Fábio Bittencourt, of Miranda (MS)
When white the Toyota jeep breaches the tracks opened in the weeds, the pantaneiros already knows that the Neiva biologist Maria Robaldo Guedes, 38 years, is on board. In 10 years of andanças for always passable ways nor of the Pantanal of Mato Grosso of the South, it it obtained to brighten up the risks of extinguishing of the plough-blue ones, one of the postal cards of the region. In 1987, before initiating its research, the Ibama (Brazilian Institute of Environment) esteem a population of 1.500 birds of the species in the area. Today, this number folded thanks to the performance of the biologist as coordinating of theArara-Azul Project . Despite the fact, Neiva is avessa to the commemorations. "I find little", says. "the ideal would be a population of R$ 10 a thousand birds."
The desire of the researcher is not an impossible mission. In the beginning of the century, the plough-blue ones were seen to the thousands in that region. Into the decades of 60 and 70, however, the illegal hunting was changedded into a lucrative business. They is esteem that today three of these birds in captivity for each one in the nature exist. The main consuming markets are the Europe and the United States, where it is arrived to pay USS to it 30 a thousand in the black market for a youngling. "the commerce already does not worry", says the biologist. "We need to acquire knowledge the people not to kill them."
The interest of Neiva for the subject appeared in the 1989 end. At that time, it it made a course of conservation of the nature in the Caiman Ranch, in Miranda, located city the 200 kilometers of the capital, Campo Grande, when cobalto sighted the birds of blue color for the first time. After going deep itself the problems that the species faced, the biologist felt itself ahead of a challenge. E beat the hammer around the question. "I decided that it would go to study them." The first step was to raise information for a research project. "little literature Existed on the subject."
With a scholarship in hands, Neiva dived in the scientific taken over on a contract basis one. The initial kick was given in Piracicaba, in the Superior School of Agronomy Luiz of Queiróz (Esalq). One year and way later, the biologist left for the field work, in Nhecolândia, pantaneira region next to the city to Corumbá, in the verge of Brazil with Bolivia. Neiva developed an uneven methodology. With a sling, it hurled a lead sphere moored to a rope over trees of manduvi. Of this form, the base of support so that the biologist could scale the trunks of 13 meters until the nests of the plough-blue ones, through one technique of alpinismo was ready.
In 1994, Neiva presented its dissertação, intitled Reproductive Biology of the Plough-blue one in the Pantanal . It gained the note maximum of the board of examiners. It passed to be considered an international reference on the subject. "One is about a highly significant work", says Maria Iolita Bampi, 40, head of the department of wild life of the Ibama, in Brasilia. "All the advance in the research on the species it", complete must it. The entrepreneur Robert Klabin, proprietor of the Ecological Shelter Caiman, where the base of studies of the biologist is mounted, strengthens that Neiva changed the vision of the farmers of the region. "Many of them protect the plough-blue ones in its properties for cause of it", say. It also has support of the University for the Development of the State and Region of the Pantanal (Uniderp), of Campo Grande, that today keeps the project and where it works as teacher of biology, and Deep the World-wide one for the Nature, the WWF.
Every month, Neiva receives visits from foreigners interested in knowing the birds. Surpresos for knowing that the project costs R$ 45 a thousand annually, they promise deep worlds and. "I am callous", says. "If she was to believe all, already she would have a bigger structure at least three times to develop my work." To the times, however, Neiva she is surprised. In 1994, it housed a couple of dutches, Richard Weck and Elly de Vries, residents in Los Angeles, U.S.A.. "I informed they who would not come to make tourism", she remembers. In contrast of the excessively visiting ones, them they had come back toward house and they had established the Hyacinth Macaw Project . "It was a pleasant surprise", says Neiva. "They send at least R$ 10 a thousand per year".
One of the discovered greaters of Neiva in its peregrination for the Pantanal was of that the number of nests in the region was insufficient for the population of plough-blue. To dribble the obstacle of the nature, the biologist developed artificial nests and started to at the time monitor the couples of the reproduction. The search is guided by a necklace, prisoner in the left leg of the birds, that emits radio controls. The scientific equipment still is not custom due to the high cost. The radio transmitter one costs USS 2,5 a thousand and can monitor 300 birds. It has three months, Neiva is behind Marina, a youngling of plough-blue missing person. "One hour or another one, it goes to appear", believes the researcher. It has two years, Neiva is married the trader Joacilei Lemos Cardoso, 40, that it knew in the beginning of its research, and with who lives in Campo Grande. "it was not love to the first sight", counts. But today Neiva guarantees that it is in first place in its life, together with the plough-blue ones.