Sapiranga Ecological Reserve is the biggest unit of urban
conservation of mangroves of the planet.
- Global Position:
Universal Transverse Mercator - UTM
Central M = - 39º or 39º W
Created in February, 03 - 1996
Sapi...what? Sapiranga? where's that?
The fact that no taxi driver at the Fortaleza airport had
any idea of where Sapiranga was made it clear that the world's
so-called "largest urban natural reservation"
was for from being one of the Ceará capìtal's
main tourist attractions. Nobody had heard of the 210-acre
area that is one of the city's last preserved grounds, close
to the border of the towm of Eusébio. And no one
even suspected that Sapiranga was the home of an extremely
delicate ecosystem, with an estuary (Cocó and Coaçu
rivers and the Sapiranga lagoon), mangroves and the heron
In fact, sapiranga, in the Água Fria district, has
a fundamental importante for a certain group, but they never
cath taxis: migrating birds. They leave from northern Canada
and fly almost 20.000 kilometers until reaching America's
other extreme, the south Patagonia. Birds from 77 species
coming from northern hemisphere sometimes fly 70 hours won-stop.
After such on stremuos journey, they land in Sapiranga for
a well deserved "pit-stop". Birds like the sandpiper
use the stop to recover their plumage and cating well.
This green spot on Fortaleza's map still suffers from real
estate speculation and pollution generated by the uncontrolled
growth in neighboring districts. But things used to be a
lot worse. Pictures taken over ten years ago show desforestation
and the devastation of mangroves. This deadly story started
to change in 1994, when the area's owner, Maria Nilva Alves,
was able to get the a "reservation status for the land.
It's a private reservation, but it was donated to mankind"
Maria Nilva ensured. "Our priority is to keep it alive".
The symbol of Sapiranga is the aratu, a crustacean that
can be easily spotted as it walks through the mangroves,
because of its red shell.
The fresh breeze that blows from the city's east coast start
at the reservation. It's the air that cools the downtown
area. "Fortaleza would be literally fried if Sapiranga
where destroyed", warns pesquisadores. While watching
the ballet of the herons that returned to the region.
About one of the aggressions sapiranga is suffering now:
invaders set the woods on fire to hunt guinea pigs. "The
goal is to show everybody how important it is to preserve
With the pespective of Fortaleza's increasing urban expansion,
that the birds will be able to count on Sapiranga to help
them on their epical crossing to the most remote lands of
The flora and the fauna of the Sapiranga
Ecological Reserve of are very rich. Only place inside of
the city of Fortaleza - BR, where if it can observe the
natural invasion of the vegetation of the mangroves.
This is the place of the reproduction of animals, as the
crustaceans, (ucas, aratu, crab-uça, siri, snakes,
raccoons.) e maritime animal , mainly the changeable species
of fish. A true cradle of the sea life. Its Manguezal has
great importance during the migration of the birds, for
being much time in each autumn and spring here.
Sapiranga now contains more 700ha of mangrove. Yet the little
that remains has revealed many surprising discoveries, and
its survival is one of the premier challenges facing preservation
today. With the help of these Thinkquest, we hope that you
too will come to cherish this habitat, and share our wonder
of its many inhabitants.
Maria Nilva Alves Foundation an organization that keeps
the Sapiranga Ecological Reserve in Fortaleza, Brasil.
to the Sapiranga - Fortaleza, BR.