A Mapping of the Vegetation Cover and Inventory of the Tree Flora of Buritis Brooks Nature Reserve was conducted in January / February 2021 by forest engineer Ricardo Haidar with the fundamental support of Mr. Emílio Kalunga.

The goals of the inventory were:

  1. Map the vegetation cover, at a detailed scale compatible with the needs of the Buritis Brooks Natural Reserve Management Plan.

  2. Recognize the composition, structure and diversity of the most representative plant typologies (phytophysiognomies) within the reserve.

  3. Determine the species substitution gradients within the main plant communities.

  4. Identify the potential for sustainable use of the native flora.

Knowing the composition, structure and diversity of the vegetation cover in a region is paramount to understanding ecological relationships and deciphering the influence of environmental variables (rocks, relief, soils, water table depth) that control the landscape. Especially in the landscapes of the Cerrado biome, where many forest and cerrado types coexist due to the complex local mosaic of substrate heterogeneity and fire history. Understanding these relationships allows the detection of potential and weaknesses of processes and mechanisms that regulate the dynamics of natural resources, such as biodiversity and surface and groundwater.

Buritis Brook presents a remarkable mosaic of savannah formations (veredas, sparse, typical, dense and rupestrian cerrado) and forest (non-flooded and flooded gallery forest), which are distributed in the landscape according to aspects of relief, soil and human footprint (introduction of cattle and fire). The different intensities of human intervention resulted in areas with different situations: conserved, preserved, and altered areas in the process of regeneration. The limits between gallery forest and cerrado sensu stricto constitute very rich areas of ecological tension that, in the microclimate of the current geological era (holocene), when protected from fire, tend to represent expansion of forest areas (gallery forest) to the detriment of savanna formations. On the other hand, when fires are common, there is an expansion of savannas, composed of species adapted to fire, and retraction of forested areas whose species, in their majority, are sensitive to recurring fires.

Cerrado Phytophysiognomies, present in Buritis Brook

Cerrado rupestre
Mata de galeria
Cerrado típico


Cerrado rupestre


Mata de galeria

Cerrado típico

130 tree and palm species were recorded in savanna and forest environments in Buritis Brook Nature Reserve

At a more detailed scale, the gradients of species substitution within vegetation formations (phytophysiognomy) is also high. Thus, phytophysiognomic groups were defined based on the composition and density of populations of each formation to improve understanding of the variation of vegetation cover in the Reserve. It was evident that the cerrado stricto sensu environments present four phytophysiognomic groups and the perennial gallery forest strips present another four groups.

The RNVB contains rich and diverse arboreal flora, with the presence of threatened species, endemic and possibly some still unknown to science. Regarding the status of conservation, about 10% of the species are considered threatened with extinction, although of little concern (LC), such as: Guatteria sellowiana (Embira), Cochlospermum regium (Algodãozinho), Aspidosperma tomentosum (Pau-pereira), Stryphnodendron astringens (Barbatimão), Terminalia argentea (Capitão-do-mato), Annona coriacea (Araticum), Magonia pubescens (Tingui), Lafoensia pacari (Pacari), Ouratea spectabilis (Vassoura-de-bruxa), Caryocar brasiliense (Pequi), Xylopia aromatica (Pimenta-de-macaco) and Byrsonima coccolobifolia (Murici-de-galinha). Only the species Bowdichia virgilioides (Sucupira-preta) is considered almost endangered due to the use of wood without effective and rational management. Twenty-four species are endemic to Brazil, with nine species considered endemic to the Cerrado: Andira cordata (Angelim), Callisthene molissima (Casquinha), Guapira noxia (Maria-mole), Heteropterys byrsonimifolia (Murici-macho), Miconia burchellii (Canela-de-velho), Ouratea spectabilis (Vassoura-de-bruxa), Virola urbaniana (Micuíba), Vochysia elliptica (Gomeira) and Vochysia gardneri (Pau-qualhada).

There is high beta diversity (floristic and structural dissimilarity) between savanna and forest formations in Buritis Brook Nature Reserve (cerrado sensu stricto and gallery forest) with abrupt changes in tree species composition and density. Similar results were obtained in other locations of this biome, such as Chapada Pratinha, Espigão Mestre do São Francisco and the Tocantins Araguaia basin, where mosaics of savanna and forest formations alternate in the landscape according to local environmental characteristics, especially geology, relief, topography, soil classes, as well as the history of fires and agricultural activities.

Part of the variation in vegetation typologies recorded in the study area can be driven by natural factors such as geomorphology, relief, parent material (rocks), soils and water table depth, but also by the type of anthropic management, especially the regime (frequency and intensity) of fire use and the opening and thinning of vegetation for the implementation of agricultural activities.


The different phytophysiognomies in the RNVB (see above), provide habitat for a wide range of animals, from invertebrates to large mammals.

The fauna is being monitored by means of camera traps, as part of the Network for Participatory Monitoring of Fauna in the Chapada dos Veadeiros. A first trap camera was installed in December 2020 (Bushnell 119719cw) and the second (Chinese model) in March 2022. There have already been more than 600 records in less than a year of camera installation.

Mammals of the highest importance for biodiversity, such as endangered species and flags, have already been cataloged in the reserve, as shown in the table and videos below.

  • Anta - (Tapirus terrestris)

  • Tamanduá-bandeira - (Myrmecophaga tridactyla)

  • Jaguatirica - (Leopardus pardalis)

  • Mão-pelada - (Procyon cancrivorus)

  • Veado-catingueiro - (Mazama gouazoubira)

  • Tatu-canastra - (Priodontes maximus)

  • Cachorro-do-mato - (Cerdocyon thous)

  • Lobo-Guará - (Chrysocyon brachyurus)

  • Suçuarana - (Puma concolor)

  • Macaco Prego - (Sapajus Libidinosus)

  • Cateto - (Pecari tajacu)

  • Raposinha-do-cerrado - (Lycalopex vetulus)

With regards to avifauna, the RNVB has not yet conducted its inventory. In the RPPN Vale das Araras, neighboring the RNVB, almost 200 bird species have already been recorded in the eBird Platform, which indicates the high richness in avifauna of RNVB.

In addition, several IUCN Red List avifauna species are found in the municipality of Cavalcante such as the black grouse (Alectrurus tricolor), the field flycatcher (Culicivora caudacuta) the black-faced blackbird (Coryphaspiza melanotis), the gray-tailed godwit (Sporophila cinnamomea) and the black-billed toucan (Ramphastos culminatus). The avifauna will be inventoried and monitored through frequent birding in partnerships (for example, with SAVE Brasil or Birding Brasilia and Chapada).

Herpetofauna and invertebrates have not yet been catalogued. A possible partnership would be with the Boticario Foundation for the herpetofauna survey.

Short and Medium Term Actions


Preserve the biodiversity of fauna and flora in the reserve and transform the reserve into a biological corridor for the region's fauna. As mentioned above, the RNVB is habitat to a great wealth of mammals, birds and other taxa not yet inventoried.


  • Protect endangered species such as the jaguar, maned wolf and giant anteater.

  • Monitor the biodiversity of large and medium-sized mammals in the area with trap cameras and analyze movement patterns of the species, as part of the Chapada dos Veadeiros Participatory Monitoring Network (

  • The RNVB currently has four trap cameras, one bushnell and three Chinese model. The cameras are installed at strategic points of the property, where there is fauna movement as fauna corridors. This work is done in partnership with the neighbors of RNVB.

For the medium term (from 2022 on)

  • Conduct research on biodiversity in partnerships with national and international institutions (e.g. UnB, FUNATURA, Fundação Boticário)

  • To make an inventory of the bird fauna (avifauna), through recurring bird walks in the area

  • Organize citizen science events, such as bioblitz to identify flora or avifauna

  • Organizing environmental education events with the local population, including visits to the area where the trap cameras were installed

  • Establish a refuge for birds at risk of extinction (tinamids - inhambu carapé and codorna mineira) for release in the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park and other areas