Someone who plants a tree with his or her own hands will think twice before burning trees down to clear the land.
The tree-planting began in the early 1980s when Studer, who was writing her PhD thesis on a rare, local blackbird (<i>Curaeus forbesi</i>), realized that the bird’s habitat, the Pedra Talhada forest, part of the Atlantic Forest,
was disappearing. A flight over the region that had been part of the once-huge forest revealed to her the extent of the deforestation due to increased grazing. Studer resolved that she would save the forest and, with it, the bird that
was the focus of her research.<br><br>Thanks to Studer’s steadfast commitment over more than three decades and the efforts of the supporters of the Swiss nongovernmental organization Nordesta and other groups, this bird
is flourishing in its traditional habitat, which now receives official protection as the Federal Biological Reserve of Pedra Talhada. “There are too many of them to count now,” says Studer of the blackbirds.<br><br>Studer
has launched reforestation campaigns across Brazil and the Amazon basin. She has set up programmes to raise environmental awareness and give young people work skills, and most recently, she has helped provide houses around Pedra Talhada
to ensure the forest’s safety in perpetuity.