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General Info Cerrado is the largest savanna region in SouthAmerica and biologicallythe richest savanna in all the world. Located throughout Brazil, Paraguay, and Bolivia, over 10,400 species ofvascular plants are found. Also with 180 species of reptiles, 113 of amphibians, 837 of birds and 195 of mammals.
Characteristics of Region A vast tropical savanna of Brazil, particularly in the states of Goiás and Minas Gerais. The Cerrado biome core areas are the plateaus in the Center of Brazil. The main habitat types of the Cerrado include: forest savanna, wooded savanna, park savanna and gramineous-woody savanna. Savanna wetlands and gallery forests are also included.
Major Threats Ranches were the first major impact on the ecosystem and remained the primary economic activity in the Cerrado until the 1950s. After the 1970s, with the work of Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA) in soil restoration, the Cerrado region was transformed into the most productive and competitive area for crop production in Brazil. Along with deep soils enhanced by fertilizers, this was also a result of low land prices and flat landscapes, which are good for mechanized agriculture.
Major Threats A quarter of all grain produced in Brazil is grown in the Cerrado, and there are nearly 40 million head of cattle, with steady growth projected in both industries, as well as in charcoal production. In total, 37.3 percent of the Cerrado has already been totally converted to human use, while an additional 41.4 percent is used for pasture and charcoal production. The gallery forests in the region have been among the most heavily affected. It is estimated that about 432,814 km², or 21.3 percent of the original vegetation, remains intact today.