Atlantic Forest, Cerrado or Caatinga? The influence of each biome


Atlantic Forest, Cerrado or Caatinga? The influence of each biome
Atlantic Forest, Cerrado or Caatinga? The influence of each biome on
avifaunal composition in Parque Estdual Veredas do Peruaçu
Carlos Eduardo R. T. Benfica 1,2, Luiz Gabriel Mazzoni 3, Santos D'angelo Neto & Marcus
Canuto 1
1 - SOS Falconiformes, Centro de Pesquisas para a Conservação das Aves de Rapina
Neotropicais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brasil.
2 - Laboratorio de Ecologia de Aves, Dep. de Ecologia, Inst. de Biociências, Universidade de São
Paulo (USP-SP), Brasil.
3 - Programa de Pós-graduação em Zoologia de Vertebrados, Pontifícia Univ. Católica de Minas
Gerais, Brasil.
Brazilian avifauna is considered one of the world's most diverse, with its richness
estimated in 1.825 species, second higher in South America. Three Biomes can be
found in southeastern Brazil: the Atlantic Forest, the Cerrado and the Caatinga,
being the formers classified as biodiversity hotspots. This study took place in
Parque Estadual Veredas do Peruaçu (PEVP), which comprises 30.702 ha of
protected area in northern Minas Gerais. Despite the region's classification as
Atlantic Forest, it is clearly characterized by a transitional zone between Cerrado
and Caatinga, what provides a considerable bird richness and diversity to the area,
harboring birds typical of both biomes. From May 2010 to May 2011 qualitative
surveys using transects and playbacks were conducted in the area, resulting in a
total of 217 species recorded. Within the registered taxa, 19 are country’s endemic.
We recorded birds typical of Veredas and swampy forests (such as Berlepschia
rikeri, Syndactyla dimidiata and Phacellodomus ruber), Cerrado (such as
Herpsilochmus longirostris, Melanopareia torquata, Saltatriculla atricollis,
Neothraupis fasciata and Cypsnagra hirundinacea) and from carrascos and
Caatinga (such as Herpsilochmus selowi, Megaxenops parnaguae, Gyalophylax
hellmayri, Myrmochilus strigilatus and Hylopezus ochroleucus). Other records that
deserve attention are Urubitinga (Harpyhaliaetus) coronata (globally threatened vulnerable) and Laterallus exilis, inconspicuous species with only anecdotal
information about its distribution. Therefore, despite classified as an Atlantic Forest
geographic region, the study site presents an avifaunal assemblage clearly
characterized by Cerrado and Caatinga's elements, what highly contributes to the
great alfa diversity found. The data presented here is still incipient, but shows the
importance of PEVP on preserving populations of endemic and threatened birds.

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