Santos city, on the Brazilian coast near São Paulo, has scattered in its streets and public gardens 120 photographs of the bird species living in that urban area and has built a birdwatching tower. It wants people to start noticing nature.
The hook-billed kite (Chondrohierax uncinatus), the Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet (Camptostona obsoletum ) and the grey potoo (Nyctibius griseus) area just some of the 100 bird species which have their photographs in the city of Santos.
The colorful images, each one with 50cm x 50cm, have the photograph of the bird, its common name and its scientific name.
The exhibition “100 Aves de Santos” (100 Birds of Santos) was launched last June, to celebrate the World Environment Day, and it was produced by Sandra Pivelli, biologist at the local Environment Agency (Semam), and by the photographer Leonardo Casadei.
It took 15 years for Sandra Pivelli to register the city’s bird species. “This is a very rich region. We have more bird species than many countries”, says the biologist.
According to Sandra Pivelli, the main goal is to give people a chance to learn something about the nature that surrounds them. “They don’t need to travel to the Amazon forest. Many of those birds can be seen here in their city. They just have to open their windows and look for them.”
Sandra Pivelli wants to send another message too. No one needs to have birds in cages just because they like to look at them. “This project allows people to know what surrounds them without hurting nature. Anyone who sees the bird’s photographs in the streets can go looking for them in the city”, she said.
To make things easier, the local authorities have built an observation tower with 21 meters high, in the public garden Botanical Garden Chico Mendes (Bom Retiro). According to them, the tower has a view to the entire 90.000 square meters park.
City authorities have told Wilder that the photographs will stay as a permanent exhibition in the gardens by the sea.
This project also stresses the deep connections between the city’s animals and plants. Sandra Pivelli has made an inventory of the trees in the 101 public squares of Santos. There are 3.113 trees of 118 different species.
“We have more than 115 trees species in the city. Some are covered by plants most people think are parasites. But its not like that. We have orchids and bromelias. Their seeds are dispersed by birds”, Sandra Pivelli explained.
“In order to take care and to appreciate our environmental heritage, we have to know it first. And that’s one of our goals.”