WCS Brazil

WCS Brazil

Because of its size and diversity of environments, Brazil is probably the most biologically diverse country in the world, with millions of species, natural wonders, and unique landscapes.  The 6 major biomes of Brazil are incredibly distinct, and include the Pantanal, the world’s largest freshwater wetland; the Amazon, the world´s largest river basin, largest tropical forest and most pristine wild place on the planet; the Cerrado, a unique type of savanna; the semi-arid Caatinga where Spix’s macaws once abounded; the endangered Atlantic Forest,home to the largest New World monkey, the endemic muriqui; and the Pampas,highly productive grasslands that have been almost entirely converted to human use.  These biomes shelter some of the world´s most iconic species, such as jaguars,peccaries, the world´s largest freshwater turtle, the giant air-breathing fish pirarucu, caimans, anacondas, macaws, the striking uakari monkey (photo below), sloths, giant river otters, and giant anteaters.The list goes on and on (see the Wikipedia site Wildlife of Brazil for a nice description).  This richness of wildlife and landscapes is an important basis for human livelihoods and a rich socio-cultural diversity that has developed in these Biomes over millennia and depends on healthy ecosystems.

All around the world, societies are trying to find ways improve the peoples’ livelihoods and quality of life,and many people including conservationists are trying to find ways to accomplish this development sustainability- without causing irreversible harm to ecosystems or extinction of species. Unfortunately, we have few success stories and progress is not happening fast enough to stem predatory use of natural resources.  Brazil is not an exception.  Its amazing biodiversity is in peril, with large tracts of land being deforested, species being harvested or collected at unsustainable rates, and large infrastructure projects threaten to disrupt our valuable aquatic ecosystems.  WCS-Brasil´s mission, like that of WCS around the globe, is simply to “Save Wildlife and Wild Places” by addressing these challenges of sustainable development and conservation with strong science and effective actions. 

WCS has a long history of saving wildlife in Brazil (nearly 40 years) and across the world (over 100 years!).  Currently, WCS Brazil focuses its efforts on conserving two major biomes that are unique for their complex mosaic of forests, wetlands, waters, and of course, wildlife: the Pantanal and the Amazon, through the Amazon Waters initiative.

We also focus on conserving some key species, including jaguars, peccaries, migratory fish and freshwater turtles.  To achieve success in conserving these landscapes and species, we do what is most needed in particular context, from developing sustainable ranching programs and researching peccary movements in the Pantanal to developing fisheries and turtles management  systems and estimating jaguar populations in the Amazon. 

WCS-Brasil exists to ensure that the people of Brazil and the world don´t lose any of the country’s natural treasures, and that these treasures continue to benefit our future generations by contributing to local livelihoods and cultures, producing key ecosystem services like clean water, and inspiring our imagination.

Publications

Uso de Sistemas Agroflorestais e Pastagem Rotacionada para Manutenção e Restauração de Serviços Ambientais
Após detectar problemas de degradação de córregos e matas numa região onde ainda há uma boa diversidade de animais silvestres e corredores ecológicos significativos para a conservação, a WCS Brasil iniciou um projeto de transferência de tecnologias para os proprietários e produtores da região do alto rio Taboco.
Construção do Conhecimento Agroecológico como Instrumento de Educação Ambiental em Corguinho, Mato Grosso do Sul
Utilizando-se de conceitos de agroecologia foram ministradas aulas em duas escolas do município de Corguinho, MS nas quais foram repassadas técnicas de produção sustentável para alunos do 6º ao 9ª ano do ensino fundamental.
CIÊNCIA PANTANAL
Com o objetivo de aproximar o conhecimento científico e popular, a WCS Brasil lançou o primeiro número da revista Ciência Pantanal, com reportagens focadas na biodiversidade e modos de vida tradicionais do estado de Mato Grosso do Sul.
SOUND COMMUNICATION AND SOCIAL BEHAVIOR IN AN AMAZONIAN RIVER TURTLE (PODOCNEMIS EXPANSA)
The objective of this study is to document the sounds produced by Giant South American River Turtle, Podocnemis expansa, during the nesting period, and identify how acoustic mechanisms might facilitate social behavior and group aggregation during this period.

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