- Explorer Moments
How an Endangered Bird Helped Save a Brazilian Rain Forest
Anita Studer wanted to study the Forbes's blackbird, but the decimation of its habitat led her to plant millions of trees.
A person's life path can sometimes meander before it takes root.
Anita Studer found hers planting trees, helping reforest and preserve Brazil’s Pedra Talhada tropical rain forest.
After stints attending law school and vocational school, waitressing, and driving taxis, the Swiss native began pursuing a graduate degree in ornithology and an academic career. On a trip to the Pedra Talhada in 1981, Studer became fascinated with the Forbes’s blackbird, threatened by extinction due to the massive deforestation of its habitat.
An academic adviser told Studer that the small, long-tailed bird, known in Brazil as the anumara, would make a good dissertation topic, but warned her to act quickly because the forest would likely be gone within a decade, and with