It was Carnaval, 2013, a few days when the whole of Brazil focuses on partying, when an intrepid group of Junior Scientists, community volunteers and Iracambi staff decided to spend their time doing something completely different - planting 1000 trees in the new Iracambi Forest Reserve Pico da Graminha. This highly strategic stretch of threatened forest land had recently been acquired by Iracambi with funding from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in Holland. The new forest reserve borders the Serra do Brigadeiro State Park extending the forest corridor which increases the habitat for the wildlife in the Park, and while much of the reserve is under forest cover, some of it requires reforesting. It's a big job, but our team is more than equal to the challenge, and the job was done entirely with seedlings from the Iracambi Forest Nursery.
Our nursery manager collects seeds from the forest, makes seedlings, cares lovingly for them until the rainy season, and then oversees the planting and care of the young trees. It's a job that requires ongoing care for the first couple of years, to ensure that the young trees can grow and flourish. So twice a year we'll be sending teams up there to protect the newest trees in the forest from weeds and termites.
We're also planning to restore an old house on the property so that the Junior Scientists, along with community volunteers and researchers from the Iracambi Rainforest Research Center, can have a place to spend the night and enjoy being in the wild.
And the exciting thing is that our conservation efforts are really paying off. Recently one of our researchers was checking the photos on our night cameras when he found this wonderful shot of a mountain lion. Thanks to you, we are restoring this wonderful forest one tree at a time, and you, dear donors, are warmly invited to visit us and see for yourselves.
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