HEAVEN ON EARTH AVIAN ACRE by Cherane Pefley
Neiva Maria Robalto Guedes
Neiva Maria Robalto Guedes
Area of performance: Defense of the fauna
Place where it works : Project Arara-Azul - Campo
PROJECT THAT DEVELOPS
The Neiva biologist Maria Robaldo Guedes, 37 years, is the coordinator of theArara-Azul Project, established in 1990 to protect and to monitor these animals, that run extinguishing risk. Of September the December, during the months of reproduction, Neiva covers 21 farms in the regions of Nhecolândia, Abobral and Miranda in the Pantanal Mato-grossense to find the nests, to measure and to weigh the younglings. During the remaining portion of the year, it it studies the biology of the birds, observes its behavior, it places artificial nests in the high one of the trees and works to acquire knowledge the population on the importance of the preservation of the species.
PANORAMA OF THE AREA
Beyond the destruction of the environment inhabited for the plough-blue ones, it is calculated that until the end of years 80 about 10 000 of these birds they had been hunted and envoy to the exterior, where its price reaches 30 000 dollars. Today, they only remain about 3 000 units in the nature, the majority in the Pantanal. You also plough them inhabit areas of the Tocantins, Piauí, Maranhão, Pará and Bahia. In 1996, Neiva monitored 143 nests. The plough-blue ones had occupied 96, but only 55 females botaram eggs and of them 37 younglings had survived. In 1997, the females botaram eggs in 50 of the 106 monitored nests and 44 younglings had flied. In 1998, 52 couples had produced only 37 younglings healthful. The low number must, in general, to the attack of other animals and insects. During the years most humid, as it was of 1998, this factor is aggravated.
PROFILE Of the CANDIDATE And DESCRIPTION Of the PROJECT
Neiva Guedes was born in Porã Tip and attended a course Biology in the Federal University of Mato Grosso of the South. In 1988, when participating of a seminary of conservation of the nature, it travelled to the Pantanal, it was gotten passionate for plough-blue the e, when it knew that they were in extinguishing, decided to study them. During the course, it a professor of the Superior School of Agriculture knew Luiz of Queiroz, of the University of São Paulo (USP), in Piracicaba, that gave lessons of fauna handling and it invited it to make mestrado. Its proposal of study was the biology of the plough-blue one. "In my first trip to the Pantanal to collect given on them, I wise person almost does not swim", remembers Neiva. "I passed forty days there and I learned making. I found 52 nests and with the first ones given I had an idea of as to touch the research." The plough-blue ones were so unknown that it immediately was invited to go to Canada to present the information. "This is one of the few projects of the sort and has national and international importance", affirms Eliza Mensi, assessor technique of the Pantanal Foundation, tied with the State secretary of the Environment. "As researcher of field in the study of the etologia, of the behavior of you plough them, it is pioneering." Neiva had that to learn alpinismo techniques to go up in the trees, since the nests are in average the 12 meters of the soil. It also needed to conquer the confidence of the pantaneiros, little accustomed to see a alone woman becoming vacant for the region. "I made much madness, I walked the foot and the horse, I was lost following indications of where it had bandos and nests", Neiva is had fun, that passed the day observing the birds. At the same time that the biologist collected information for its thesis, theArara-Azul Project was born. In the beginning, it it monitored 200 000 hectares in thirteen farms in the region of Nhecolândia. Today, it works in 350 000 hectares in 21 farms. To the few the pantaneiros had started if to accustom with it, to understand and to respect its work. They had passed until helping it to find it the nests. "the results of the sensitization of the community already are visible. Before de Neiva, the laborers took off ararinhas of the nests to make contraband ", affirm Eliza. "Today the laborer feels pride to have bandos of plough-blue in the farm. They find the species important, a symbol of the land where they live. In the long run, we wait to far have the species of the extinguishing." With work of comment, Neiva discovered that, beyond spoon information on what and how much they eat, when they multiply, how many younglings they have and how many they are, it would need to make the handling of the species, to place artificial nests, to monitor the younglings and some times until transferiz them of nests. Every year, of July the March, Neiva, that deferred payment in Campo Grande, is of fifteen the twenty days for month in the Pantanal. It leaves the morning farms and passes the day covering the nests. "We have 230 marked nests, would take 45 days to cover all of a time", counts. "the distances are short, but the terrible roads, then I obtain to check of ten dezessete nests per day." The biologist also observes the birds hidden underneath of a camouflaged tent or trees. "Already I had jaguatirica and charges passing well close to me." When it is not in the field, it it types and it analyzes the data that harvested, it gives accounts of resources and it divulges the project.
The LIFE Of YOU PLOUGH Them
The plough-blue one, or Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus, is the biggest bird of the family of the Psitacídeos, that includes the parrots and periquitos. They arrive to measure 1 meter of length and to weigh 1,5 kilo. They are animal sedentary, sociable and very fidiciary offices to its pairs and younglings, that start to fly to the 3 months and way, but only break up of the parents with 1 year and way of age. Moreover, to the 9 years they are only ready to have younglings and alone if they reproduce of two in two years. The plough-blue ones make its nests increasing the existing sockets already in trees as manduvi, that it shelters 95% of the nests of the Pantanal. These nests also are disputed by other birds. During the incubation of the eggs, that lasts about thirty days, up to 40% of them is attacked by birds, some mammals and insects. The female places in average two eggs, but, as the younglings generally are born with some days of difference, just-been born the new many times die for being weakker and not to obtain to dispute food with the brother. Of 5% 8% of them finish if becoming imprisoned of other animals. These birds live about 30 years. In the nature, the plough-blue ones are fed exclusively of chestnuts of the ones coconut-of bocaiúvas and acuris, what it makes it difficult its survival still more. Neiva sends samples of blood of the younglings of ploughs for the USP so that DNA examinations are made, that they determine, for example, with that frequency the endocruzamento -- acasalamento between relatives -- happens and which the genetic variability of the population, that today is of 35%. It also collects penalty and excreções to analyze illnesses and parasites. "the work of Neiva is complete", evidences Anita Wajntal, teacher of the department of biology of the USP. "It has the scientific side that we make and the social side here, to save you plough them and to acquire knowledge the population of problems related to the environment. With this it helps to all the species." Recently, Neiva obtained the support of two veterinarians to study the illnesses of ploughs them blue and of a geoprocessamento professor, that will make maps of the places where they live.
In 1997, the project installed seventy artificial nests in twelve farms and, in 1998, 55, twenty of experimental them. Of these nests, 51% had been explored by plough-blue and many others used by other birds, thus liberating the natural nests. Some younglings are being monitored of close with radiocolares. Neiva promotes activities of ambient education, meetings, lectures and spreading in local senders of radio to alert the population on the importance to protect the plough-blue ones. "As resulted concrete we more have nests known and protected and the reduction of the traffic", affirms Bernadete Ribas Lange, coordinator of the Pantanal Program of the WWF Brazil. "This is important because, besides preserving the species, we go to know accurately what it happens with you plough them, how many they exist and where they are." Neiva also distributes changes and seeds of the trees that serve of shelter and as food for these birds. In last the ten years, the biologist trained people for the activities of monitoração of the younglings, gave courses for 250 forest policemen and professors of the schools of the e region made hundreds of lectures in the communities. "Already we perceive that the population of the plough-blue ones is growing", Pink Ronald says, supervisor of the projects of research of the Ecological Shelter Caimam, in the Pantanal. "In Miranda, a next city daqui, you already can see you plough in the central square." The project also received the visit from sets of ten of professionals of Brazil and the exterior that look to information on the birds and training of handling.
In November of the passed year, Neiva inaugurated a base of the project in the Ecological Shelter Caiman. The objective is to join the biological research to the echo tourism and to repass information on the plough-blue ones, stimulating the conservation of the birds and its environment, and to form teams of researchers. The base possesss a clarifying Center of Visitation with museum, panels and a model of artificial nest. "It was a wonderful support because in ten years of project still we did not have a place where the people could see what we make", it commemorates Neiva, that also obtains pantaneiras lodging of favour in some inns and farms. The project counts on the financial support of two international entities, the Hyacinth Macaw Project and the Hyacinthine Macaw Survival Fund, of others ongs and venda of t-shirts and caps, that guarantee 25 000 Reals per year of that Neiva needs to keep an assistant and a trainee and to buy equipment. The wage of Neiva, 2 500 Reals, comes of the University for the Development of the State and the Region of the Pantanal (Uniderp), that also it financed the movéis of the base. "My project is the car-head of the Uniderp. They apóiam integrally ", affirm the biologist. In the beginning the project had aid of the WWF for the field research. The Toyota of Brazil in exchange for supplied to a jeep reports on the performance of the car in the rough region of the Pantanal. "I never imagined that he was to become me pilot of tests", Neiva plays.
COMMENTARY OF THE CANDIDATE
"It had a great change of attitude of the population. Before we had that to ask for to enter in the farms and to study the plough-blue ones. Today we do not obtain to take care of to the order of the proprietors who want to preserve the birds of its farms. The laborers had started to be collaborating of the project. With the aid of all he only is that we will obtain that you plough them are preserved forever."