IT WAS ABOUT TIME TO START LOOKING UP
Far beyond turtles, dolphins, sharks, and incredible beaches, Fernando de Noronha is home to the greatest wealth of sea birds in Brazil. But, oddly enough, almost no one was looking at them. The lack of knowledge and interest was the motivation for the female biologists Cecília Licarião and Ariane Gouvêa to develop the Aves de Noronha Project, whose main objective is to redirect the eyes of residents and tourists to the island's rich avifauna, through Research, Education, Citizen Science, and Sustainable Tourism, improving the state of conservation and strengthening the local economy.
In 2018, the project took its first flight. Through funding by SOS Mata Atlântica, it was possible to develop activities of great relevance for the conservation of birds in the archipelago, such as the elaboration of a mini-guide, courses for shuttle drivers, educational talks, recreational activities with children, and ecological walks for birdwatching.
Our flights are bold. Through funding from the Naji Foundation, we monitor the species of birds threatened with extinction in the archipelago and carry out several other actions, such as ringing the endemic species of the island - Noronha Vireo (Vireo gracilirostris) and Noronha Elaenia (Elaenia ridleyana) – hosting training activities for students and teachers, social engagement, production of didactic material, and the encouragement of birdwatching as the motor activity of the local economy.
(1) Promote the conservation of Fernando de Noronha’s birdlife and bring society closer to the Conservation Units of the archipelago, through birdwatching tourism;
(2) Boost the local economy by training shuttle drivers to guide birdwatchers;
(3) Direct the tourists' gaze to the rich birdlife present in the Fernando de Noronha archipelago;
(4) Produce didactic material related to the observation of birds and fauna of the archipelago for the community, teachers, children, and tourists.
Mission and objectives:
THE ARCHIPELAGO OF FERNANDO DE NORONHA
The Fernando de Noronha Archipelago is home to the largest diversity of marine birds in the country. Altogether, there are more than 90 species of birds registered that use the island for rest, food, and reproduction.
Some species can be seen all year round, such as the endemic Noronha Vireo (Vireo gracilirostris) and Noronha Elaenia (Elaenia ridleyana), in addition to the White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus) - a species that is a symbol to the National Marine Park – the White Tern (Gygis alba), the Black Noddy (Anous minutus) and the Red-footed Booby (Sula sula).
Besides birds, the 21 islands of the archipelago are home to unique reptiles such as the Noronha skink (Trachylepis atlantica) and the Noronha worm lizard (Amphisbaena ridleyi), which can only be seen in Noronha, in addition to the Green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) and several other species of sea turtles. When we talk about aquatic mammals, the first one that comes to mind is the show-off Spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris), who approaches the island in groups every day to rest.
Noronha has a very rich fauna, and it is truly a stage for lovers of nature observation.