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Reserves and sanctuaries
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Itaipu maintains eight biological reserves and sanctuaries in Brazil and Paraguay. The protected area, including native woodlands and reforestation sites, totals 41,039 hectares.

They ensure the conservation of animal and plant species threatened by man's predatory action.

Brazil holds the biological sanctuaries Bela Vista (1,920/ha) and Santa Helena (1,482/ha), while Paraguay runs the biological reserves Itabó (15,208/ha), Limoy (14,828/ha), Carapá (3,250/ha), Tati Yupi (2,245/ha) and Yui Rupá (750/ha).

On the border between the two countries, between the Paraguayan department of Kanendiyu and the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, we find the Binational Maracaju Sanctuary (1,356/ha) covering an area under litigation between Brazil and Paraguay.

The Binational Maracaju Sanctuary is undergoing a reforestation process that has already rehabilitated 620 hectares, nearly half of its 1,356 hectare area.

On the site, Itaipu keeps a fire brigade, conducts forest research, and helps surveillance and environmental protection activities.

On the Brazilian side, animal studies take place at the Itaipu Binacional Wild Animal Nursery (Casib) located at the Bela Vista biological sanctuary, near the power plant dam.

There, wild animals reproduce in captivity and are later released on the lake protection strip and biological sanctuaries on the Brazilian side of the reservoir. Casib is capable of housing up to 300 animals.

The center has bred approximately 800 animals of 42 species. Survival rate among baby animals exceeds 70%.

Today, reproduction work is focused on endangered species in Brazil and those rare to the area. Captive reproduction of small felines is one of the highlights at the center.

Researchers from Itaipu, CNPq, Ibama, the Federal University of Paraná and the Curitiba Zoo have reached excellent results in the reproduction of little spotted cats (Leopardus tigrinus), margays (Leopardus wiedii) and ocelots (Leopardus pardalis).

On the Paraguayan side, researchers have been achieving great success in the reproduction of bush dogs (Speothos venaticus) and marsh deer (Blastocerus dichotomus), both severely endangered species.

Studies conducted since 1986 on the area's wild animals estimate that on the reservoir protection strip, reserves and sanctuaries located on the Brazilian side of the Itaipu lake there are 44 mammal, 305 bird, and 37 reptile species.

On the Paraguayan side, where native woodlands have not been dramatically altered, 62 mammal and 409 bird species have been recorded.

In nature, researchers come across species rare today, like jaguars (Panthera onça), margays (Leopardus wiedii), pygmy brockets (Mazama nana), harpy eagles (Harpia harpyja, the largest bird of prey in South America, second only to the Andean condor) and king vultures (Sarcoramphus papa).

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