Following five centuries of occupation less than 16% of the Atlantic Forest remains today, and most of that is highly fragmented. It is classified as one of the 5 top global biodiversity hotspots, and contains the highest numbers of Brazil’s endemic and threatened bird, mammal, reptile and amphibian species. The 450 km² Guapiaçu watershed forms an important part of the Mosaico Central Fluminense, this being the third largest remaining stand of Atlantic Forest in Brazil. What distinguishes the Guapiaçu watershed is that it is still 60% forested and contains many of the endangered species, including an estimated 15% of the world population of the Southern Muriqui.

REGUA’s prime objective is to protect the forest and its biodiversity from further destruction, and to restore some of the lost forest and species through planting and reintroduction programmes. Over the last two decades REGUA has created a protected area of over 11,000 hectares, has planted thousands of trees, restored lost wetlands and has successfully reintroduced tapirs.

In order to understand more about the species that are found in the Guapiacu watershed, REGUA supports and encourages research projects in association with the local Universities. REGUA also works with the local communities and schools to broaden their understanding of the importance of conserving their local forests, both for its importance in water supply, biodiversity and in protecting these habitats for future generations.


The Atlantic Forest, once one of the largest rainforests in the Neotropics, is today highly threatened. Estimates of remaining forest range from 16% to just 7%, making the Atlantic Forest a high conservation priority. REGUA now protects over 11,000 ha of Atlantic Forest in the Guapiaçu watershed, and our team of rangers patrols the reserve to prevent illegal hunting and removal of forest products. More »


Habitat restoration and species reintroductions both form major components of our conservation work. REGUA has now planted 624,000 trees comprising 180 native species, reforesting an area of 388 ha. Rare Tabebuia cassinoides swamp has also been re-established, and 17.5 ha of wetlands have been created, into which we have reintroduced Lowland Tapir, a species extinct for over 100 years in Rio de Janeiro state. More »


REGUA’s education programme, now embedded into the local school curriculum, teaches students and community groups living within the Guapiaçu basin the importance of protecting the unique and threatened Atlantic Forest and its biodiveristy, through visits to the reserve and our Conservation Centre. Our Young Rangers programme provides an opportunity for students to become more actively involved in REGUA. More »


To ensure the long term conservation of the Atlantic Forest and biodiversity of the upper Guapiaçu valley, it is vital we identify the species found here and their ecological requirements. REGUA’s objectives include creating a bio-inventory of the species present, encouraging and supporting research projects from both professional and citizen scientists, and publishing scientific papers, systematic species lists, and identifcation guides. More »


Our visitor lodge, built for birders and people interested in natural history, is located beside our wetlands with stunning views across the reserve and easy access to a network of marked trails that can be walked with or without a guide. The lodge is full board and equipped to a high standard with 10 en-suite rooms, a swimming pool, and an extensive natural history library. We also offer a transfer service to and from Rio de Janeiro located 1.5 hours away. More »


Donate to REGUA

With as little as 7% of the original forested area remaining, the Atlantic Forest of South America is one of the most threatened ecosystems on Earth, but also one the most biodiverse! REGUA protects over 11,000 hectares of forest and has the opportunity to purchase more land protect more forest, but we have to act fast as encroaching urbanisation is rapidly increasing land prices. Please support REGUA today by making a donation. Donate »


Narrated by Michael Palin, produced by Verity White/Five Films, soundtrack by Matthew Sheeran. Since this video was produced REGUA has continued to purchase more land and plant trees. REGUA now owns over 18,000 acres, has planted over 624,000 trees and the number of bird species found there is over 480. Watch in HD »