Reforestation initiative to save Brazil’s golden monkey

The golden lion tamarin is the most endangered and symbolic species of the rural areas of Rio de Janeiro. Volunteers are taking part in an effort to extend their habitat. Many young people are involved in planting a green corridor which will ensure a safe passageway for the golden lion tamarin. 300 tree seedlings were recently planted, which once they start growing, will eventually connect two patches of forest together. Environmentalists have started this forest regrowth initiative in order to provide the monkey with a larger habitat.

This is the only place in the world where this small monkey can be found and decades of deforestation in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil has caused the species to become endangered. There are fewer than 5,000 individuals left. The forest where they are found has decreased by 2% of its original size, according to Luís Paulo Ferraz, the executive director of the Golden Lion Tamarin Association(AMLD). Initially sugar cane and coffee plantations caused deforestation, followed by urban development and cattle pastures.

Feraz says the monkeys don’t cross the few hundred meters of bare land that separates two areas of green vegetation due to fear of predators. That is why green corridors are now needed.

Since 2018, the conservation nonprofit, has been purchasing land from farmers, which they gradually reforest. The process is slow and expensive but the efforts are rewarding. These areas are growing again into the green covered healthy forests they once were with many animal species living there again.


Author: Sylvia Jacobs

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