New Amazon Protected Area Larger Than NJ


In the Brazilian State of Amapá, heated behind-the-scenes battles have paid off. The state recently proclaimed the formation of the Amapá State Forest, an Amazon protected area larger than the state of New Jersey. Known for its diverse landscape, the 5.7-millon-acre area has more than 1,700 species of animals and plants, reports Conservation International (CI) and the Amapá State Institute for Research. Among these are 430 species of birds, 104 species of amphibians, 124 reptile species and 127 mammal species. (The forest is swarming with bats; of the mammals, 62 are bat species.) A recent expedition brought to light 23 potential new species, including the fish and frog above. One of Brazil’s poorest regions, the State of Amapá is largely dependent on timber and minerals—mainly manganese—for income. Manganese is essential to iron and steel production and, when added to gas, prevents engine knocking, among other uses. Included in the deal is a zone that allows regulated harvesting of both timber and non-timber products, such as vines and essential oils. The Amapá State Forest initiative received technical and financial help from CI. Thanks tipster Mike. ::Conservation International

Image left, copyright Enrico Bernard/CI. Image right, copyright Cecile de Souza Gama.