Bruna Oliveira, Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas, BRAZIL
*-Organization name: Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas - IPÊ
*-Organization street address: Rodovia Dom Pedro I, km 47 – Nazaré Paulista, SP, Brasil – CEP: 12960-000
*-Work phone: +55 (11) 35900041
*-Main email: email@example.com
*-Scholar Emali: firstname.lastname@example.org
*-Organization Web site URL if any: http://www.ipe.org.br/en
*-ORGANIZATION’S WORK: IPÊ – Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas (Ecological Research Institute, in english) is a NGO based in São Paulo State, Brazil.
Its mission is to develop and disseminate innovative models for biodiversity conservation that promote socio-economic benefits through science, education and sustainable business. IPÊ is dedicated to biodiversity conservation through science. We work with research, professional training, environmental education and sustainable income alternatives that emphasize socio-environmental responsibility from communities, corporations and opinion formers.
*-ROLE IN THE ORGANIZATION: I work directly on the Giant Armadillo Project. In 2015 I started to be part of this project, coordinating the elaboration of a distribution map of this species. I have been working from data collection to its analysis.
We are collecting data in three different ways. One is by direct observation of Giant Armadillo’s evidences. Then, when I see a hole or footprint of the animal, I take it's coordinates. We are also conducting interviews with local population, asking about occurrence and species awareness. The third way we are collecting data is by distributing posters across the state, asking whoever has seen this Armadillo or some of their evidence, to get in touch with the project. So, I have to be very organized in order to know how to deal with all this information and then to analyze and give due importance to each precious data collected.
The final objective of this project is to generate not only academic maps, but also to generate maps that talks with population and politicians. We want to create maps that indicates best areas to create conservation units or biodiversity corridors. Through our network of government and non-governmental contacts, we aim to influence habitat conservation measures.
history of your personal work in conservation and GIS:
I always say that since I was a kid I already knew what I wanted to do for living. I used to say that I would become a scientist, then (when I went deeper into the subject) I started saying I wanted to become a biologist. I have always loved wildlife and always said that I wanted to dedicate my life to a cause and to conservation of one or more species. Working on a conservation project was the most effective way I found to approach this goal.
What is most challenging about the conservation/GIS work that you do:
The most unique is that I work with a very rare species. It is still awesome to discover that this amazing species still runs through the territories of Mato Grosso do Sul, even in areas not preserved as Cerrado or Mata Atlântica. Before I started my field work, we had no idea where it still occurred. In many areas it was believed to be extinct.
The most challenging part is how to use and apply this knowledge to effectively cause changes in public policy and generate conservation indeed. In this sense, I see that the GIS tool is extremely important to help me achieve my goals, so I have to master it so it is not a barrier, but a tool that will help me get where I want to go.
Major achievements until now:
---All data have already been collected in Cerrado of Mato Grosso do Sul;
---19 visited counties;
---258 visited watersheds. There were 148 watersheds with presence of Giant Armadillo and 110 without;
---512 interviews with local residents. In these interviews we asked about the presence of the species and the perception about it;
---We distributed posters and obtained 147 citizen science occurrence data;
---We linked with different stakeholders like environmental police, farm workers, land owners;
--- 7 biologists were trained in the field.
*-Abstract/summary of the paper you will present:
Giant Armadillo is a very rare animal, occurring in low population densities, with nocturnal and solitary habits. There is a lack of information about this species in the literature and no accurate information about its occurrence in Mato Grosso do Sul State, Brazil. The objective of this project was to collect and analyze data in order to produce a distribution map of the Giant Armadillo in Mato Grosso do Sul. The occurrence of giant armadillos was obtained through field site visits throughout the state in search of evidence (258 sites visits), interviews with local people (512 interviews) and a citizen science campaign using posters (147 occurrence data). The three methods will be compared for accuracy and cost efficiency and several models will be tested.