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Atlas of Brazilian Snakes

Verified Point-Locality Maps to Mitigate the Wallacean Shortfall in a Megadiverse Snake Fauna.

PUBLISHED! December 2019

Nogueira C. de C., Argôlo A.J.S., Arzamendia V., Azevedo J. a., Barbo F.E., Bérnils R.S., Bolochio B.E., Borges-Martins M., Brasil-Godinho M., Braz H., Buononato M. a., Cisneros-Heredia D.F., Colli G.R., Costa H.C., Franco F.L., Giraudo A., Gonzalez R.C., Guedes T., Hoogmoed M.S., Marques O. a. V., Montingelli G.G., Passos P., Prudente A.L.C., Rivas G. a., Sanchez P.M., Serrano F.C., Silva N.J., Strüssmann C., Vieira-Alencar J.P.S., Zaher H., Sawaya R.J., & Martins M. (2019) Atlas of Brazilian Snakes: Verified Point-Locality Maps to Mitigate the Wallacean Shortfall in a Megadiverse Snake Fauna. South American Journal of Herpetology, 14(sp1), 1-274. 

       Species distribution maps are crucial starting points for interpreting and conserving biodiversity. Detailed, updated and reliable data on species ranges are even more relevant in regions combining high biological complexity, high anthropogenic pressure and great gaps in current biological knowledge.

          General distribution patterns and their coincidence with threat factors are still poorly studied in reptiles, the least studied tetrapod group in terms of biogeography and conservation. In snakes, locally richest and most ecologically diverse group of reptiles, syntheses on distribution and threat factors across the globe are very scarce, at all spatial scales.   


E        Although Brazil harbours at least 380 described snake species, studies on distribution and biogeographical patterns of these organisms are still scarce. To fill this knowledge gap, the present project is gathering a revised, voucher-based point locality database of Brazilian snakes. Based on this exhaustive and verified point locality compilation, we are producing updated maps of species ranges for all species with at least a single verified record in Brazil. These maps, in turn, will provide fundamental information for understanding richness variations, patterns of endemism and phylogenetic diversity, and measuring threat levels in this relatively poorly studied group of vertebrates. 


     Basic biogeographical units in the Brazilian snake fauna are also being described, testing the predictions of the vicariant model of diversification on snake distribution patterns, and proposing putative barriers for dispersal in these extremely rich and complex biotas. The effects of current habitat loss will also be measured across these different biogeographical units, providing a better understanding on human impacts on biogeographical patterns and processes.

        Preliminary maps provided by the project have been fundamental for the revision of the Brazilian and global redlists of threatened species, following standardized IUCN guidelines, and based on objective and quantified range size and habitat loss data.

      The results of the Atlas will be a major contribution to studies on diversity, biogeography and evolution of Neotropical and cis-andean squamates. These maps are also being integrated in ongoing projects to map all known reptilian species, highlighting the Neotropics as home of the richest snake faunas on the planet. 

Financial Support: 




Research grants  # 2011/50206-9

                              # 2012/19858-6

                              # 2015/20215-7



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