Forests of Hope site - Rio Capim, Brazil

Rio Capim. Photo by Pedro Develey, Save Brasil.
Rio Capim. Photo by Pedro Develey, Save Brasil.

Site name: Rio Capim

Country: Brazil

IBA(s): BR013 (national code PA06)

Location: Para State; municipalities of Tailândia, Tomé-açu, Ipixuna do Pará, Paragominas, Goianésia do Para, Ulianópolis, Don Eliseu, Rondon do Pará

Site Area: 2,141,584 hectares

Partner: SAVE Brasilwww.savebrasil.org.br  


Values of the site

Rio Capim is one of the most important large areas of intact lowland Amazon rainforest in the Eastern Brazilian Amazon, with all the key ecosystem services still maintained at the site. In particular, the site contains the Capim River – which provides important hydrological services to the surrounding area.

The IBA is home to a number of highly important bird species such as the Endangered Golden Parakeet Guarouba guarouba. It is also important for the Buff-browed Chachalaca Ortalis superciliaris, Vulnerable White-crested Guan Penelope pileata, Near Threatened Crested Eagle Morphnus guianensis, Near Threatened Harpy Eagle Harpia harpyja, and Vulnerable Pearly Parakeet Pyrrhura lepida.  Whilst a preliminary ornithological survey has been undertaken at the site to date recording a total of 370 bird species, there is still much to discover about the area. The site also holds a population of a Critically Endangered monkey, the Black Bearded Saki Chiropotes satanas utahicki.

Rio Capim is also important for a number of local communities. The site contains two relatively small indigenous reserves:  the Amanaye Indigenous land and Barreirinha Indigenous land. However, the land tenure situation in parts of the IBA is rather complex with a number of different stakeholders present in the area.



Key threats at the site include:

  • Illegal logging (local farmers, new colonists, large companies)
  • Forest clearance and burning for cattle pastures
  • Complex land tenure situation and illegal land occupation
  • Low level of law enforcement

The land tenure situation is complex at this site. Stakeholders include farmers, new colonists, indigenous communities and large companies, all claiming land. There is no clear ownership for a number of properties, and there are many cases where the same property is claimed by multiple owners. This scenario means that law enforcement in the area is extremely challenging to ensure and is an important factor responsible for the deforestation activities in the area.


Historical conservation approach

There are currently no legal protected areas in the site and no conservation projects are being implemented within the Rio Capim site.


New conservation approach

The most important conservation activity required at the site is the resolution of the complexities of the land tenure situation and a clarification of forest governance in the area.  One conservation strategy could then be the creation of an official protected area.  For this to take place, it will be necessary to clarify and document land ownership. An alternative approach would be to maintain private ownership and implement mechanisms that provide incentives to preserve the forest, in contrast to the current situation whereby forested areas are worth more harvested than left standing. There are also plans for looking into REDD project opportunities at the site.


For more information about this site, please contact forests@birdlife.org   

Read more about Forests of Hope Programme