Estudos sobre o “status” populacional de Rhea americana, (Linnaeus, 1758) na Estação Ecológica de Itirapina - SP
Bergel, Mariano Maudet
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In the central region of the State of São Paulo, in the municipalities of Brotas and Itirapina, the Ecological Station of Itirapina (EEI, in portuguese) is located, which together with the Ecological Station of Santa Bárbara, presents one of the few places where one can observe areas of open phytophysiognomy of the Cerrado . The EEI is considered an important area for birds and biodiversity (IBA) due to the presence of migratory species, endemic and endangered species such as emas (Rhea americana). Previous studies have recorded small flocks of emas living in the EEI in the 1980s, but the presence and size of this population is currently declining. Thus, the objective of this work was to evaluate the situation of the american Rhea population in the EEI, to discuss the feasibility of reintroducing captive birds for the species reinvigoration, as well as the threats to this population and evaluation of the methodology used. For that, motorized transects, walking and fixed observation points were established as a strategy to detect birds. At the end of 13 months of study, more than 1,000 kilometers traveled and 162 hours of active search, 29 traces of footprints and three views of a single adult individual were recorded by the IEE inspection team. Considering the various references related to Rhea americana in the literature, as well as the results obtained in this study, it is believed that the emas population in the ISS is in a situation of great vulnerability, with strong evidence that there is only one individual using this conservation unit. Many factors directly affect the survival of the emas in the EEI and make it difficult to reinvigorate these birds. However, if we consider the various benefits of increasing the population of this species that, in addition to being threatened with extinction, also participates in the connectivity between forest fragments, increases the germination and dispersion of some large and medium sized seeds, as well as interacts with different chains food being prey and preying simultaneously, it is believed that it is highly beneficial to the entire local ecosystem to carry out an action of population reinforcement of captive emas in the Ecological Station of Itirapina.
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