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In the first years of REGUA's existence, efforts were focused on environmental recovery, especially in the lower part of the former farm, which today comprises the area of REGUA's headquarters. These lands have experienced numerous transformations in the last century, from deforestation, which began with the occupation of the region, to the diversion of rivers, formation of dams and the consequent disappearance of flooded areas and swamps, typical of the region.  In this context, REGUA was able to “kick-start” environmental restoration by reversing the drainage to recreate the wetlands that originally existed and which are a habitat for many species. Today, the famous “REGUA Wetlands”, in addition to harbouring high biodiversity, are the iconic view of the Reserve.   A recent article published in Nature Geoscience (Zou et al 2022) demonstrated that a small rise in water level in wetlands, such as the REGUA wetlands, is an important nature-based solution to sequester atmospheric carbon and mitigate climate change ongoing.

Change of status of  "REGUA Wetlands”

Studies of the waters here have revealed the health and biochemical stability of the REGUA wetlands, which have been studied since 2005 by UERJ researchers. One of the most recent studies warns us about the changing state of our wetlands, which have shown more turbid waters due to the presence of algae of the Euglena sanguinia type, which can produce a type of toxin that is harmful to fish. This also impacts the development of a submerged macrophyte, Egeria Densa, which plays an important role in the balance of aquatic environments, as in addition to producing oxygen – which is released into the water, it serves as food for many species of fish, birds and mammals. In addition, it functions as a shelter for planktonic microorganisms - micro-crustaceans and some types of molluscs.

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Wetland Management

The REGUA wetlands, in addition to providing a stunning view for visitors to the Reserve provide habitat for various aquatic species such as Broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris), Muscovy duck (Cairina moschata) Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), Neotropical otter (Lontra longicaudis), along with many fish and amphibian species. The ecological restoration of this habitat  integrates the floodplain of the Guapiaçu River, which in past times was flooded quite frequently, as is INEA's understanding.   Its consolidation as a permanent water landscape is the result of environmental recovery and enrichment actions promoted by REGUA.   These wetlands are extremely important for the local biodiversity - providing a place for many wildlife species to rest, feed, breed, and shelter, thus contributing significantly to the balance of the local environment. To ensure this vital habitat is maintained, the Wetlands need to be managed periodically, to continue to provide a clean water environment in the biosphere. With this objective in mind, the REGUA team obtained a research license from INEA, to mechanically remove exotic species of aquatic plants that had been proliferating at an accelerated rate, and which compromises the ecological stability of the water body. The material removed from the wetlands was used as organic fertiliser for the production of seedlings in the Nursery.  The study was considered a pioneer in the region, because in addition to being a nature-based solution, it provided unprecedented data on the management of flooded areas in the region, which can serve as a model for similar areas and provided an ecological use of invasive exotic species in the Wetland.

No Legend - (Waiting for the Files)
Copy of 20180510-0715-00057.jpg
No Legend - (Waiting for the Files)
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