The Espinhaço Range is the geographical divisor of two hotspots biomes in Brazil: the Cerrado and the Atlantic Rain Forest. This region encompasses high number of species richness and amazing endemism levels, especially on areas above 1.700 m. A new amphibian species of Crossodactylodes has recently been discovered at Pico do Itambe State Park at South Espinhaço Range, Southeastern Brazil. This site is characterized by campos rupestres (rocky fields and rupestrian vegetation), cold weather and moist environment and is the highest point in the Espinhaço, with 2059 m a.s.l. (from Tupi-Guarani language, Itambe means “sharp rocks”).
Crossodactylodes sp. nov. is living in an area smaller than 1 km2 and 1.800 m a.s.l. at low temperatures in a single species of bromeliad. All three species known for the genus have the same habitat requirements, living strictly in bromeliads, and are endemic to highlands. Two NT species are close to qualifying for VU, with declining populations living in an area smaller than 5.000 km2, and DD species was last recorded in 1909. Due to habitat requirements climate change and bromeliad-collecting are probably a threat.
The overall goal of this project is design a long-term monitoring protocol for target species at study area and to contribute to the evaluation of the conservation status of the genus and the new species. Project activities will contribute to improve environmental knowledge of local stakeholders getting people involved to species conservation and habitat protection at study site, and also contribute to address conservation priorities focusing highland ecosystems within the Espinhaço Range.
Project 12055197 location - Brazil, South America