Land Purchase Gives GLTs a Chance to Survive

April 10, 2018 –The Brazilian organization Associação Mico-Leão-Dourado (AMLD) in partnership with the US organization SavingSpecies announced the purchase of a 586-acre property, known as the Igarapé Farm, in the center of the geographic distribution of golden lion tamarins (GLTs).  The purchase was made possible by a generous donation from DOB Ecology, a Dutch non-profit organization.

This purchase is strategic for the future of GLT conservation.   The property is located on the opposite side of BR101 Interstate Highway from Poço das Antas Biological Reserve, home to over 400 GLTs.  Recently widened to 4-lanes, the highway forms a barrier that GLTs and other terrestrial fauna can’t safely cross, permanently isolating the fauna in the Poço das Antas Reserve from the rest of the remaining forest.   The Brazilian Federal Government agency ICMBio (responsible for protected areas and endangered species) required the construction of a forested overpass as a condition for approval of the widening.  Construction of the overpass is expected to begin by the end of April.   AMLD has already planted a corridor connecting the Poço das Antas Reserve to the planned overpass on the south side of the highway.  When the forested overpass is constructed, and the entire 610 acres of cattle pasture on the newly acquired land are reforested, the GLTs marooned in the Reserve will be able to merge with descendants of zoo-born GLTs reintroduced in the 1990’s.  The resulting large and genetically healthy population will have a much greater chance of escaping extinction.

APF Plans for the construction of the forested overpass

AMLD plans to convert this property into a Permanent Private Conservation Reserve, thereby protecting its forest and GLTs in perpetuity.  The property will also serve as AMLD’s headquarters, where in addition to conducting conservation research and ecotours to GLTs in the forest, AMLD will host seminars, workshops, and events to engage the local community in restoration and protection of the forest throughout the GLT species range.

AMLD continues efforts to restore and connect an Atlantic Forest landscape that will save the Golden Lion Tamarin and hundreds of other species that exist only in this biodiversity hotspot from extinction, as well as improve well-being of the people of the region.  Join us in this effort.  Click here for how you can help.

From our partner, Saving Species: “The rainforest of coastal Brazil is one of the two concentrations of threatened species in the Americas,” states Stuart Pimm, Doris Duke Chair of Conservation at Duke University and President of Saving Species.  “That’s because these regions have exceptional numbers of species with small geographical ranges and, tragically, exceptionally high rates of forest destruction.  Species with small geographical ranges like golden lion tamarins are the ones most at risk of extinction. (It’s easier to wipe out a species limited to a small area than one that ranges over a continent.)  Look at the satellite imagery and it’s easy to see the problem.  What little forest remains is in isolated patches.  And such places often have too few individuals of a species for them to be viable.  One such place is the Poço das Antas Biological Reserve.”