Scalet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber), called guará in Brazil, were considered locally extinct (extirpated) as a breeding species in Southeastern Brazil by the 1950’s but a breeding colony was established in the late 1980’s in a degraded mangrove area at the back of the Santos Bay in coastal São Paulo State. In 1996 this breeding colony had at least 250 birds (see Olmos & Silva 2001). Within the next 10 years the species spread some 140 km South and started breed in the large and more pristine mangrove area in the Lagamar region of Southern São Paulo State and Northern Paraná State and within another 10 years spread till 200 km South to the mangroves of the Babitonga Bay in Northern Santa Catarina State where they are now successfully breeding (see Fink & Cremer 2015).
Two beautiful table books were published to commemorate the return of the Scarlet Ibis to the mangroves of coastal São Paulo State: Olmos, F. & Silva e Silva, R. 2003.
Guará: ambiente, flora e fauna dos manguezais de Santos-Cubatão. São Paulo: Empresa das Artes, 216p. and Silva e Silva, R. 2007. Guarás vermelhos no Brasil. São Paulo: Avis Brasilis, 240p.
THE RETURN OF THE SCARLET IBIS: FIRST BREEDING EVENT IN SOUTHERN BRAZIL AFTER LOCAL EXTINCTION
Here we describe the first breeding event of the Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber) in southern Brazil after a long period of local extinction. The species reproduced in a mixed colony on Jarivatuba Island, a mangrove area in Babitonga Bay, northern Santa Catarina. During the breeding season, between August 2011 and March 2012, regular surveys were carried out in the area with a powerboat to collect basic information on the species breeding. The first adult was recorded in November 2011, along with a group of White-faced ibises (Plegadis chihi) that was nesting at the same site. In January 2012, the local Scarlet ibises displayed reproductive behavior, with adults in incubation position in the nests. The first chicks were recorded on January 20, 2012. In March 2012, there were few adults in the colony, and juveniles were recorded in flight groups, including some outside the colony. Although there is no on-site housing, the region is very disturbed, with industries and marinas nearby, and it suffers from the discharge of domestic and industrial effluents. The creation of a local protected area would be an adquate long-term strategy for the conservation of the Scarlet Ibis and this ecosystem.