Project Yacutinga ’95

James Lowen

The project was a follow-up to Project Canopy '92. Working with the governmental National Parks Directorate and non-governmental Fundacion Moises Bertoni (the BirdLife Partner), Project Yacutinga united 24 conservationists of seven nationalities from ten institutions. Fieldwork assessed the importance of 14 proposed and existing reserves for biodiversity conservation. These sites had been targeted in the recent national conservation strategy for their predicted significance and urgency of required fieldwork. The team identified the most cost-effective localities - in Atlantic forest, grassland and cerrado habitats - for safeguarding populations of the most endangered species. The team concentrated on threatened birds as indicators of conservation significance. Of 500 bird species recorded, about 45 were threatened or near-threatened. Mammological surveys produced 12 Red Data species, whilst hymenopteran studies discovered at least four undescribed taxa. Seven team members gave presentations at the Fifth Neotropical Ornithological Congress in August. Further research will take place in 1997.