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Spatial patterns in species richness and priority areas for conservation of anurans in the Cerrado region, Central Brazil

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

Declines in anuran populations worldwide are increasingly creating demands for quick and urgent strategies to maximize efforts to conserve amphibian populations, especially in areas in which few detailed data on diversity, abundance and distribution are available, such as the Cerrado of Central Brazil. We used extent of occurrence of 105 species of Anura (Amphibia) in the Cerrado region to establish a regional system of potential areas that preserves all anuran species in the region, at a macroecological scale. The final network, obtained using a simple "greedy" algorithm based on complementarity, has a total of 10 regions, widely distributed in the biome. These areas were also evaluated in terms of their human demographic parameters (human population size and growth rate). Strong spatial autocorrelation in species richness indicates that alternative systems based on pre-existing conservation units will also be efficient in terms of biodiversity conservation. Although macro-scale approaches are usually coarse, they can provide overall guidelines for conservation and define the focus for more local and effective conservation efforts, which is particularly important when dealing with a taxonomic group such as anurans for which quick and drastic population declines have been reported in many regions of the world.


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