The Cristalino RPPN (Private National Heritage Reserve) is located in the south of the Amazon region, in Brazil’s mid-west, where the Amazon Rainforest meets the Cerrado and Pantanal biomes, in a rich mosaic formed by well preserved rivers – such as the Cristalino – and natural forests. Due to the wealth of this region, in terms of biodiversity, its protection from deforestation, hunting and fire is critical. The 11,399 hectares (28,167 acres)of the reserve provide an important haven that, along with the Cristalino State Park, serves as a wildlife corridor for the incredible diversity of endemic species in the region.
The Cristalino is a refuge for endangered species such as the jaguar, bush dog, puma, giant anteater and sloth and is home to more than seven species of monkey, including the endemic white-whiskered spider monkey, a symbol of the Cristalino State Park. Other forest dwellers include the giant armadillo, giant otter and many species of butterfly and frog. A third of all Brazilian birds – of a total of 1,800 species, including the harpy eagle, wrens, macaws, parrots and toucans – can be seen in and around the reserve.
Vitoria da Riva Carvalho, visionary conservationist and founder of the Cristalino Lodge, in 1997 signed the document creating the first RPPN in northern Mato Grosso, which has brought permanent protection to this area of tropical rainforest. The RPPN, which involves a partnership with IBAMA (Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources) and the ICMBio (Chico Mendes Institute for the Conservation of Biodiversity) has turned a personal commitment into a guarantee of the perpetual preservation of this area.
The RPPN imposes strict regulations regarding the use and zoning of the area managed by the Cristalino Foundation. All extractive activities, such as mining, deforestation and poaching, are prohibited, while responsible tourism, with minimal impact tourist facilities such as observation towers, viewing points and trails, is allowed. At the same time, the RPPN encourages educational and scientific activities in the area, on the grounds that we only preserve what we are familiar with and value.
The Cristalino Lodge also supports the A Day In The Forest and other projects within the conservation areas that are geared to generating knowledge.