Restoring Connectivity of Golden Lion Tamarin Atlantic Forest Habitat in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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About the Golden Lion Tamarin Atlantic Forest ReLeaf Project:
American Forests and the Associacao Mico-Leao-Dourado are planting 5,750 trees on five acres of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest to connect fragmented habitat for the benefit of the golden lion tamarin and other forest species.
Global ReLeaf provides forests like this — and the communities that depend on them — with the restoration they need to thrive. Since 1990, American Forests has brought ReLeaf to forests in all 50 states and 45 countries, planting more than 45 million trees in the process.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Key ReLeaf Activities:
- Planting 5,750 trees across 5 acres
- Connecting fragmented habitat for the golden lion tamarin
Why This ReLeaf Project?
Golden lion tamarins once roamed throughout the lowland Atlantic Forest of Rio de Janeiro State in Brazil. Centuries of deforestation for timber and charcoal production, agriculture, cattle ranching and now urban expansion have reduced the tamarin’s forest habitat to a mere two percent of its original area, threatening this beautiful species with extinction. What’s more, even this remaining habitat is fragmented into small and isolated forest islands surrounded by cattle pasture and housing developments, none large enough on their own to support a viable population of tamarins. This project is reconnecting these fragments to provide a sufficient wildlife corridor for the golden lion tamarin.
Why the Atlantic Forest?
Though less famous that it’s larger neighbor, the Amazon, Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, or Mata Atlantica, is rich in biodiversity. The only place where the golden lion tamarin can be found in the wild, it is also home to more than 2,000 other species of vertebrates, including people, more than 20,000 plant species and 60 percent of Brazil’s threatened species. Unfortunately, what was once an expansive ecosystem has shrunk from 500,000 square miles to less than 10,000 and continues to lose around 130 square miles each year.