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News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.nature.com

In December 2016, Brazil's government amended its constitution to freeze public spending on biodiversity protection for the next 20 years, along with funding for scientific research, education and health care. As conservation scientists in Brazil, we believe that the country's remarkable biodiversity is an important natural heritage that should be at the top, not the bottom, of the government's spending priorities — especially in light of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets (go.nature.com/2jrsstb). Called PEC 55 (see Nature 539, 480; 2016), the law will limit expenditure by the main environmental agencies, such as the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources and the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation. No more staff can be recruited to perform inspections and enforce regulations. This means that land exploitation, wildlife trafficking and biopiracy will increase markedly over the next 20 years. PEC 55 cannot be reversed or modified to incorporate exclusions, despite the public outcry (more than half a million people signed a petition before the law was passed; see go.nature.com/2lnk66r). However, changes relating to expenditure may be considered ten years after the amendment was enacted. This may be too late for the country's biota, given Brazil's already poor record of environmental protection.

Marchini S.,University of Sao Paulo | Crawshaw P.G.,Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation
Human Dimensions of Wildlife | Year: 2015

Human–wildlife conflicts have grown in Brazil over the past 10 years. There has been a dramatic increase in the number, diversity of species involved, and even in the severity of outcomes. This growth is attributed to several factors: expanding human settlement, growth of outdoor recreation, and increase in the number of species that have adapted to living in human dominated landscapes. Managing these species is complicated by the growing diversity of wildlife values among different publics. We describe conflicts involving jaguars, pumas, capybaras (associated with agricultural damage, vehicle collisions, and transmission of disease) and wild boars (a spreading exotic species involving issues of hunting/antihunting). Two critical needs are identified: (a) Move from a conservation to a management paradigm, where there is need to reduce populations, rather than the conventional situation where the population was expected to increase and (b) Apply interdisciplinary approaches with particular attention to bringing in the social sciences. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Magris R.A.,Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation | Fernandes L.F.L.,Federal University of Espirito Santo
Zootaxa | Year: 2011

Decapod larvae assemblages were studied in the tropical estuaries off southeastern Brazil (Piraquê-açú and Piraquê-mirim rivers estuaries). A total of 32 taxa of decapod larvae were recorded. Brachyuran larvae dominated in Piraquê-açú estuary, with 62% of the relative abundance, and 49% in Piraquê-mirim estuary. Mean larvae concentrations ranged from 17.2 m-3 at Piraquê-mirim (August 2003) to 221.1 m-3 at Piraquê-açú (April 2003). The assemblage of larvae in both estuaries was diverse, especially at Piraquê-mirim, which showed higher ecological stability. The high spatial heterogeneity of the Piraquê-açú and Piraquê-mirim estuarine system resulted in the division of the assemblage into two well-defined groups (truly estuarine and euryhaline). Salinity spatial gradient was a key factor in the structure and distribution of larvae. Copyright © 2011.

Normande I.C.,Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation | Normande I.C.,Federal University of Alagoas | Luna F.D.O.,Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation | Malhado A.C.M.,Federal University of Alagoas | And 6 more authors.
ORYX | Year: 2015

The Antillean manatee Trichechus manatus manatus was once widespread from the south-eastern coast of Brazil to Central America and the Caribbean. In Brazil habitat destruction and overhunting severely reduced and fragmented the wild population, restricting extant subpopulations to the north and north-east coast. In response to these threats an ambitious government-led programme was initiated in 1994, with the aim of rehabilitating orphaned manatee calves and releasing them into the southernmost subpopulation. The programme is unique within Brazil, and has invested unprecedented resources in post-release monitoring. So far 30 manatees have been released at three sites, with a high rate of success (> 75%). Time in captivity appears to be a key variable determining post-release success: too long or too short a time in captivity decreasing the probability of survival. We describe the main features of this long-term programme and identify six key lessons learnt: (1) close monitoring, health assessments and rescues can significantly increase the success of releases, (2) combining different monitoring techniques results in high-quality data and reduces tracking costs, (3) long-term studies are needed to effectively evaluate the results, (4) releasing manatees at c. 5 years of age can increase chances of success, (5) soft-release is important to aid acclimatization, and (6) the programme has been effective in raising awareness among the general public, supporting education and fund-raising. Copyright © Fauna & Flora International 2014.

Lima F.C.,Federal University of Uberlandia | Vieira L.G.,Federal University of Uberlandia | Santos A.L.Q.,Federal University of Uberlandia | Pereira H.C.,Federal University of Uberlandia | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Morphological Sciences | Year: 2011

Embryos of Caiman yacare were collected and subjected to the bone clearing and staining protocol in order to analyze the ontogenetic patterns of ossification of the pectoral girdle and forelimb skeleton. The osseous structure of the girdle and forelimbs of C. yacare begins to ossify starting at 30 days of incubation, with the presence of dye retention in the scapula, coracoids, humerus, radius and ulna bones. During embryonic development, the autopodio of C. yacare has four bones in the carpus, the radial, ulnar, pisiform and carpal distal 4+5 bone. Their ossification begins at 39 days of incubation with the radial, followed by the ulnar, and at 54 days, the pisiform and the distal carpal 4 + 5. Each mesopodio has 5 metacarpi and are present 15 phalanges, two in digits I and V, three in digits II and IV, and four in digit III (phalangeal formula 2:3:4:3:2). Ossification of the metacarpi starts at 27 days of incubation, following the sequence MCII=MCIII=MCIV>MCI>MCV. The first phalanges begin the process of ossification on day 36, continuing up to the last day of incubation. The sequence of ossification of the proximal phalanges is PPI=PPII=PPIII>PPIV=PPV, that of the medial phalanges is MPII>MPpIII> MPdIII>MPIV, and that of the distal phalanges is DPI>DPII>DPIII> DPV>DPIV. The ontogenetic pattern of the bones of the forepaw of C. yacare generally differs from that of other reptiles, although there are some similarities.

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