“Curiosity” - Pernambuco Pygmy-Owl
Acrylic on Canvas, 11" x 14" x 1.5"
Original Painting: SOLD
Ready-to-Hang, Limited Edition Archival Metal Print: $350.00
Time to Completion: 154 Hours
Ounces of Paint: 28
Custom sizes and materials available for prints. Inquire here.
Human Impacts Resulting in Protected Status:
The tropical forests of Brazil, such a large part of the Amazon, are the only known home for the Pernambuco Pygmy-Owl. Unfortunately, over 231,662 square miles [about the size of France] of Brazilian forests have been destroyed since 1970. Between 2000 and 2005, Brazil had the highest deforestation rate in the entire world.
The leading causes of deforestation in Brazil are cattle ranching, illegal logging, and soybean cultivation. 91% of deforested land is used for livestock pasture, allowing Brazil to provide Europe with over 70% of their beef. In developing areas, illegal logging is driven mainly by specialized timber export, such as Mahogany. For every one tree harvested, 5 to 10 others are destroyed in order to create transportation routes out of the forest. Brazil is the second largest producer of soybeans for livestock feed in the world, second only to the United States.
The last two impacts of deforestation in Brazil can be attributed to hydroelectric dams, which frequently flood large swaths of forest and mining activities, which have increased steadily since the 1980’s.
In 2002, the Pernambuco Pygmy-Owl was recognized as its own species, based on only two specimens found in 1980 in the Reserva Biológica de Saltinho of Brazil. Since then, scientists have been implementing comprehensive surveys within the known natural habitat of the Pernambuco Pygmy-Owl. There have been no known sightings, however, since 2001. Scientists hope there may be 1-49 individuals left, but strongly suspect that the Pernambuco Pygmy-Owl is extinct already.
Because of the failed attempts to find the Pernambuco Pygmy-Owl in the wild, there is no land protected specifically for them. It is fortunate that the Pernambuco Pygmy-Owl’s natural habitat includes a few protected forest areas such as the Reserva Biológica de Saltinho in Brazil, which contains 1,350 acres, with only 1.85 square miles of suitable habitat for the Pernambuco Pygmy-Owl. There are other protected areas in Brazil where the Pernambuco Pygmy-Owl might call home, but they are heavily fragmented, and provide pockets of natural habitat even smaller than that of the Reserva Biológica de Saltinho.
Profits will go to the EDGE of Existence program, currently working to help find living Pernambuco Pygmy-Owl individuals and lobby for conservation of Brazilian forests. EDGE is a global conservation initiative that uses a scientific framework to identify and then protect the the world’s most evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species. They work with local stakeholders, governments, and partner conservation organizations to ensure that the obscure and rare species have a future.
Neotropical Birds, 2017
BirdLife International, 2017