The big 5 of Cerrado

Brazil’s Cerrado is a vast land area rich in biodiversity, inhabited by a variety of animals from which it derives the name of its “Big 5“: giant anteater, jaguar, maned wolf, tapir and giant armadillo. These mammals are considered the main carriers of ecological service in the region.

The giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) lives in savanna, rainforest and open forest. It is known for its quietness, acrobatic skills and ability to climb trees. This graceful mammal is an important insect regulator, playing a key role in maintaining the balance of the ecosystems in which it lives.

The jaguar (Panthera onca) is one of the largest felines in existence and is a symbol of nature’s strength and vitality. It is a lone and ferocious predator that needs large territories to hunt and sustain itself. As the seasons change, the jaguar can travel so many miles to bypass different habitats. This makes it valuable for biodiversity conservation in the biome.

The maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) is a unique carnivore, the only canid species native to the Cerrado. It is named for its long white mane, which gives it a distinctive appearance. This mammal is protected by Brazilian laws and helps maintain the balance of the local fauna.

The tapir (Tapirus terrestris) is a large mammal known for its distinctive light brown coloration. They are generally lazy but can sometimes react aggressively when they feel threatened. These mammalophages are important for seed dispersal in the Amazon rainforest, contributing significantly to forest regeneration.

The giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus) is a common nocturnal and diurnal animal that feeds on soil, insects, small vertebrates, and fruit. It is distinguished by its distinctive dorsal armor that makes it unique. This mammal is an important ecosystem engineer and plays a key role in maintaining vegetation and habitat through seed dispersal and soil exploration.

These animals are an integral part of the ecosystem and play a vital role in maintaining its balance. Unfortunately, deforestation threatens the survival of these species in the region and can result in loss of habitat, fragmentation, as well as decreased genetic diversity, the consequences would be far-reaching and would affect not only the Cerrado, but the entire word.

Reforestation and protection of the Cerrado biome is crucial for habitat restoration and biodiversity conservation as well as carbon sequestration, learn all the benefits of our afforestation, reforestation and revegetation (ARR) projects already in place, visit our dedicated page here.

Interested in protecting the Big 5? Contact us!

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