Snake assemblage of Estação Ecológica de Santa Bárbara, SP: a Cerrado remnant in Southeastern Brazil

Serpentes da Estação Ecológica de Santa Bárbara, SP: um remanescente de Cerrado do Sudeste do Brasil

Cybele de Oliveira Araujo Décio Tadeu Corrêa Filho Ricardo Jannini Sawaya About the authors

Despite the great extension of the Cerrado and its importance for biodiversity conservation, there are still sampling gaps in this region that has shown conspicuous changes over the years due to the conversion of natural areas into pastures and plantations. Around 88.5% of the Cerrado areas in the State of the São Paulo were cleared in the last four decades and less than 0.81% of the original Cerrado vegetation remains as pristine habitats, although these areas once covered 14% of the state. We present the list of snakes that occur in the Estação Ecológica de Santa Bárbara, a remnant of Cerrado in the State of São Paulo, in addition to information on the abundance and distribution of species in the various habitats found at this location. The survey was conducted between October 2008 and March 2009 during six monthly field trips of five days each, totaling 30 sampling days. Surveys were conducted using incidental encounters (IE) and pitfall traps (PT). We recorded a total of 21 species belonging to 15 genera and six families. All species and individuals captured (18 species; 49 individuals) were found in open Cerrado formations. No individual was observed in the sampled forest habitats (cerradão and dry forest). Forested habitats occupy a relatively small portion of this protected area (12.6%). However, the higher species richness in open habitats may not be a result of limited local coverage of forests. The higher richness in interfluvial open habitats has also been recorded in other Cerrado areas. This survey is an important contribution towards enhancing our knowledge about the snake assemblage in the highly threatened Cerrado of São Paulo State. Hence, these last protected remnants in the state that still house significant areas of open Cerrado formations, such as the Estação Ecológica de Santa Bárbara, although reduced, are extremely important for the conservation of reptiles in the State of São Paulo, in Southeastern Brazil, and in the Cerrado region.

Squamata; snakes; Cerrado; conservation; Águas de Santa Bárbara; São Paulo; Brazil

Instituto Virtual da Biodiversidade | BIOTA - FAPESP Departamento de Biologia Vegetal - Instituto de Biologia, UNICAMP CP 6109, 13083-970 - Campinas/SP, Tel.: (+55 19) 3521-6166, Fax: (+55 19) 3521-6168 - Campinas - SP - Brazil