Juliana Machado Ferreira holds an ultramarine grossbeak while doing fieldwork in Bahia, Brazil. Photo: Erica Pacifico
Conservation biologist Juliana Machado Ferreira uses genetic data to fight illegal wildlife trafficking in Brazil—a $2 billion-a-year business that affects 38 million animals. In 2012, Ferreira founded FREELAND Brasil to raise awareness of the devastating effects of keeping wild-caught songbirds, parrots and macaws—as well as to release rehabilitated animals and support rural communities vulnerable to wildlife traffickers.
This week, Ferreira was honored as a 2014 National Geographic Emerging Explorer for her work. We caught up with her to talk about her passion for conserving biodiversity and ecosystems.
First of all, congratulations on being named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer! What does this mean for you and your work?
Thank you! It’s an immense honor to be recognized by my heroes, many of them responsible for me becoming a biologist. I was that kid — reading National Geographic, absolutely…
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