Dimorphandra wilsonii Rizzini is a rare species. Although cited as endemic to the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, it has been recorded only for the municipalities of Paraopeba and Caetanópolis and therefore has not been extensively studied. This long-term, intensive survey, conducted from 2004 to 2012 in the central region of the state, was aimed at assessing its distribution, describing its habitat, and verifying its endemism, as well as assessing threats and determining its conservation status. Given the considerable size of the area to be studied and the difficulty of locating individuals of the species, we adopted popular participation as a complementary tool and we employed spatial distribution modeling. Communities were mobilized through the dissemination of print materials, and interviews were conducted. We visited 74 municipalities and addressed 900 people in search of this species. We found that D. wilsonii is endemic to the cerrado (savanna) and Atlantic Forest in the central region of Minas Gerais, occurring in 16 municipalities. Is not present in any fully protected conservation area, and its population (fewer than 250 individuals) is declining due to habitat destruction, caused mainly by agricultural/livestock and urban expansion, and its conservation status is "critically endangered". (Rizzini & Mattos Filho 1986). Although it has been considered rare and endangered since 1986, it was not until 1997 that it was added to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, where it was listed in the "endangered" category (Walter & Gillett 1998); it was later withdrawn because of the lack of information about the species. In 2000, it was added to the Red List of Endangered Species in the Flora of Minas Gerais, although it was listed there as "vulnerable" rather than "endangered" (Mendonça & Lins 2000). In 2003, we made an expedition to the reported sites of occurrence. We found only 13 adults, all of them in pastures of Urochloa spp. on three farms within the municipalities cited, a situation similar to that reported by Rizzini & Mattos Filho (1986). At that time, we conducted a review of the literature and found only the records of occurrence mentioned above (for Paraopeba and Caetanópolis). Therefore, later that year, the Botanical Garden of the Belo Horizonte Zoological and Botanical Foundation (hereafter referred only as the Botanical Garden), in cooperation with other institutions, initiated a survey of the remaining population (Fernandes et al. 2007), in order to define the distribution of D. wilsonii, characterize its environment, verify its endemism, identify threats to the species, and determine its conservation status. Material and methods Study areaThis study was conducted from January 2004 to October 2012. The study area comprises the central region of the state of Minas Gerais (Fig. 1). According to the Köppen-Geiger climate classification, the climate of the region is type Cwa (mesothermal), with dry winters and an average temperature in t...
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