Biodiversity and Conservation
Knowing the plant species biodiversity and its geographic distribution is essential to direct actions for their conservation. In order to better understand this highly biodiverse region in which we live, we have started to study the plant species found in our land and its surroundings.
A floristic checklist consists of collecting plants with the scientific purpose of identifying the species, drying the material, and depositing it in the herbarium - which is like a big library of dried plants! With this collected material, scientists can study the species, map its distribution, have a historical record of occurrence, and sometimes even extract genetic material for further research!
Mapping and listing species of interest for conservation
We are living in the Anthropocene era, a period marked by irreversible environmental changes caused by humanity. Habitat destruction is the main global cause of species extinction.
In this context, although each part of the ecosystem is essential for maintaining its balance, rare, geographically restricted (endemic) and/or threatened species receive special attention due to their susceptibility to extinction. Thus, in addition to the floristic checklist, we highlight these species in our inventories in order to develop strategies aimed at their protection.
Illustrated Field Guide
Scientific names are often very complex. They are difficult to memorize and, on top of that, they are in Latin! Thinking of other ways to document, register and share biodiversity, we are preparing photographic guides to the plants found in Ayrumã and the region. This way everyone will be able to recognize these species in their natural habitat.
Survey of medicinal plants
Plants have very useful properties for human health. A large part of the medicines (tradicional or allopathic) that are used by us come from compounds extracted and studied from plants.
Because we are in an extremely rich and biodiverse region, with traditional populations that have deep knowledge about the properties of native plants, we intend to do, together with the community, an botanical survey of medicinal plants - which species, uses and people’s life stories.
Survey of PANCs
Like medicinal plants, Unconventional Food Plants (UFPs) have been historically used by traditional communities in Brazil and around the world. Many of the foods that are now part of our daily diet were discovered by ancestral knowledge on biodiversity. Nowadays, knowing the UFPs is a way to rescue this ancestry and contribute to biodiversity conservation by valuing ecosystem services.
Mapping of PPAs
Permanent Preservation Areas (PPAs) are a legal instrument (Federal Law No. 12651/2012) to ensure the preservation of native vegetation in areas essential for maintaining the ecological balance assured in Article 225 of the Brazilian Constitution of 1988. Among the protected areas are the marginal strips of waterways, which reduce silting of rivers and ensure the genetic flow between populations of plants and animals; the areas around springs that act to maintain their flow; the hilltops that serve as an area of water recharge, replenishing the waterways and groundwater; among others. Therefore, Ayrumã has been making an effort to map, conserve and restore the PPAs located on our lands, by means of geoprocessing techniques, field work and enrichment planting.
Bird Fauna Checklist
Besides its floristic richness, the Espinhaço Range stands out for the diversity of birds restricted to its peaks and valleys. Species such as the beija-flor-de-gravata-verde (green-crested-hummingbird) (Augastes scutatus) enchant the watchful eye and encourage birdwatcher tourism in the region. Aiming to contribute to the strengthening of the emotional bond between mankind and the natural environment that this tourism provides, in order to intensify sustainable practices and enhance the observation of Nature, we have been cataloging the birds found in Ayrumã and its surroundings.