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      Snakes of the Pernambuco Endemism Center, Brazil: diversity, natural history and conservation

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          Abstract

          The Atlantic Forest is one of the largest and richest tropical rainforests on the planet, being one of the 25 world priorities for conservation. The Atlantic Forest portion located north of the São Francisco River corresponds to the Pernambuco Endemism Center (PEC). We describe the snake composition of the PEC, providing information about the diversity, natural history and geographical distribution of the species, based on records from five scientific collections and additional information from the literature. A total of 78 species of snakes distributed in eight families was registered in the Pernambuco Endemism Center. The Caatinga is the Brazilian biome that most shares species with the PEC, followed by Cerrado. On the other hand, seven species are considered endemic of this region. Most of the snake species in the PEC have been registered in forest (94.8%), followed by “Brejos Nordestinos” (46.1%), Tabuleiros (43.5%), Restingas (14.1%) and Mangroves (5.1%). The PEC snake fauna includes mainly terrestrial species (60.2%) and cryptozoic and/or fossorial species (21.7%), but also presents a high richness of semi-arboreal and arboreal species (29.5%). Vertebrates are the main food item consumed by the species (78% of species), among the main prey are mammals, lizards, and amphibians. Most species show a strictly nocturnal activity period (50%), followed by strictly diurnal (38%). The PEC is the most degraded and least known region of the Atlantic Forest, yet it has revealed a high richness of snake species, including seven endemic species. It is emphasized that regional conservation efforts need to be intensified, because few forests in the region are formally protected, and the majority consist of small and poorly protected fragments, which means that many species in the region may be in risk of extinction.

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          Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities.

          Conservationists are far from able to assist all species under threat, if only for lack of funding. This places a premium on priorities: how can we support the most species at the least cost? One way is to identify 'biodiversity hotspots' where exceptional concentrations of endemic species are undergoing exceptional loss of habitat. As many as 44% of all species of vascular plants and 35% of all species in four vertebrate groups are confined to 25 hotspots comprising only 1.4% of the land surface of the Earth. This opens the way for a 'silver bullet' strategy on the part of conservation planners, focusing on these hotspots in proportion to their share of the world's species at risk.
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            Introduction: The Brazilian Atlantic Forest1

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              The Brazilian Atlantic Forest: How much is left, and how is the remaining forest distributed? Implications for conservation

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Zookeys
                Zookeys
                2
                urn:lsid:arphahub.com:pub:45048D35-BB1D-5CE8-9668-537E44BD4C7E
                urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:91BD42D4-90F1-4B45-9350-EEF175B1727A
                ZooKeys
                Pensoft Publishers
                1313-2989
                1313-2970
                2020
                10 December 2020
                : 1002
                : 115-158
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Programa de Pós-graduação em Ecologia e Conservação da Biodiversidade, Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Rodovia Jorge Amado, Km 16, CEP 45662-900 Ilhéus, Bahia, Brazil
                [2 ] Herpetology Section, Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Adenauerallee 160, 53113 Bonn, Germany
                [3 ] Programa de Pós-graduação em Zoologia, Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, 11 Rodovia Jorge Amado, Km 16, CEP 45662-900 Ilhéus, Bahia, Brazil
                [4 ] Departamento de Engenharia e Meio Ambiente, Centro de Ciências Aplicadas e Educação, Universidade Federal da Paraíba – UFPB, Av. Santa Elizabete, s/n – Centro. CEP 58297-000, Rio Tinto, PB, Brazil
                [5 ] Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Rodovia Jorge Amado, km,16, 45662-900 Ilhéus, Bahia, Brazil
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Mirco Solé ( msole@ 123456uesc.br )

                Academic editor: R. Jadin

                Article
                50997
                10.3897/zookeys.1002.50997
                7746674
                Rafaela C. França, Mayara Morais, Frederico G. R. França, Dennis Rödder, Mirco Solé

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Funding
                Funded by: Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico 501100003593 http://doi.org/10.13039/501100003593
                Categories
                Research Article
                Serpentes
                Biodiversity & Conservation
                Brazil

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