This story excerpt was translated from Portuguese. To read the original story in full, visit National Geographic. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.
Rio Preto da Eva, Manaus and Iranduba, Amazonas | Acariquara, carapanauba, monkey-puzzle tree, cedar, laurel, monkey-chestnut. Along closed forest trails, field coordinator João Batista recited the popular names of some of the trees we passed in a patch of Amazon rainforest.
This stretch of forest is the way to reach the emblematic Km 41 camp, located north of Manaus. For about 40 years, this space was the favorite of the environmentalist, biologist, writer, and National Geographic explorer Thomas Lovejoy, considered the 'godfather' of biodiversity, who died at the end of 2021.
One of the oldest natural conservation study programs in the world, the Project on Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments (PDBFF), envisioned by Lovejoy in the late 1970s to study, among other things, how forest fragmentation affects the biological diversity of forests. The project is a scientific cooperation between the National Institute for Amazon Research (INPA), from Brazil, and the Smithsonian Institute, from the United States.
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The report accompanied the project researchers in May of this year on a trip supported by the Amazon Rainforest Journalism Fund of the Pulitzer Center. It was the first stop in a project to document the scientists' return to field research after the hiatus caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.