Population status assessment and conservation measures of Butia Marmorii in Paraguay

Irene Gauto

Eastern Paraguay is located within the Cerrado ecoregion and is rich in local endemism. It was originally covered by dense subtropical forest interspersed with open areas of tropical savannas, yet 50% of this habitat has been lost in the last century. Our project focuses on Butia marmorii, an endemic palm of the Cerrado which only occurs in two unprotected sites and has been classified as Critically Endangered by the National Secretariat of Environment. The project aims to identify new remnants sites for the species, raise awareness about the value of the species to stakeholders and ensure its survival through ex-situ and in-situ conservation. This will be achieved by conducting GIS analysis of potential sites, population status assessment, educational and community work, and ex-situ conservation activities. We will create a distribution map of the palm, successfully reproduce the palm in the botanical garden and raise stakeholder awareness of the importance of the Cerrado. Through this project we will achieve significant progress toward preserving Butia marmorii in Paraguay by making the species and sites a priority for local conservation.