Avian conservation priorities in a top-ranked biodiversity hotspot
Rio de Janeiro state in Brazil has one of the most diverse and most endangered avifaunas in the continental Americas. Many of these endangered birds are endemic to the Atlantic Forest biodiversity hotspot, and some even endemic to Rio de Janeiro itself. As with all other forested hotspots, little original forest remains. Much of that is outside formal protected areas and faces the risk of deforestation. These factors create special circumstances for setting conservation priorities - ones common to hotspots in general - but typically not to many conservation priority setting exercises. We mapped the distribution of the remaining habitat for the 189 birds in Rio de Janeiro state that are officially endangered and/or endemic to the Atlantic Forest. Using those habitat maps, we calculated the amount of habitat currently within protected areas for each species. We then prioritized all non-protected parts of the state for their avian conservation value and their potential contribution to a comprehensive protected area system. This analysis identified 10% of the remaining unprotected part of the state as the highest priority for avian conservation. We further highlight specific locations where conservation actions could create a more comprehensive protected area system for the avifauna of Rio de Janeiro state. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Jenkins, CN; Alves, MAS; Pimm, SL
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