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Language: Bilingual in English and Spanish
San Rafael is a spectacular sub-tropical Paraguayan wilderness in the heart of South America, and it is danger of extinction due to habitat degradation and deforestation. Its area is one of the few remaining significant parcels of the formerly awe-inspiring Interior Atlantic primeval forest, which stretched 599 miles from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to northern Argentina, and encompassed 471,204 square kilometres, now almost entirely lost to crops. An astounding array of wildlife species populate San Rafael, including 61 mammals, 410 birds, 650 insects, 52 fish, 33 amphibians, and 27 reptiles. Many of the mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds are on endangered species lists.
In this photo documentary, Emily Horton records San Rafael's zoological, botanical and human exuberance – its virgin forests, hills, grasslands, rivers and waterfalls, and describes its pumas and wolves, tapirs and monkeys, toucans and eagles, towering trees, vines which stretch their limbs from the forest floor to cover the canopy with flowers, seven meter primeval Jurassic ferns and multicoloured fungi, orchids and bromeliads.
Horton documents the symbiotic relationship between the San Rafael wilderness and 27 communities of indigenous Guarani – and how these hunter-gatherer Indians live in San Rafael the way they have for millennia. Horton brings to life how their livelihood and hence their cultural identity are at once endangered and threatening to the habitat and wildlife on which they depend. Saving San Rafael is a vital read for anyone caring about preserving the biodiversity and environment of one of the most unique habitats on earth, the Interior Atlantic Forest.
Saving the San Rafael
by Bjorn Ulander in Sweden
This is the first book on the san rafael forest.One of the two biggest blocks of the altlantic forest,that not so long ago covered nearly all of eastern Paraguay.And its a very fine presentation of the subject.Exellent photos as well as writeings in bilingual spanish/english ,covers the forest and its inhabitants from humans,animals,birds and insects.Also the fragil ecosystem and the treats to it.
The writer gives a fine overlooking view of the area inside and outside the forest.This is effectably combined with a strong sense of down-to-groud-perspetive.
She briefly touches the guarani mythology.With itself is a stunningly rich and beautiful oasis.just like the forest, in our overly-matrialistic world.This is also touchingly expressed with statesment from young paraguayans living in the area.
The title Saving the san rafael lingers like the Tebicuari river om the cover, throught the book.
Here we meet the park rangers, the team from Guyra replantating damaged land.As well as the harsh condition for the native inhabitants trying to maintain traditional lifestyle from intruders of the outside world.Its an ongoing balance of chaos and harmony.There is a sincere mood in both the pictures and writeings from Emily Y Horton.
This volume feels very genuine and utterly important. The message.It calls within you.Long after you closed the book.......