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Chapada dos Veadeiros 18
Cerrado - Parque Nacional Chapada dos veadeiros 2
Physalaemus nattereri in deimatic behavior

Cerrado is a vast tropical savanna ecoregion of Brazil that covers approximately 2 million square kilometers, making it the second-largest biome in the country, after the Amazon Rainforest. The Cerrado is characterized by its rich biodiversity, unique vegetation, and significant ecological importance. It spans across several Brazilian states, including Minas Gerais, Goiás, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Bahia, Maranhão, Piauí, Tocantins, and the Federal District (Brasília).

Biodiversity and Ecology[edit | edit source]

The Cerrado is recognized for its high biodiversity. It is home to thousands of species of plants, with estimates suggesting that around 5,000 plant species are endemic to this region. The vegetation in the Cerrado is highly diverse, ranging from grasslands to dense woodlands, with the dominant vegetation type being open woodland, known as cerrado sensu stricto. This biome also supports a wide variety of fauna, including many species of birds, reptiles, mammals, and insects. Notable animal species include the Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), the Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), and the Jaguar (Panthera onca).

Threats and Conservation[edit | edit source]

Despite its ecological importance, the Cerrado is one of the most threatened ecosystems in Brazil. The main threats to the Cerrado include agriculture, particularly soy cultivation and cattle ranching, which lead to deforestation and habitat fragmentation. Additionally, the expansion of infrastructure, such as roads and dams, poses significant challenges to the conservation of this biome. In response to these threats, various conservation efforts are underway, including the establishment of protected areas and the promotion of sustainable land-use practices. However, much more action is needed to ensure the long-term preservation of the Cerrado's biodiversity.

Cultural and Economic Importance[edit | edit source]

The Cerrado also holds considerable cultural and economic importance. It is home to many indigenous and traditional communities, who depend on its resources for their livelihoods. Economically, the Cerrado is a key agricultural region for Brazil, contributing significantly to the country's production of soy, corn, and other crops. However, the economic development of the Cerrado has often been at the expense of its ecological integrity.

Research and Study[edit | edit source]

The Cerrado is an important area for scientific research, particularly in the fields of ecology, botany, and conservation biology. Studies in the Cerrado contribute to our understanding of savanna ecosystems, biodiversity conservation, and the impacts of human activities on natural environments.

See Also[edit | edit source]

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD