Aimorés, MG - Brasil | 2020-07-03  
What we do - Ecosystem restoration

PNHR Bulcão Farm

The Instituto Terra committed itself to the recovery of the 1,502 acres of rainforest in the Bulcão Farm in Aimorés, Minas Gerais. The farm was completely devastated when, in 1998, it received the title of Private Natural Heritage Reserve (PNHR). The former cattle ranch originally covered 1,740 acres.

The first planting was carried out in December 1999, and since then, year after year, with the support of important associates, it has been possible to plant over two million seedlings of more than 290 species of trees, recreating a forest of arboreal and shrub species native to the Atlantic Forest.

At present, only 10 percent of the PNHR remains to be restored. And the process continues, with the goal of increasing the numbers of native Atlantic Forest species and genomes in the region.

Flora, water and fauna

Since this is an innovative experiment in the country, all the work of the Instituto Terra has been based on research and experimentation on a ‘learn as you go’ basis. But we can already identify some of the fruits of this work.

By halting erosion of the soil, the replanting the ground cover at the PNHR Bulcão Farm is fostering a revival of the farm’s water resources - both in quantity and quality. The eight natural springs on the farm have been come alive and, even in times of drought, they now flow at a rate of some 20 liters per minute.

Native species of trees planted in an area that was completely degraded have been chosen with the aim of creating a forest of high biomass and diversity.

Fauna are turning: many species that were disappearing now find a secure home in Balcão Farm.

Among birds, 172 species have been identified, of which six are in danger of extinction: the Amazona rhodocorytha (Red-browed Amazon Parrot); the Amazona vinacea (Red-breasted parrot); the Campephilus robustus (Robust Woodpecker); the Procnias nudicollis (Bellbird); Propyrrhura maracana (Blue Winged Macaw) and, finally, the Sicalis flaveola (Saffron Finch).

There are 33 species of mammals, two of which are in the process of world-wide extinction (classified as ‘vulnerable’): the Callicebus personatus (Atlantic or masked Titi monkey); and the Puma concolor (Puma, mountain lion or panther). Another three are in danger of extinction in Brazil: The Leopardus pardalis (dwarf leopard); the Leopardus tigrinus (small tiger cat) and the Puma concolor (Puma, mountain lion or Panther).

There are also 15 species of amphibians; 15 species of reptiles; and 293 species of plants.


The soil found on the farm is of marked diversity. Dark red ‘eutrophic’ soils predominate, that is, soils of great natural fertility, but highly susceptible to erosion and with little capacity for the infiltration of water, a factor that makes replanting particularly urgent.


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