The work is the brainchild of the late Dr. Jos Mrcio Ayres, former director of WCS's Brazil Program and legendary conservationist who devoted his life to protecting the ecosystems of the Amazon, in large part through the establishment of sustainable development reserves. He identified bird watching as a pathway for building local commitment to conservation.
WCS President and CEO Steve Sanderson said: "Birds of Brazil is a landmark achievement for conservation of Brazil's wildlife and wild places. The people of Brazil have long revered their natural resources, and this book can serve as something of an owner's manual for Brazilians wishing to conserve their fabulous bird diversity. Inspired by a great Brazilian conservationist, it is a labor of love."
In addition to bird illustrations and descriptions, the guide includes an entire chapter on the many landscapesthe seasonal grasslands, marshes, wooded savannas, dry forestsof the Pantanal and Cerrado, providing an ecological context and a strong conservation message on these threatened wild places. Known as the "Great Plains of Brazil," the Cerrado is under a growing threat from agribusiness overdevelopment.
The "Birds of Brazil" guide will be supplemented by an extensive educational web site in Portuguese on June 1. The site will contain tips on how to become a birder, with basic information on how to use binoculars, how to identify species from key field marks, and how to find and explore the rich diversity of habitats throughout the country.
In addition to inspiring increased environmental awareness in Brazil, "Birds of Brazil" aims to stimulate ecotourism in the nation's parks and wild places for the benefit of creating local jobs and boosting local economies. The guide itself will serve as a manual for an upcoming bird guide-training workshopscheduled for March 28-30 in the city of Miranda in the Pantanal regionan event that will prepare local guides for jo
|Contact: Stephen Sautner|
Wildlife Conservation Society