Bird conservation in Brazil

01 July 2011 | News story

On April 15, 2011 a new protected area - The Costa Do Sol State Park - was created in Rio (Brazil), the only place worldwide for the Critically Endangered Restinga Antwren. The Restinga Antwren is one of the 20 bird species in Birdlife`s Preventing Extinctions Programme that SOS supports through a Threatened Species Grant.

Sérgio Cabral, Governor of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has signed an historic decree creating an important new protected area – The Costa do Sol State Park. The new park is the only place in the world where the Critically Endangered Restinga Antwren (Formicivora littoralis) is found and encompasses 9,840 hectares of unique habitat – the Restinga de Maçambaba – that has been long-identified as a priority IBA by SAVE Brasil (BirdLife in Brazil).

Cabral said “Parks attract tourists and the Costa do Sol State Park will be innovative, the first in Brazil to involve so many municipalities. The environment is, undoubtedly, a tool of economic development, especially in a beautiful region like this. We are preserving nature so people can benefit from this region”.

The state government and Lagos São João Consortium, together with SAVE Brasil and local civil society organizations, have been working in partnership, advocating for the park to be created for several years.  SAVE Brasil’s participation has been supported by BirdLife Species Champions Dr. Urs-Peter Stäuble and Birdfair (The British Birdwatching Fair) through a BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme project that aims to save Restinga Antwren and protect the many other threatened species present in the area.

The Costa do Sol State Park encompasses the entire range of the endemic and Critically Endangered Restinga Antwren and other rare, endemic and/or threatened animal species found there include; Tropical Mockingbird (Mimus gilvus); Sand Lizard (Liolaemus lutzae), and Golden Lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia). The lagoons and marshes are used by migratory birds as feeding, reproduction, or resting areas and these habitats comprise many threatened plant species such as various bromeliads, cactus and the Pau-brasil (Caesalpinia echinata).

For more information about the work developed by SAVE Brasil for the conservation of the Restinga Antwren, click here.