View of Parque Estadual Guajara forest in Amazon

Project Rondônia

September 21–30, 2019

NYBG scientist and Amazonian expert Dr. Douglas Daly was on the ground with local collaborators in Rondônia, the eye of the 2019 firestorm in the Amazon Rain Forest. Follow along here for updates as the team’s findings are recorded here at the Garden.

Smoke rises as fires burn in the Amazon rainforest near Porto Velho, the capital city of RondÙnia, Brazil, on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019. (Victor Moriyama/The New York Times)

On the Ground in Brazil’s Amazon Rain Forest

The devastating loss of forest to 2019’s fires displaced people and animals, negatively affecting air quality, changing rain patterns, and reducing the forest’s capacity to clean our air. Dr. Douglas Daly recounts his efforts to document the important flora in this threatened region.

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Project Rondônia: On the Ground in Brazil’s Amazon

Dr. Douglas Daly in Rondônia, Brazil

Dr. Douglas Daly in Rondônia, Brazil: Day 2

Dr. Douglas Daly in Rondônia, Brazil: Day 3

  1. Record-setting fires have created an environmental crisis in Amazonian Brazil. The loss of forest to these fires displaced people and animals, negatively effected air quality in the region, changed rain patterns on a continental scale, and reduced the forest’s capacity to clean air for the planet. Rondônia is especially important because it is one of the most biodiverse areas of the Amazon with a wide range of habitat types and topography, but its flora is among the least documented. For many years, Dr. Daly has been leading a research project in the region, in partnership with the Federal University of Rondônia and state and national government agencies, investing in training, institution-building, scientific exchange, and of course, botanical exploration and collecting throughout the state.

    As thousands of fires burned in Rondônia, the important work of Dr. Daly and his team of Brazilian collaborators was literally under fire. Given the urgency of the recent crisis, they traveled to Rondônia—the eye of the firestorm—to finalize a training project and collect and document plant specimens to complete field research on a set of key species.