The Cerrado Manifesto To Save The Brazilian Savannah.
Covering more than 20% of Brazil, the Cerrado is not nearly as recognised as the Amazon. Although these wooded grasslands once covered an area half the size of Europe, its native habitats and rich biodiversity are being destroyed faster than the neighbouring rainforest. Located between the Amazon, Atlantic Forests and Pantanal, the Cerrado is the largest savanna region in South America. Lurking among the arid grasslands and shrubbery one finds such large mammals as the jaguar (Panthera onca), maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus) and marsh deer (Blastocerus dichotomus). Taking shelter in many of the region’s characteristic twisted and gnarled trees are hundreds of bird species, like the red-legged seriema (Cariama cristata), the critically endangered Spix’s macaw (Cyanopsitta spixii), and many more. There are also over 10,000 species of plants, almost half of which are found nowhere else in the world. The Cerrado is one of the most threatened and over-exploited regions in Brazil, second only to the Atlantic Forests in vegetation loss and deforestation. Unsustainable agricultural activities, particularly soy production and cattle ranching, as well as burning of vegetation for charcoal, continue to pose a major threat to the Cerrado’s biodiversity. Despite its environmental importance, it is one of the least protected regions in Brazil. Credit: World Wildlife Fund.
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