Projects in progress
Conservation priorities for the caves in the south of Minas Gerais
The natural subterranean cavities exhibit considerable biological diversity and an often peculiar fauna, and theoretically somewhat intolerant to environmental changes in their preferred habitats. The extreme south of the state Minas Gerais is a developing region, a fact that enables increased pressure from thte human activities of ranching, tourism and mining on the natural ecosystems. The overall objective of this project is to perform a characterization of invertebrate communities in caves in the south of Minas Gerais, as well as to identify the main anthropogenic changes occurring in the caves and its immediate surroundings. We reiterate that this region is one of the least studied from the point of view of subterranean biology in the State of Minas Gerais. Such data will be used as tools that allow the determination of caves and geographic areas that are priorities for conservation actions, management actions and future investments in research. With this project we hope to obtain richness, diversity, distribution and endemism data of the fauna associated to the included caves. Furthermore, we intend to contextualize the caves in relation to the conservation status of their surroundings, enabling to propose guidelines for the conservation of those most threatened due to the presence of restricted species, loss of surrounding vegetation cover, visitation frequency and other anthropic impacts. The production and availability of this information in the form of scientific articles, monographs and / or journals and lectures, is of fundamental importance. Such information makes up important tools for professional training and provides assistance to decision makers (IBAMA, municipalities, etc.) to aid in the conservation of biodiversity, raise the awareness of local residents, business people, tourists and their guides during visits to the caves of the region.