Pernambuco is a beautiful tree with a storied history. Known in the
world of botany as Caesalpinha echinata, pernabuco was called pau
brasil or brazilwood by the Portuguese when they began exploring
Brazil. Brazil wood was soon prized in Europe as a source of red dye, becoming so famous that the country was named after it.
During the past 500 years Brazil's Atlantic Rainforest, the Mata
Atlântica, the world's only habitat for pernambuco, has experienced
a severe decline as the result of urban and agricultural development. Today, only 7% of the rainforest's original extent is thought to
remain. With that destruction has come the loss of the world's only pernambuco habitat.
Today, pernambuco is listed among endangered species in Appendix II
of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
of Wild Flora and Fauna (http://www.cites.org), an international
treaty signed by 173 countries. Pernambuco is also in the IUCN Red
Book of endangered species and is protected under Brazilian law.