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Márcio Ayres, Amazonian primatologist

In the early 1980s, Márcio Ayres, an Amazonian primatologist began studying the Bald-headed Uakari. He was from the state of Pará, where he lived and studied until he completed his doctorate at Cambridge.

Marcio Ayres, however, had an eye on the future. From studying the ecology and behavior of the Uakari, he began to understand the relationship of local human populations to nature and natural resources. He saw people as potential allies for the protection of natural resources. 

He then began to look for ways to transform the area into a protected area, which he achieved with The Mamirauá Ecological Station. But at that time Brazilian legislation was very strict and there were no reserves that would allow the presence of human populations within these protected areas. Márcio Ayres managed to change the category of Mamirauá to a 'Sustainable Development Reserve', a type of protected area in which people continue to use natural resources, live within the area and are also the guardians of their own areas.