Conservation of the Araripe manakin (Antilophia bokermanni)

Weber Silva

This project will study the ecological requirements of the range-restricted and Critically Endangered Araripe manakin (Antilophia bokermanni) by systematically visiting its known distributional range in Chapada do Araripe throughout the year. Information on the socio-economic conditions of the area will be obtained (including information on land tenure and land-use activities) to assess threats and opportunities for the effective conservation of the species.

The species was recently discovered to science (formally described in 1998 by Coelho and Silva) and the currently known population is estimated at less than 250 individuals. It lives along the slopes of the chapada (plateau), and appears to be intimately associated with water springs, thus representing an excellent indicator of environmental quality. The Chapada region has been under intense human pressure in recent years: these areas are being sought for the construction of vacation houses. Indeed, the type locality has been converted into a recreational park that attracts people from throughout the region. Although the species is still found in the area, the extent to which its breeding behaviour has been affected is unknown. A successful initiative towards the protection of this species would secure the integrity of an important watershed, and much of the chapada's unique and threatened biodiversity.

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