Papagaios da Mata


Papagaios da Mata has a Rehabilitation and Reintroduction Center for Wild Animals that was born with a mission: to increase the Vinaceous-breasted Amazon (Amazona vinacea) population in the Mantiqueira mountains.

This is the greatest dream of vet Eduardo Barros, project creator and main responsible for bringing things to fruition! The years of experience heading the veterinarian practice at Consultorio das Aves and handling the birds management and rehabilitation projects for reintroduction into the wild have made him ready to face the challenge.

THE ISSUE:
The Vinaceous-breasted amazon, popularly known as purple chested parrots, originally inhabited a vast region in the Atlantic Rainforest, from the southern part of Bahia down to Rio Grande do Sul, overlapping areas in Argentina Paraguay. According to the last census in May 2015, its current habit has shrunk to 8% of the original size and its population has been reduced to a little over 2,500 individuals in nature, a number 25% below what was expected and almost 75% smaller than the previous census, 10 years before. 91% of the amazons population live in Brazil, mostly in the southern region and in small groups in the Mantiqueira Mountains and in Espirito Santo. Today it is classified as "Endangered (EN)" by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

One of the most important food items during winter time is the araucaria (Araucaria angustifolia) seeds, being the amazons an important seed dispersal agent. As such, their existence is tightly connected. An aggravating factor to this situation is that the araucaria forest has had a 50% reduction over the last 10 years, due mainly to illegal deforestation, being now classified as "Critically Endangered (CR)". Besides feeding from the seeds, the amazons harbor in the hollow of old araucaria trees and there build their nests. Since there is no law to protect hollowed trees from being cut down, many couples stop laying eggs for the lack of suitable places.

Besides this unpromising scenario, there still is poaching, which furnishes the illegal trade, and the seeds collectors, who complement their income by selling the seeds, but also hinder the natural germination and development of future trees.

WE'RE WORKING TO CHANGE THIS SCENARIO!

THE PATH WE PURSUE:
Then there came the opportunity to create Papagaios da Mata, bringing together the love of birds, the years of experience, the family rural property and the will to make everything we can for such an endangered species. The installations of Papagaios da Mata have already been granted a permit to work as a Rehabilitation Center for Wild Animals (CRAS, in Portuguese), working in close partnership with the Federal Ministry of the Environment (MMA), the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), and the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), in order to receive vinaceous-breasted amazons rescued from the trafficking.

YOUR HELP CAN CHANGE IT ALL!
We now need your contribution to get our project going! We still need to finish the construction of aviaries, an ambulatory, the admin office and a support shack. Once the rehabilitation center is ready, we'll be able to receive the first individuals and begin working on the rehabilitation, the release into the wild, with monitoring, and the species breeding program. In order to address the lack of nests, we're building nest boxes to spread on trees in the region. Besides this, we are already working on the environmental education with the local population, our major allies, raising awareness towards the protection of the wildlife and the habitat. We've talked to some seed collectors to teach them how to produce araucarias seedlings, so that they sell the seeds and the seedlings. There is a demand for both. We also explain how important it is to sow some of the seeds, no matter how few, to help increase the number of trees. We are producing several seedlings ourselves, aiming to reinstate the amount of araucaria trees around the Mantiqueira Mountains. The next step is to contact those who know where the amazons nests are and who get the chicks to sell. It happens because they fail to see that by protecting nature and the wildlife around them, they can earn much more with ecotourism. The Mantiqueira Range has many sought after destinations, with cities like Campos do Jordao, Monte Verde, Sao Francisco Xavier, Santo Antonio do Pinhal, among others, being an important hub of winter tourism. These people, with the knowledge they have of the region, the fauna and flora, could be excellent tour guides.

MY DREAM:
Prevent the vinaceous-breasted amazons from disappearing. Reinstate the species in a way so they can survive all by themselves in the wild. Be a role model. When everyone does his or her share, not only the vinaceous-breasted amazons, but hundreds and hundreds of species can be saved. I dream that one day I'll make these people understand that they can gain much more with the preservation of the environment and then become true defenders of the forest.