Mammals of Cajuru State Forest and surroundings: a neglected but important Protected Area for the Cerrado conservation in the São Paulo state, Brazil
AbstractAbstract: The Cerrado has been severely impacted by anthropogenic disturbances, with a tiny proportion of its original extent remaining in its southern portions. In the state of São Paulo, only 7% of this vegetation remains and relatively little is known about the biodiversity of these fragments. To fill this knowledge gap, we inventoried medium and large-sized terrestrial mammals of a neglected region, including a sustainable use protected area, Cajuru State Forest (CSF), adjacent native vegetation remnants protected by the Native Vegetation Protection Law and owned by a paper and cellulose company (Dois Córregos Farm; DCF), and their surroundings. We recorded 20 native mammal species, five of which are endangered with extinction, including the giant anteater, puma, and maned wolf. We found no significant differences in species richness between CSF and DCF but we found higher estimated species richness for the surrounding areas. Besides encompassing a larger and more heterogeneous area, the surrounding area still has a relatively high proportion (>30%) of native vegetation, providing habitat and resources for many species. The estimated mammal species richness for the entire study area was similar to that found in the largest protected area of the Cerrado in São Paulo State, the Jataí Ecological Station and its surroundings. We conclude that our study area still harbors a relatively rich community of large mammals and is important for the conservation of endangered species. This finding is particularly timing since the current State administration is considering to transfer the economic exploitation of CSF to the private sector. We therefore endorse an existing proposal to uplist this protected area, which still lacks a management plan, to a more restricted management category. Besides actions regarding this governmental PA, we argue that it is also important to involve the private sector in a conservation plan for the region.
How to Cite
Pônzio, M., Alberici, V., Pasqualotto, N., Paolino, R., Rodrigues, T., & Chiarello, A. (2022). Mammals of Cajuru State Forest and surroundings: a neglected but important Protected Area for the Cerrado conservation in the São Paulo state, Brazil. Biota Neotropica, 22(1). Retrieved from //www.biotaneotropica.org.br/BN/article/view/1885