News


Feral pigs, vampire bats, and infectious diseases in rural Brazil

A new study examines the impacts of invasive feral pigs, a favorite prey of vampire bats, on ecosystems in rural Brazil. The distribution of feral pigs — which are also known as wild boars, or “javali” in Portuguese, and are actually the same species as the domestic pig (Sus scrofa) — has increased five-fold since they were first recorded in Brazil in 2007.A group of Brazilian researchers found that not only might populations of vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus) explode as a result of this invasion of feral pigs, but associated threats, such as the spread of infectious diseases, could increase as well. The results of their study were published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment earlier this month.

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Scientists Produce a New Roadmap For Guiding Development & Conservation Efforts in the Amazon
New river basin classification will help safeguard region’s biodiversity and monitor infrastructure developme

Scientists from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society), the Nature Conservancy, and several partners in Brazil and Peru have produced a geographic information system (GIS) “roadmap” to help guide conservation efforts at large scale in the Amazon River basin, a region roughly the size of the United States.

The new spatial framework—created with several major data sets and GIS technology—is made up of a new hydrological and river basin classification, along with various spatial analysis tools, that can be used to better understand and mitigate the synergistic effects of deforestation and new or planned highways and dams across the Amazon Basin.

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Vampire Bats and Feral Pigs: A Bad Combination for Wildlife and People
A camera trap survey conducted by WCS and other groups to survey wildlife in rural locations in Brazil’s Atlantic forest and Pantanal regions produced a big surprise: the unexpected frequency of vampire bats feeding on both wildlife and livestock in both areas. 

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WCS Brazil Launches Pantanal Science to Bridge Gap Between Researchers & Communities
Seeking to bridge the gap between scientists and the public, WCS Brazil and its collaborators have published Ciência Pantanal (Pantanal Science), a new scientific journal designed to inform rural communities of the latest in environmental studies and issues.

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WCS Brasil offers training in Large Scales Wildlife Monitoring

The Wildlife Conservation Society, in partnership with Proteus Wildlife Research Consultants and the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, with support from the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, is proud to offer the following training opportunity:

Cost-effective wildlife monitoring at large scales: Introduction to site-occupancy and mark-recapture methods.

Course dates & Location: 15-20 February, 2016. Manaus or Novo Airão.

For more information please click on the following documents: "Syllabus" and "Application Questionnaire".

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WCS Brazil Pantanal/Cerrado team received the Ecology and Environmentalism Award from the City Council of Campo Grande
In recognition of their long-term efforts to protect the headwaters and floodplain of the Pantanal wetlands and bordering Cerrado, the WCS Brazil Pantanal/Cerrado team received the Ecology and Environmentalism Award from the City Council of Campo Grande. The award ceremony took place at the "Camera Municipal" (city hall) of Campo Grande on Wednesday evening, June 10, 2015. Campo Grande is the capital of Mato Grosso do Sul state and the gateway to the Pantanal wetlands of central-western Brazil. The City Council presents the award annually to individuals and organizations that contribute significantly to regional environmental conservation.

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Camila Ferrara, our Aquatic Turtle Specialist, publish an article at Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.
Camila Ferrara is an aquatic turtle specialist with the Brazil Program of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). This article is the second in a series celebrating the contributions of women to the practice of conservation. Ferrara contributed this article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights

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WCS wins International ReSource Award for work in Brazil's Pantanal
The Wildlife Conservation Society has won Swiss Re Foundation's prestigious International ReSource Award for Sustainable Watershed Management for its efforts to protect and restore the headwaters of Brazil's Pantanal, one of the world's largest tropical wetlands.

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WCS Brazil and partners launch an Innovative Project in Manaus, Amazonia
WCS Brasil launches new project to design and build a world-class conservation education center in Manaus, the Amazon’s largest city and the nexus of tourism, wildlife consumption and trade in the region.

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To scale-up adoption of SLUP (Sustainable Land-use Practices) in the highlands region bordering the Pantanal, WCS Brasil in partnership with the rural municipality of Corguinho and the local NGO, Instituto Quinta do Sol, organized a celebration of Brazil’s National Tree Day, which happened on the first day of spring, September 21st, 2014.

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Launching of Ciência Pantanal first edition covered by a major brazilizan network
The WCS Brazil Pantanal program wanted to share this TV news report from a major Brazilian network: REDE RECORD, which was shown on their AgroBrasil TV news.

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River turtle mothers 'talk' to their hatchlings

Scientists in Brazil have managed to eavesdrop on underwater "turtle talk".

Their recordings have revealed that, in the nesting season, river turtles appear to exchange information vocally - communicating with each other using at least six different sounds.

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Friday, August 08, 2014

Ciência Pantanal Magazine - Release

Ciência Pantanal Magazine - Release
The first magazine called CIÊNCIA PANTANAL (Pantanal Science) – a property-owner-friendly journal for bridging the gap between researchers and landowners, was released today at FAMASUL (Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock). The event united a number of regional landowners, landowner associations and researchers representing Universities, NGO’s, Government organizations, etc.

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Thousands of Baby Turtles Hatch in Brazil

This week, scientists in Brazil weren’t kidding when they said that they “hit the mother lode.”

They were referring to a mass hatching of an estimated 210,000 giant South American river turtles at the Abufari Biological Reserve. It’s one of the largest known hatchings for the species,Podocnemis expansa.

Researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Chico Mendes Institutefor Biodiversity Conservation were able to mark and release 15,000 of the hatchings. The methodology is usually referred to as “mark and recapture,” and it will allow the researchers to estimate the size of the turtle’s population in the future.



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White-Lipped Peccary Trails Lead to Archeological Discovery in Brazil: 4,000 To 10,000-Year-Old Cave Drawings
While tracking white-lipped peccaries and gathering environmental data in forests that link Brazil's Pantanal and Cerrado biomes, a team of researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society and a local partner NGO, Instituto Quinta do Sol, discovered ancient cave drawings made by hunter-gatherer societies thousands of years ago.

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Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Agroforestry Course - Pantanal

Agroforestry Course - Pantanal
WCS Brasil in partnership with Instituto Quinta do Sol gives an Agroforestry Course to family farmers in the highlands bordering the Pantanal. The idea is to promote sustainable land-use, improving the farmers livelihoods and protecting and recuperating regional streams and forests.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Capacity-building course - Pantanal

Capacity-building course - Pantanal
The Pantanal team just recently conducted the 6th capacity-building course that teaches the movable fencing technique to owners and workers of regional dairy farms and small-scale livestock operations.   The main idea is that cows in a rotational grazing system will cause less damage to streams, aquatic habitats, and forest. The benefit for the farmer is that their pasture biomass and milk production both increase.

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White-lipped Peccary_Tayassu pecariThe population decline of the White-lipped Peccary (Tayassu pecari) has recently steepened, resulting in this previously Near Threatened species being reassessed asVulnerable. The threats causing this decline are habitat loss, illegal hunting, competition with livestock, and epidemics, and it is even disappearing from areas of pristine habitat in the Amazon rainforest. It is uncertain whether the existing network of reserves is adequate to allow the formation of large herds of this species, or that there is sufficient connectivity between reserves to permit recovery when populations crash due to disease epidemics or other reasons. Photo © Ana Luzia de Souza Teixeira Cunha

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Sushi for Peccaries?

The images of fish consumption by white-lipped peccaries were taken by Douglas Fernandes in the Brazilian Pantanal wetlands one morning back in 2011. A short description of the observations, along with the digital photographs taken, will appear in the latest edition of Suiform Soundings(IUCN Peccary Specialist Group Newsletter).


"As far as we know, these are the first images of fish consumption by white-lipped peccaries," said Dr. Alexine Keuroghlian of the Wildlife Conservation Society and an expert on peccaries. "This finding expands our knowledge of how this ecologically important species survives in highly seasonal habitats."


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For the better part of two decades, biologists Alexine Keuroghlian and Donald Eaton have made it their mission to attempt to understand the Pantanal's complex and diverse ecosystem. Although they are studying very different aspects of the region, both are working toward a common goal — to understand the biological and environmental effect cattle ranching is having on this vital region.

Keuroghlian's specialty is peccaries, a pig-like animal that uses the Pantanal and adjacent areas as its home. They have been significantly affected by the fragmenting of habitat into small secluded "islands" because of the demands placed on the region by pasturing cattle. Eighty percent of the beef consumed in Brazil is raised in the Pantanal.

 

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Protecting the not-so-cute-and cuddly

By Dr Alexine Keuroghlian, member of IUCN’s Peccary Specialist Group.

I was honoured and flattered to receive the Harry Messel Award for Conservation Leadership, from IUCN's Species Survival Commission, especially knowing how many wonderful conservation biologists are struggling to make an impact in their region. I wish there could be awards for all of them.

Regionally this recognition promotes our continued efforts to preserve the white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari), a species that is not necessarily considered cute and cuddly but is threatened in many places in Brazil.

As the Pantanal/Cerrado coordinator for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) – Brazil, our greatest challenges have been to find solutions that prevent further deforestation and encourage rural populations to adopt practices that avoid further habitat loss. To help us reach out to the local community, we teamed up with a popular local woman’s Futsal team who have the white-lipped peccary as their team mascot.

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White-Lipped Peccaries are found in the Cerrado and Pantanal forests of South America.

Peccaries, or Queixadas, as they are locally known as, are the unsung, misunderstood heroes of environmental engineering in the Cerrado and Pantanal biomes of South America.

Peccaries might have certain physical attributes and characteristics similar to pigs and warthogs; however, contrary to popular opinion they do not belong to the same family. They do wallow in the mud and use their snouts to dig up fruit, seeds and roots, just like pigs and warthogs, but similarities stop there. One major difference is that the canines of pigs and warthogs never stop growing – therefore they end up growing right through the top of the pigs’ snouts – sealing them shut, leaving the emaciated animal to slowly starve to death. Peccaries are also not omnivores. They feed mainly on fruit but are known to supplement their diet with plants and roots.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

A Champion for Peccaries

Call it the under-pig.

While Brazil’s tropical wetlands may be better known for their spotted cats and freshwater fish, the peccary is one of the country’s most important forest critters. (Though distinct from pigs, peccaries bear a strong resemblance and are part of the same sub-order.)

As seed dispersers, forest engineers—and yes, as prey for those famed jaguars and mountain lions—they play key roles in maintaining local biodiversity.

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Research ArticleDeforestation and conversion of native habitats to exotic pasture and crops, plus inefficient agricultural and cattle management practices, are placing great pressures on natural resources in the Pantanal and Cerrado. To prevent further deforestation and protect biodiversity, areas already developed for farming and ranching need to be managed more efficiently and profitably, so that economic incentives for additional deforestation are minimized. To that end, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has been working with rural community partners to promote best-management practices that optimize profitability and efficient use of developed lands, while minimizing pressures on natural resources.

 

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Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
March 28, 2011
 
The Pantanal spanning Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay is the world's largest wetland—the size of Florida—and home to a wide-variety of charismatic species, such as jaguars, capybaras, and giant anteaters. However, the great wetland is threatened by expansion in big agriculture and an increasingly intensive cattle industry. Yet there is hope: a new study by Wildlife Conservation Society of Brazil (WCS-Brazil) researchers has found that cattle and the ecosystem can exist harmoniously.
 

 

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Mention “bushmeat hunting” or “invasive species” to a typical conservation biologist, and you’re likely to hear groans. Both threaten ecosystems around the world. In Brazil’s massive Pantanal wetland, however, the two problems are adding up to a conservation solution, researchers report in the journal Oryx. It’s an unexpected story involving war, pigs and a collection of skulls.
 

The Pantanal, one of the world’s largest freshwater wetlands, stretches from western Brazil into parts of Bolivia and Paraguay. It is famous for its wildlife – and cattle ranches: some 95% of the Pantanal is privately owned. In the past, hunting and poaching posed serious threats to local wildlife...

More information

 

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Project “Queixada Pecarídeo”

Project "Queixada Pecarídeo"In Novemeber 2009,  we were extremely excited because for the first time, we were able to catch some very elusive white-lipped peccaries (in the Pantanal's Cerrado plateau).

This will give us the opportunity to see if the population moves back and forth from the highlands to the Pantanal, show whether the highland populations are different genetically from the Pantanal pop., and define ecological corridors in this very unique region that is  threatened by deforestation.
  
 

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Capuchin monkeyNational Geographic grantee and WCS-Brasil Conservation Scientist Jean Boubli travels to Brazil’s Rio Negro in Amazon rain forest to search for a wedge-capped capuchin, a primate that historically is not known to inhabit the region.

The primatologist is able to document the monkey on film for the first time ever and collect genetic samples to help determine if this is a new taxon.



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From 21 to 29 July 2009, the WCS-Brazil/Amazon team started the field work for the project “Effects of the repaving of BR-319 on the medium- and large-sized mammals”. With the help of six local field assistants, they managed to set up one of the six sampling plots planned.

Each plot is made up of four trails each 4 kilometers long, destined to sample medium- and large-sized mammal species. Due to the bad road conditions and the type of vegetation in the area, field activities took longer than expected.


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Cutting tressA month after the end of the first phase of trail openings on BR-319, the WCS-Brazil/Amazon team returns to the road to conclude the opening up of the sampling plots.

From Aug 29 to Sep 12, researchers Eduardo Venticinque, Fabio Rohe, Marcelo dos Santos Jr and Maíra Benchimol, together with 11 local field assistants, opened up 80 kilometers of trails (5 plots) along the road connecting Manaus to Porto Velho.

With this, the sampling system tha will enable an assessment of the impact of repaving the road on the populations of medium- and large-sized mammals is already in place.

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Cutting tressUm mês após fechamento da primeira fase de abertura de trilhas na BR-319, a equipe WCS–Brasil/Amazônia retorna à rodovia para finalizar a abertura dos plots de amostragem. Entre os dias 29/8 e 12/9, os pesquisadores Eduardo M. Venticinque, Fabio Rohe, Marcelo A. dos Santos Jr e Maíra Benchimol juntamente com onze auxiliares de campo dentre eles alguns comunitários, abriram 80 km de trilhas (5 plots) entre os km 220 e 420 da rodovia que liga Manaus a Porto Velho. Desta forma, está instalado o sistema de amostragem que permitirá avaliar o impacto da re-pavimentação da rodovia sobre populações de médios e grandes mamíferos.

 

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New monkey discovered in Brazilian AmazonNEW YORK -- The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced today the discovery of a new monkey in a remote region of the Amazon in Brazil.

The monkey is related to saddleback tamarins, which include several species of monkeys known for their distinctively marked backs. The newly described distinct subspecies was first seen by scientists on a 2007 expedition into the state of Amazonas in northwestern Brazil.

The monkey is related to saddleback tamarins, which include several species of monkeys known for their distinctively marked backs.  The newly described distinct subspecies was first seen by scientists on a 2007 expedition into the state of Amazonas in northwestern Brazil.

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