BirdLife: The Magazine September 2017 - Page 46

TREES OF LIFE ABA Event Tanzania Birds & Big Game Safari When: March 31–April 10, 2018 Where: Arusha, Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Serengeti National Park Hosts: Jeff & Liz Gordon, Adam Riley, George Armistead and others Cost: $4250 (single supplement $495) Limit: 120 (small field groups of 12 people) Tanzania is without doubt one of the most exciting trips a birder can make, with hundreds of species of birds, many of them large, tame, and colorful. Add to that the iconic mammals, scenery, and culture and you have a experience that will rank as among the most memorable of a lifetime. Our itinerary includes the Serengeti, famous for its extravagant megafauna, but also home to star birds like Gray-crested Helmetshrike, Red-throated Tit, and Steel-blue Whydah. Our tour is timed with hopes to see the magnificent migration of wildebeest, zebra and antelope. We will also visit Ngorongoro crater, Earth’s largest intact volcanic caldera, which also harbors dense populations of large mammals, as well as forest brimming with birds such as Hildebrandt’s Francolin, Schalow’s Turaco, and dazzling Tacazze Sunbirds, among others. For superb birding, masses of iconic animals, and photo ops galore, join the ABA and Rockjumper for an incredible adventure into the heart of Africa. For more details and registration, go to: events.aba.org eve n t s @ a b a . o r g • 8 0 0 . 8 5 0 . 2 47 3 other minerals by foreign companies. While the government ensures that the indigenous and environmental protections won’t be stripped away, researchers agree the ripple effect of these mining projects could be catastrophic. And it wouldn’t be the only park threatened by mining operations, as President Michel Temer plans to water down the well-established system of protected areas and make changes in regu- lations to alter the financial compensation from mining activities. Bills have already passed to congress with instructions to dismantle, reduce or lessen the status of several protected areas in five states, affecting about ten per cent of the total protected area in the country — in most cases connected to illegal deforestation, mining or land invasion. Furthermore, changes to the Environmental Impact Assessment law are also being discussed, a potential disaster at national scale since it’s this process that currently slows down or stops most environmentally harmful developments. “A steamroller is threatening to take us back to the time when it was believed that natural resources were endless”, said Attorney Gen- eral Leandro Mitidieri, following the new bill announcement. Jamanxim National Forest was another to make it to the news recently. Located in the so-called “arch of deforestation” that threatens the SEPTEMBER 2017 • BIRDLIFE Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos. Photo Eloir da Silva 4 Andean Flamingo Phoenicoparrus andinus. Photo Eloir da Silva 7 Amazon Forest, 57 per cent of the park’s pro- tected area was stripped of its protected status. Bordering with nearby Jamanxim National Park, another municipality illegally authorised cassit- erite (tin mineral) mining inside Altamira National Forest. Luckily, they ended up being fined by the National Environmental Agency, as it turned out they hadn’t carried out an Environmental Impact Assessment at all. Following the downgrade of Jamanxim National Forest, the future of Lagoa do Peixe could become the next turning point, as envi- ronmentalists and scientists worry that if they manage to downgrade a National Park of such importance, it will give confidence to the fed- eral government to go ahead with the rest of their environmental deregulation plans. SAVE Brasil and BirdLife will continue fighting to support the Federal Environmental Institu- tions so that Lagoa de Peixe and all the other reserves can continue to be protected for years to come. “IT’S THREATENING TO TAKE US BACK TO A TIME WHEN WE BELIEVED NATURAL RESOURCES WERE ENDLESS” Do you want to help? Visit the following website to sign SAVE Brasil’s petition to stop the developments in Lagoa do Peixe: http://tinyurl.com/ycq2mcra 47