In March 2018 the Critically Endangered Brazilian Merganser was formally acknowledged as the symbol of the conservation of Brazilian waters. The ordinance was signed by the Environment Minister (MMA), Mr. Sarney Filho and published in the Official Journal of the Union (DOU).
This ordinance was the result of a campaign called “The Brazilian Merganser, the ambassador of the Brazilian waters” launched by the Terra Brasilis Institute, together with ICMBio and researchers from other institutions committed to the conservation of the Brazilian Merganser during the 8th World Water Forum.
Sônia Rigueira, the CEO of Terra Brasilis Institute, was the spokesperson of the Brazilian Merganser and with tenderness and poetry presented the habits of the species, the threats posed to its survival and the urge to conserve this species. “The Brazilian Merganser was chosen as a symbol due to the fact that it is an environmental bioindicator, in other words, where Brazilian Merganser is present, the environment is still in equilibrium since this bird only lives in areas where the water is clean and transparent, especially in streams and rivers surrounded by gallery forest”, explained Sônia.
During the launch of the campaign, the Minister Mr. Sarney Filho committed himself to sign the ordinance acknowledging Brazilian Merganser as a symbol of Brazilian waters conservation and highlighted the importance of the campaign, adding “It is a kind of thermometer which measures the quality of our waters”.
The Terra Brasilis Institute are also carrying out a number of other important projects and campaigns to conserve Brazilian Mergansers and their riverine habitat. Further details are available in the latest Brazilian Merganser news bulletin, ‘Pato Aqui, Agua Acola‘.