoned and led to the decline of many iconic species.

photo of jaguar

This stunning jaguar roams Brazil’s Atlantic Coastal Forest. Photo by Laury Cullen.

Partnering with an esteemed local Brazilian organization, the Institute for Ecological Research (IPÊ), SavingSpecies’ project will restore 21 hectares (52 acres) in different segments to achieve connectivity among fragmented forests and two protected areas. Creatures from rare lion tamarins to majestic jaguars to elusive tapirs, and many endangered bird species depend on the Atlantic Coastal Forest for survival—and our project will help make it stronger, larger, and more connected!

Map of ACF of Brazil.

Map of the Atlantic Coastal Forest. The red box shows the Pontal do Paranapanema Region, and SavingSpecies’ project area.

This project is part of a massive effort—a genuine conservation vision—for this part of Brazil. The target area is the Ecological Corridor of the Rosanela Farm, located in the municipalities of Teodoro Sampaio and Euclides da Cunha Paulista in São Paulo state, along the margin of the Rosana reservoir. The greater forest restoration project covers 800 hectares of Permanent Preservation Areas and Legal Reserves, areas of Atlantic Forest that have legal protection under Brazilian law.

Our partner, IPÊ, has already implemented part of the greater corridor over the past seven years. It now forms the largest biodiversity corridor deployed in the Atlantic Forest biome, connecting the two largest protected areas in the region: the Devil’s Hill State Park and the Black Lion Tamarin Ecological Station. This effort is part of a larger long-term corridor program, known as the Mapa de Sonhos (Map of Dreams), which aims to reconnect all the major forest fragments in the region.

Though restoring 21 hectares may seem modest, the results will be anything but. By simply increasing connectivity with restoration of degraded land that separate big pieces of forest from each other, tamarins, jaguars, tapirs, birds, and many other species will have room to roam, and feed, and yes, breed!

IPE's map of restoration plan.

Map of SavingSpecies’ and IPE’s forest restoration and connectivity plan: Red outlines indicate the main branches of the corridor, which parallel two rivers and adjacent wetlands. Other colored polygons indicate proposed sites needing active restoration. The yellow polygon would provide a direct link between the Morro do Diabo State Park and the existing main corridors. The blue polygon would connect the two river corridors to improve overall connectivity. (Click map to enlarge).

The species under the most threat in the project area is the endangered black lion tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysopygus), whose estimated wild population in 2014 was only 1,200 individuals in a network of isolated populations. Corridor connectivity and fragment viability are essential to sustain wild populations of this and other threatened species.

SavingSpecies has four key objectives for this project:

1. Implement 21 hectares of forest restoration to fill the gaps in the main corridor between
the Devil’s Hill State Park and the Black Lion Tamarin Ecological Station;
2. Plant 40,000+ native trees of the Atlantic Forest;
3. Produce seedlings in community-based nurseries; and
4. Sequester approximately 2,016 tons of carbon or 7,140 tons of CO2 equivalents.

To achieve these goals, we need your help to Connect, Protect, and Restore these forests—it’s CPR for Earth.

Donating to this project puts trees in the ground for biodiversity, and sequesters carbon from the atmosphere. In short, supporting this project helps fight the two most pressing environmental problems the world faces—mass species extinction and global warming—at the same time!

Please support this dream forest restoration and connectivity effort, and help us share hope for the future of Brazil’s magnificent natural treasures!

These BLTs depend on each other for survival--and they are depending on you to help secure their forest home!

These black lion tamarins depend on each other for survival–and they are depending on you to help secure their forest home! Photo by Gabriela Cabral Rezende.