Year-end report of the conservation project "Mata Atlántica

Final report second year Mata Atlántica

Year-end report of the conservation project "Mata Atlántica" of the ÖVVÖ, 2017

A brief insight shows that the situation on the Rio Doce has not improved, but has even worsened in many places!

Two years after the Fundão dam broke, the SOS Mata Atlântica Foundation started an expedition to the Doce catchment area. Between 11 and 20 October 2017, it traveled 733 km along the entire river, - to the hundred tributaries that make up the basin and 29 municipalities and districts in the states of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo.

The transparency of surface water to a depth of ten centimetres in some collection points visited, gives the false impression that at the slightest movement of water due to natural currents or winds, the water turns orange and bright. In 15 out of 18 collection points, the analyses indicated that the water qualities contradict current legislation and are therefore not suitable for human consumption. In seven of the 16 collection points, the water quality is poor. They have proven absence of aquatic life, such as tadpoles, frogs and fish. At these collection points, the water table was only animated by insects and mosquitoes, a vector of serious public health problems such as Dengue, Zika, Cehikeungunha and yellow fever.

The project, launched in the year 2016, has made a name for itself nationally and also internationally. Articles in aquarium journals, nationally and internationally, reported on the project. Due to the breeding success of Scleromystax prionotos by Roman Lechner, an appeal was launched in the ATA and on the ÖVVÖ website in spring 2017. As a result, further project members, also from the USA, joined the project "Mata Atlántica", so that now 11 members belong to it. During the year there were further breeding successes with S. prionotos and Scleromystax sp. C113.

We were able to take a further step in the conservation projects in summer 2017. With the Leipzig Zoo, we were able to win another partner, who will draw attention to our project in their premises. With the kind support of Ulrich Graßl, curator at Leipzig Zoo, the conservation project of the ÖVVÖ "Mata Atlantica" has taken another step in terms of cooperation with public institutions. Because: conservation is species protection! As already reported, the Mata Atantica is highly endangered. And with it, many animal and plant species. The small genus Scleromystax, with two threatened species, is a tiny part of this. Support in this project can be a lot, informing the public is an important pillar in any project. The Aquarium Leipzig has provided the conservation project with a tank where this project is pointed out. On 19.06.17, seven adult Scleromystax barbartus (Bearded Corydoras) and 15 offspring Scleromystax prionotos were brought to Leipzig by project leader Erik Schiller.

A pleasant cooperation with the Fulda Catfish Concervation Day (WAT) took place in 2017. Our WAT is an event that has no commercial background, so the proceeds will benefit a breeding project. Erik Schiller, species conservation officer of the ÖVVÖ, who is another patron of this project, will receive the amount generated by the WAT after the event.
The BSSW regional group is taking on a sponsorship for this breeding project and is thus not only talking about species conservation, but also supporting it. We will inform you regularly about the progress of the breeding on our homepage.

There is great interest in this project. Donations from clubs and private individuals were received throughout the year. Many thanks to all who support this project! Further project participants as well as project sponsors are very welcome. If you are interested in the "Mata Atlántica" project, please send an email to