Rainforest conservation

Brazilian rain forest (aka jungle) – some facts  The Northern region of Brazil, where the Amazon river is located, occupies 45% of the country’s total area. It comprises seven States: Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Pará (where Belém is located), Rondônia, Roraima and Tocantins – with a total population of ten million. The overall climate is equatorial, with high temperatures and humidity. Contrary to general belief, it does not contain homogeneous landscape. Basically, there are two different altitude levels in the region which determine the kind of vegetation it will contain: the flood-prone plains or wetlands; the plains which are flooded only occasionally when there are great floods; and the areas out or water reach, the low plains.

Geographically speaking, in addition to Brazil, the Amazon also includes parts of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Surinam and French Guiana – all of which (except for Ecuador) along the Brazilian border. The rivers of the region account for the pace of local life. They embody the earth’s largest drained liquid surface, holding at least 20% of the potable water on our planet. In the Amazon basin alone, there are 23,000 kilometers of navigable rivers. The rivers bring the world to remote villages and carry the agricultural production of the region to the outside world. Many of the inhabitants in the more remote localities get part of their food out of them. Excerpt from Panrotas Suplementos Brasileiros magazine, November 1994 English version.    Peace to the planet. Good-will between men. Courage to re-think our development models and start the environmental education     Belém is the capital of the State of Pará, the largest city in the North  of Brazil and the gateway to the Amazon region. It is a city outlined by rivers, waterways and channels. Because of this abundance of water, the equatorial heat is transformed in to coolness and pleasure. A seemingly typical Amazonic city, with forest, jungle, woods, and all the exuberance of the fauna and flora of the region, Belém amazes one because it maintains some harmony between the “cabocla” life and the agitation of a capital with 1.5 million inhabitants. In the first hours of the morning the Ver-o-Peso market is teeming with activity.

Boats of all sizes arrive, bringing fruit, meat, fish and many other products. Only in Belém, for example, it is possible, in less than 10 minutes, to leave the modern world of comfortable hotels, restaurants, cinemas and, like in a trip through time, cross the rivers that surround the city, to see the river dwellers begin their day. Here, the rhythm is different its beat is of simplicity and isolation but it is the same in all the Island Region “the archipelago  of Belém” – the islands of Belém. In Belém, one can taste the best of the region’s cuisine. Medicines and perfumes come from the forest, the water and the land as also does the base of foods. Açaí, cupuaçu, bacuri, uxi, bacaba, pupunha, mango, Brazil nuts and dozens of other delicious, exotic and nutritive fruits are responsible, along with fish and manioc flour, for the survival of a large part of the population. All over town, mango trees decorate the streets and help fight the heat.

Marajó is the largest river island in the world, with over 30,000 square miles of contrasting and harmonious terrain. It is located at the mouth of the Amazon, which embraces it just before joining the sea. Within a few minutes, one can see buffalo herds (picture above) and then walk on the beaches along the seashore. Its many wetlands resemble the Pantanal in the Central-West region. The main towns on the island are Soure, Joanes, Salvaterra, Cachoeira do Arari and  Ponta de Pedras.  Here’s another good link to Marajó Island,

Pará – Brasil Wind & Solar Energy – Pilot Project       Project Entrance The so called “Joanes Project” is a pilot project aiming to attend the small community of the beach of Joanes, in the Island of Marajó, in the State of Pará, Northern Brazil. The hybrid project encompasses wind, solar and thermoelectric energy, supplying 50KW of reliable and steady power to more than 200 units in the small village/beach.

Stag Beetles of Taiwan  Methods of Collecting Stag Beetles  There are many ways of collecting stag beetles. Here are some of the most common methods.  Nighttime Street Lamps About two-thirds of the stag beetle species in Taiwan are attracted to lights at night. Why insects are attracted to lights still isn’t very clear. Most explanations suggest that bright lights, which don’t exist before man, confuse flying insects as to which direction they’re traveling. Nights with a bright moon are not good for this type of collecting, which suggests that insects might use the moon for navigation. Anyhow, this is often the easiest method of collecting a variety of stag beetles. The best nights are dark, windless, and dry or misty nights. Foggy, but not rainy, nights are the best because the light is refracted off water particles in the air, creating an illuminated area around lamps. After dark, look for street lamps that are near forested areas. The best lamps are those standing apart from any other lamp or are brighter than all the rest in the area. White lamps are far more attractive than yellow ones. If you are lucky, you may see beetles flying around the light. If so, use a net to catch them, or wait until they land somewhere. Use a flashlight to scrutinize everywhere that is illuminated by the light, including the ground, trees, walls, or anywhere else where a beetle might land. (Imagine that you are a beetle circling around the lamp. What is the first thing you will hit?) Often the beetle may be lying upside down on the ground, hiding in the grass, or it might be clinging to nearby tree trunks or overhanging vegetation.

Careful searches often reveal pleasant surprises. Here’s a picture of me with all the stag beetles I caught in one night under no more than a handful of street lamps. Most of them were knocked down from the twigs of nearby trees. Your Own Light If street lamps attract a lot of beetles, than what about setting up your own light? The traditional method is to set up a reflective white cloth vertically using string. Hang or set up a black light and/or mercury vapor lamp in front of the cloth and use a portable generator or battery as the source of electricity. This must be set up before dark, and the lamp should be turned on right before it gets dark. The tricky part is where the cloth and light should be set up. To catch the most insects, look for an open area overlooking a large patch of forested hillside. Setting up the lamp inside the forest will bring in different insects. Of course, no street lamps or other sources of light should be visible from the site you choose to set up your own light. Choosing the location in which to set up requires experience and trial and error. When conditions are perfect, this method often brings in large numbers of beetles and many rare species.   Daytime Trees Nearly all stag beetles feed on tree sap, so the best place to search for them is probably their food source.

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