©Wolfgang Kaehler

Saving a Forest in Brazil


Panoramic image created with Windows Live Photo Gallery


During our sunny days at Çaraca, we hike trails through the tangled forest. In the morning, we hear the calls of Titi monkeys. We creep slowly along a path, watching for any movement in the trees. Stunning bromeliads with purple blossoms cling overhead in the quiet forest. Suddenly, shaking branches give away a band of five monkeys. Perched in the canopy — some with tails entwined — they nibble on fruits and seeds. As we watch through our field glasses, we spot two babies well camouflaged as they cling to their parents’ bushy fur. The monkeys, with curious black faces and amber eyes, peer at us as Regina, our guide, explains that the Titis’ Latin name, Callicebus nigrifons, means beautiful monkey.

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The Titis, along with other wild denizens of Çaraca , have benefitted from the protection of their habitat since a Franciscan brother came and founded a seminary here in the late 1700s. Today, as a preserve, Çaraca provides a home to three species of primates, the Maned wolf, and numerous species of birds like Cinnamon tanagers, Pale-throated serra-finches and Saphire-spangled emerald hummingbirds. But wildlife outside the preserve is not always so lucky. Environmental groups are concerned that mining is threatening what little remains of the already endangered Atlantic forests.

During our visit at Çaraca , we learn of efforts to create a new national park. A movement to form National Park Aguas da Serra do Gandarela hopes to protect more of this important ecosystem beyond Çaraca — especially from mining.

Movement to Create a New National Park: For more information see: http://www.aguasdogandarela.org/ (You will need to click on translation since the website is in Portuguese.)

You can read more about our experience in Çaraca by visiting an earlier post on this blog.

To read further blogging on the issue see: Global Voices, “Standing Against Mining in Gandarela,” http://globalvoicesonline.org/2010/06/27/brazil-standing-against-mining-in-gandarela/

For more photos please visit:  www.wkaehlerphoto.com

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