Rus Articles Journal

Green gold of Bahia

the Damp Atlantic Forest once covering fair part of the southern American continent so far almost completely disappeared, from it there were only separate islands the total area hardly in one hundred thousands of hectares. One of such islands - the small reserve in the east of Brazil, part of the Green Gold of Bahia project.

to Reach

by em Brazil not easy. Three hours of summer to Paris, is more than 10 hours then to Rio - - Zhaneyro, still an hour and a half to Salvador, the capital of the State of Bahia. However, we with three colleagues - journalists flew further away, to the tiny town of Itubera. Actually main goal of our arrival to Brazil this time - visit of plantations of a hevea and the reserve in which try to restore the Atlantic rainforest. Six-seater “komarik“ - an air taxi half an hour wrote out loops between low clouds and landed on the earth strip which is cleared away from vegetation, utykayushchuyusya directly in a river cloth on which it was from far away visible hurrying somewhere to pie. The selva waited for us.

Still some three - four centuries ago the Atlantic rainforest lasted a wide strip from La`s upper courses - Payments to Orinoco and from the mouth of Amazon to the Andes. Now from it there were small islands, green scraps - all territory of Brazil occupying the most part of the Atlantic coast of South America represents either savannas, or plantations of bananas, a rubber-bearing hevea, cocoa - beans and all other that is good in food; the rainforest can be seen only in several small reserves. One of them - part of the large-scale Ouro Verde Bahia joint project (“Green gold of Bahia“) of the French company Michelin and Brazilian government. From about 10 thousand hectares which are taken away under Ouro Verde, about a third occupies actually biospheric reserve which is officially founded in 2004 (the rest - “working“ plantations of a hevea, “kindergartens“ and “day nursery“ of the same hevea, skilled landings of the microbiologists of Michelin struggling with the terrible enemy of a hevea working right there - Microcyclus uley fungus).

the Reserve begins

in upper courses of the small river of Kashueyr - Grandi whose quiet current is interrupted by impressive falls of Pankad - Grandi in couple of tens kilometers from the coast, and goes down to the ocean. Three thousand hectares - are it is all the same a little, but about 10 years ago from a rainforest in these regions there were only several hundreds of hectares (and in general since 16th century the area of rainforests in Brazil decreased approximately by 20 times). It is gradually landed allow to extend freely, more precisely, redeeming the thrown and unnecessary sites from peasants.

We approach

the wood on recent cutting down. Here it is still solar though the wood already comes into the own. In the depth of a grass small, but very fragrant irises hide, small, three meters in height, Siagrus palm trees often meet (speak, its dwarfish version, at growth about a pencil grows in Paraguay). The wood ahead, apparently, makes a dense green elastic stand. How to enter it without machete? In these regions with it nearly any countryman goes; however, the conductor conducts us on well punched track.

the Last rain expected to fall some days before our arrival, but under rainforest bed curtains all the same damp. Squelches under legs; moisture large drops shines on leaves of small plants - of the parasites covering trunks of large trees on hanging down from where - that from top “floors“ of the wood lianas. All the time semi-dark-, hot, air is so damp that it seems, it can be drunk. It is hard to adjust the camera: around continuous green color; even bark or greenish, or is so covered with epiphytes at the level of an eye that it seems green. I go, all the time oskalzyvayas on almost naked soil in high gumboots and greedy I look out for some living creatures. Let`s tell, there lives an arachnoid monkey (Brachyteles arachnoides, the largest on the American continent) - them on all huge State of Bahia remained hardly one hundred. According to our guide - the conductor, it is pleasant here not only to monkeys - every year inhabitants of the reserve become more and more as though a certain mysterious telegraph works for animals: “Move here, here it is safe!“

By the way, in the majority of tropical regions of South America does not have now more prestigious (and well paid) work, than the guide - the naturalist. Demand for them in rainforests where it is difficult for unprepared person to see wild animals without the aid of the professional is especially big. Our guide, however, was not from local - the American - the ecologist Kevin Flesher living here 15 years and in love with these places. Doctor Flesher works as the head of department of studying of a biodiversity in the Ouro Verde project and at the same time is engaged in studying of big mammals in the reserve - wild pigs, tapirs, pumas, etc. But also with its help to see something it is very difficult. Here above, slightly aside, shrill shouts are distributed - it monkeys shout, they, probably, noticed a predator. What predator?“ Possibly, it is a puma. Colleagues said that recently the couple appeared here. I also saw traces. It is very well, so the wood is healthy, - the guide says. Also adds, having a little thought: - Perhaps, it is already time to take with itself the weapon. Just in case“.

from me in the direction of travel someone suddenly was carefully delivered by

In bushes in ten meters, and the sound began to be removed quickly.“ Bakers (forest pig)“, - Kevin reports. It is necessary to take the word. And slightly tousled dark bag - a termitary hangs on a tree. Our guide assures that, judging by traces, recently there was an anteater, but now it is absent. Here about a boulder traces of the parking of local hunters - they, apparently, waited for a porcupine. Perhaps, they waited for it - but not we.

the Track bends around an amusing tree - there are practically no leaves, the trunk is covered with big thorns. What does it do here, in the dark? It is a seyb (Ceiba pentandra). When it is born, grows to height of human growth, and then dumps leaves and ceases to grow. So it costs both year, and two, and twenty - there is so much how many it is required. Also waits. Sooner or later nearby the big tree which died from an old age will fail and the direct sunlight will get into eternally dark selva. Right there the set of new trees will go to growth, competing in speed - who the first grew up, that also won, that also took a vacant place, it will not be enough for all. But the seyba all the same will be the first, she already managed to grow up and stood on “low start“. It quickly lasts up and when higher than the level of neighbors rises, opens krone as the mushroom, and closes at once a gleam. Slightly further we will see an adult seyba with the powerful buttresses departing from a trunk - it and not to clasp ten together.

And still animals it is far more interesting than

- 180 of 202 animal species which are considered in Brazil on the verge of disappearance live in the Atlantic rainforests. Let`s tell, in this reserve zheltogrudy Capuchins (a monkey of Cebus xanthosternos) escape from almost full extinction of a look. Both among plants, and among animals it is full of “endemics“ here - the types which are not found in other places. For example, the little birdie of Scyta psychopompus whom Brazilians call Papakulo (Papaculo) is found now only here any more anywhere at all. My look is turned up all the time, to the earth: can be though I will see a snake? In general, the dragon in Brazil is enough, but in their Central America it is slightly more, than in Southern, especially poisonous. Poisonous got from Asia approximately in the tertiary period here and managed to form many new types (especially yamkogolovy caused a stir), and in South America they were settled later, and so far there it is not enough of them - only 7 childbirth, five times are less, than in Africa or Asia. Nevertheless on the wood nevertheless it is better to walk in boots, and at night - with a small lamp. Here it! No, was mistaken - it is all - navsy “crybaby“ a monstera (from family aronnikovy), a typical forest liana. Its coiling green stalk with dark stains really reminds a snake. And “crybaby“ she was nicknamed for the fact that water mouths of her leaves actively emit water which runs by the pointed end of a leaf, such “nose“, and drips down. No, with snakes it was not lucky, it is a pity. And I saw the well-known humming-birds only on a terrace of the lodge in couple of tens kilometers from the reserve - flowers with such attractive nectar on it was much more, than in first “tier“ of the damp dark wood.

my Only “production“. From a distance it can be taken for a casual crack in the soil, close it seems the stiffened stream of dark glass. But “glass“ suddenly comes to life and begins very slowly a leak somewhere aside, having shown a mobile hobotok from a crack in forward part of a trunk. Of course, one planaria you “will not be full“, but for successful appointment to all other inhabitants of the wood it is necessary to come not per day here, and for a week, and then we would would be lucky, and repeatedly, it is sure.

, perhaps, can be

For destiny of the reserve absolutely quiet - in recent years ideas of conservation get a ready response in the hearts of Brazilians, and the words “ecology“ and “protection of the wood“ cause the most positive reaction. At least, everywhere treat the people working in this sphere yours faithfully. The peasant, of course, will not cut down the hectare of a plantation from which his family is fed to plant on it “the natural wood“. Yes it is also not necessary - the main thing that the reserved wood did not go to cut. And at allocation of a site under a plantation the government demands guarantees now that 20 percent of the territory (if not less than 20 hectares are on sale) will be used under “natural plantings“.

Atlantic, rain

In an early Miocene, approximately from sixteen to twelve million years ago, the main part of plains on our planet (the most part of Europe and Asia, practically all Africa and both America) was covered with an infinite tent of the violent green woods. But the morning sun never lasts a day, and even continents do not stand still. The climate gradually changed, on poles ice caps accrued, the global cold snap “dried“ territories, adjacent to the equator, and the Miocene tropical rainforest began to be reduced gradually. And still it lived almost up to now.

the Rain rainforest grows at

in zones of humid nonseasonal equatorial climate with an average annual temperature of 22 - 28 ° (or, at least, where does not happen lower than 18 ° in the winter;) with an annual sum of rainfall not less than 1 500 millimeters and relative humidity of air not less than 50%. What does it represent? Some researchers allocate in vertical structure of rainforests nearly 12 tiers, and still them more likely 4 - 5.

the Most top tier consists of trees higher than 30 meters, kroner in it are not closed (therefore at a rainforest published often such “fragmentary“ look). Real “roof“ of the wood at the height of 25 - 30 meters is the second tier. There is a tier of low trees (from 10 to 15 meters) and a ground tier with young growth, bushes further and so forth. There is also a mezhjyarusny vegetation which most curious representative (in any case, for the European) are lianas.


One of the characteristics of a rainforest - the exclusive biotic wealth, at the same time a huge variety of fauna is supported generally due to a variety of flora: the number of species only of one trees of everything on one hectare of the wood reaches hundred (without speaking about lianas, epiphytes and herbs). It is curious that such amount of biomass exists usually on absolutely infertile, naked soils from which all active agents are washed away.

At the same time has

of fresh organic chemistry: these are fallen leaves, branches, seeds, fruits and so forth. But the higher plants cannot “eat“ it directly, and they enter symbiosis with mycorrhizal (living on roots) mushrooms - from here and the dominating superficial root system. However, superficial roots, certainly, are incapable to zayakorivat in the soil (which besides practically not) a tree - the giant and therefore the biggest trees let grow themselves the doskovidny roots adjacent to a trunk and slightly reminding stabilizers at the rocket. Such roots, happens, depart from a trunk down at the height of several meters, and to the earth fall in trekhchetyrekh meters from the main trunk.