BNDES - Brazilian Development Bank

Golden-Lion Tamarin Monkey Association Project

Recovery of 62 hectares of Atlantic Forest in the Poço das Antas Biological Reserve, in the municipality of Silva Jardim, Rio de Janeiro.


R$ 1.024 million


This is an important project to save the Golden-Lion Tamarin monkey (Leontopithecus rosalia) from extinction. A primate of the Atlantic Forest, the species’ population requires more forest territory to expand.

The Golden Lion Tamarin monkey is an endemic species found living out-of-captivity in only eight municipalities in the state of Rio de Janeiro, and nowhere else in the world.

After recognizing the critical situation of this species’ natural habitat, the Brazilian government created the Poço das Antas Biological Reserve in 1974, in Silva Jardim, state of Rio de Janeiro, which is the first conservation unit of its kind in Brazil.

To classify the species out of the threat of extinction, a population of approximately two thousand free-living monkeys in the wild is needed. To this end, some 25,000 hectares of lowland coastal forests need to be protected, which explains AMLD's involvement with the matter of Forest Restoration. This project is part of the AMLD's efforts towards achieving this goal by the year 2025.

All recovery sites under this project are located inside the Poço das Antas Biological Reserve, which is of significant importance for the preservation of the Atlantic Forest, because it shelters the largest remaining dense ombrophilous lowland forest in Rio de Janeiro. In addition to the Golden-Lion Tamarin monkey, the Fluminense Swallowtail butterfly (Paridis ascanius) and the juçara palm (Euterpe edulis) are also endangered species.

Located on the of São João River basin, the reserve also plays an important role in the population’s water supply across seven municipalities in the region. This is because the São João River basin, which includes the municipalities of Cachoeiras de Macacu, Rio Bonito, Araruama, Casimiro de Abreu, São Pedro da Aldeia, Cabo Frio, Rio das Ostras and Silva Jardim, also houses the Juturnaíba dam, popularly known as Juturnaíba Lagoon, which supplies water to residents and vacationers in the Lakes region. The current demand for water from the reservoir is approximately 1,600 liters per second to approximately 300,000 residents in seven municipalities. The population receiving water in the Lakes region can reach more than one million in the summer and on holidays.

Formally initiated when the Golden-Lion Tamarin Association and the BNDES signed a contract, recovery is underway in six sites:



Site Size Image Occurrence
01 2.3 ha img_antas_tab1 Natural regeneration and molasses grass
02 5.6 ha img_antas_tab2 Predominance of molasses grass and there is no evidence of natural regeneration. The area is surrounded by forests both at the top and bottom.
03 16.0 ha img_antas_tab3 It is dominated by molasses grass, with a few scattered shrubs and with no significant natural regeneration.
04 10.0 ha img_antas_tab4 There is natural regeneration and  molasses grass
05 19.1 ha img_antas_tab5 It has a steep
slope. At the top of this hill, there is one of the two towers to monitor fires on the reserve and surrounding areas. The area is dominated by satintail grass with no significant natural regeneration
06 9.0 ha img_antas_tab6 This is the most degraded. There are satintail grass stains. There is no sign of invasive grasses over the total area

Monitoring the planted forest will start along with the first maintenance session, continuing until the end of the project. Some 12 permanent plots each measuring 500m² will be established to assess three variables: survival and mortality rate, average area and density of regenerating primates. Data collection will be carried out once per semester and, for each collection, a monitoring and assessment report will be produced. Along with the data collection, photographic monitoring at fixed and predetermined points will be carried out to follow up on the planting development.

Reforestation will connect the fragments scattered throughout the areas where the Golden-Lion Tamarin monkey survives. More than a reforestation project, this is an ecosystem recovery project.

In addition to this, the project will provide social benefits by training 30 low-income citizens, who live in the surroundings, on forest recovery techniques.

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