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Conservation of the Cerrados of Eastern Bolivia

Identification of important plant species, habitats and areas within the cerrado biome of the Chiquitania region

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Projeto Conservaci—n de los Cerrados del Oriente Boliviana

'Cerrados of Eastern Bolivia' project team with J R I Wood (standing, behind car) closing a plant press after a 'collecting stop'

The cerrado biome is one of the most diverse and threatened of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. Although principally located in Brazil, there are extensive areas of cerrado in Eastern Bolivia, which are relatively poorly known and relatively unaffected by human activity.

The project, led by Oxford University, aimed to explore this area botanically and identify species, habitats and locations of importance for conservation. Training of Bolivian team members, support of Bolivian biodiversity institutions, field collections, plant identification, preparation of inventories and reports were all part of the project’s activities and outputs.

Kew was one of the project partners from the initiation of the project to its conclusion in 2011. Field coordination was through John Wood, Honorary Research Associate at Kew, and Kew staff visited the project as consultants participating in field work and training. They also provided supervision for Bolivian members on visits to the UK and helped with the identification of specimens. Kew received a near-complete set of specimens collected by the project amounting to some 4,000 numbers.

The project completed its targets successfully, producing a field guide, a Red Data book of threatened species and a report for the Bolivian government and conservation agencies, as well as educational posters and publicity leaflets linked to protected areas. All Bolivian staff involved in the project received training (some to MA level) and continue active in biodiversity and conservation research and publications (see publications and website given below).Many new species were discovered, amounting to some 40 in number, which are in the process of being prepared for publication.

Project website: www.darwincerradposdebolivia.org

Papers published since 2006

Project partners and collaborators

Bolivia

Museo de Historia Natural ‘Noel Kempff Mercado’, Santa Cruz

Herbario Nacional de Bolivia, La Paz

Fundacion para la Conservación del Bosque Seco Chiquitano

Brazil

Universidade de Brasilia

UK

Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford (Robert Scotland – Darwin Project Leader)

Project funders

UK

Darwin Initiative

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew