Since 1974, conservation efforts to protect an endangered species, the Golden Lion Tamarin (GLT), have led to the creation of the first strict nature reserve in Brazil ‒ the Poço das Antas Biological Reserve (REBIO) ‒ and the subsequent creation of the Environmental Protection Area of the Sao Joao River Basin, for sustainable use. This paper assesses the influence of Protected Areas (PA) creation and conservation programs on GLT habitat. Landscape metrics based on aerial photographs taken from three different periods are used to assess habitat conditions for this species through time. We analyzed the availability and potential quality of habitat in the years following the creation of the REBIO, comparing with its buffer zone and population rates correlations. We observed different trends in landscape dynamics between the REBIO, where most of the forest recovery occurred, and its buffer zone, where habitat loss was recorded. In general, the results showed an increase of continuous forest patches. The conservation/regeneration processes in the buffer zone have intensified in recent years. Comparisons over time, especially with respect to forest core areas and large patches, are valuable tools to assess landscape suitability for GLT survival at different spatial scales.
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