Brazil | Land buy makes new PA aimed at conserving recently rediscovered woodpecker species
The Cerrado biome of central Brazil is the world’s most biodiverse tropical savanna. Due to its high agricultural potential, it is also one of the most threatened biodiversity hotspots in the world: 80 percent of its original area is already gone, and protected areas safeguard only 3 percent of the remaining habitat.
In the Araguaia Valley of central Brazil, moist lowland Cerrado woodland comes into direct contact with Amazonian flooded forest, resulting in very high levels of biodiversity. Within this imperiled landscape lives the Endangered Kaempfer’s Woodpecker, originally discovered 80 years ago but then thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in the region in 2006. Its habitat consists of bamboo thickets, semi-open Cerrado and successional areas on the edge of dense Cerrado woodland. This woodpecker depends on the Cerrado landscape as it forages on ants within the bamboo thickets. While their range is relatively large, scientists believe the overall population is extremely small and the birds occur only in scattered patches of Cerrado habitat interspersed with bamboo. This landscape also supports Endangered Giant Otters that prefer large, slow-moving rivers and lakes with high fish densities.