VAGAFOGO WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
In 1975, Evandro Ayer and Catarina Schiffer purchased Vagafogo Farm. They soon discovered the wealth of biodiversity and began adopting means of preservation and sustainability for the property. The farm’s greatest treasure is the forest with its rich biodiversity. Trails through the forest were created, leading to a better understanding of the region, as well as promoting recreation on the shores of the Vagafogo River, which cuts through the middle of the forest. The forest’s magnitude and well-groomed paths became an attraction for their children, Uirá and Maíra, their friends and other visitors.
In the 90’s, influenced by the growing tourism in Pirenópolis, the family decided to seek out partnerships. The farm was registered as a Private Natural Heritage Reserve through a partnership with FUNATURA – Pro-Nature Foundation, which created a Management Plan for the property. The Reserve occupied nearly 50% of the farm and became the first reserve of its kind in the state of Goiás, as well as the first in a network of reserves that FUNATURA would register.
The Sanctuary also formed partnerships with the British Embassy that provided funds for the construction of the Visitors Center, which was built with the help of the O Boticário Foundation for Nature Protection, which also aided in the construction of the “Mother of the Forest” Interpretive Trail.
On March 19, 1992, the farm opened for visitation. Among those present was Prince Phillip of England, whose country supported the project through its Embassy.
Today, the Sanctuary offers various programs in tourism and environmental education that aim to reach eventual visitors, school groups and members of the community in Pirenópolis.
The project has also expanded its Management Plan and created a list of species.