The Golden conure (Guaruba guarouba), a species threatened by trafficking. Image courtesy of RENCTAS. In the tropical forest surrounding Alter do Chão, a Brazilian town located on a languid stretch of the Amazon River and home to what is considered one of the most beautiful freshwater beaches in the world, monkeys, macaws, agoutis and armadillos co-habit in relative harmony. About 33 kilometers west of the city of Santarém in Pará state, life’s slow pace in the village has long been a draw for weekend trippers and foreign tourists alike. But Alter do Chão and its surroundings, increasingly threatened by illegal loggers and poachers, is also a base for what may be one of the most innovative nonprofit organizations fighting animal trafficking in Brazil. “Wildlife trafficking is a real tragedy for Brazil’s biodiversity,” says Dener Giovanini, the Alter do Chão-based co-founder of the National Network Combating Wild Animal Trafficking (RENCTAS). “The number of endangered species in Brazil has grown exponentially in just over 20 years. I am not afraid to claim that today any wild species can be a victim of trafficking.” According to Giovanini, RENCTAS was the first environmental organization in Brazil to use the internet in a major way as a tool to combat the illegal wildlife trade. Founded in 1999, after Giovanini was awarded a three-year fellowship from the US-based foundation Ashoka, RENCTAS made a name for itself by logging its first legal complaint regarding the use of the internet by animal traffickers in Brazil. In its first…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer