2 May 2011(back to press release archive)

Land Rover Brazil supports the international conservation programme of the NGO Biosphere Expeditions for the sixth consecutive year. In partnership with Projeto Puma, the expedition enters the forest in the region of Guaratuba, in the ‘Serra do Mar’ mountain chain in the State of Paraná, to measure the environmental integrity of this ecosystem through the occurrence of indicator species such as the jaguar, the puma and the ocelot.

‘Land Rover has a global partnership with Biosphere Expeditions, the award-winning volunteer organization. Their programme allows anyone to participate in the field research activities as volunteers’, says Flávio Padovan, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover Brazil. According to Padovan, the vehicles provided by Land Rover to Biosphere Expeditions enables them to get to remote areas, which can only be reached because of Land Rover’s outstanding off-road ability.

Projeto Puma is a Brazilian NGO that, in partnership with Biosphere Expeditions, conducts the Jaguar Corridor project for the sixth consecutive year. Aside from jaguars, other animals such as paca, tapir, opossum, armadillo, deer and several species of birds are also recorded. During 2011, the research will be conducted between 15 to 27 of May.

Prof. Marcelo Mazzolli is the scientist of the Brazilian expedition. He is a lecturer in Biological Sciences, holds a PhD in Ecology and is also an advisor of Biosphere Expeditions’ research in other locations of the world. Prof. Mazzolli is also Director of Projeto Puma and coordinator of the post-graduate course in Sustainable Development and Environmental Management in the University of Saint Catarina Highlands (UNIPLAC), in Lages, state of Santa Catarina. He is also a member of the Cat Specialist Group, of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

‘During our expedition last year, we recorded several species, amongst them the ocelot and the puma. The last record of jaguar we obtained was in 2008, an indication of its extreme rareness. This type of scientific record allows us to evaluate the area of occurrence of wild felids in the region of the Serra do Mar mountain chain in Paraná, and that of the prey they depend on’, explains Prof. Mazzolli.

The researcher points out, however, that although the jaguar is only sporadically recorded, it does not mean that the studied habitat is not important for the conservation of the jaguar. “The Serra do Mar mountain range is the best refuge for this species in the Atlantic Rainforest. This is the kind of information that our expedition work provides, so that immediate measures can be taken to revert the jaguar’s population decline’.

In addition, several rare species are found in the study area that are absent from the vicinities – more evidence that the location is one of the best remnants of the Serra do Mar in Paraná. According to the Prof. Mazzolli, the expedition study area is one of the few locations were tapirs are easily recorded, as well as groups of white-lipped peccaries and the black-fronted piping-guan, a bird endemic to the Atlantic Forest which, like the other species mentioned, has disappeared from large areas of their original range and now only found in a few isolated forest areas.

The research project has communicated results to the state environmental agency (IAP) and to the federal agency (ICMBIO), as well as having them published in scientific journals and at international meetings, collaborating to draft concrete plans for conservation. ‘As an example, we were able to find, for the first time a wildlife corridor connecting the mountain chains in the study area. This corridor deserves special protection because the jaguar and other species need large territories to survive. Without these connections, the jaguar will immediately disappear’, says Prof. Mazzolli.

Land Rover, as part of its “Our Planet” sustainability campaign, is delighted and proud to support important research efforts such as this.  ‘We are very happy to hear about the important discoveries being made and the conservation measures being taken, and we are certainly happy to maintain this partnership’, says Padovan.

Biosphere Expeditions, in partnership with Land Rover, also conducts wildlife conservation work in places such as Oman, Australia, Russia, Namibia, Slovakia, and others.

Note to editors:

More information about Land Rover humanitarians and sustainable activities at www.landrover.com/ourplanet

More information about the Biosphere Expeditions / Land Rover partnership is at www.biosphere-expeditions.org/landrover.

High resolution images of the expeditions and Land Rovers in action worldwide are at www.biosphere-expeditions.org/mediaarchive.

More information about Land Rover at www.media.landrover.com

Contacts at Land Rover:
Fernando de Moraes / Gabriel El’Bredy (fmoraes7@jaguarlandrover.com / gelbredy@jaguarlandrover.com)  T.: + 55 11 5056-7048/7044

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