Aureo Banhos dos Santos
MS student INPA, Brazil
Location: Amazonia, Atlantic Rainforest, Pantanal, Cerrado, Brazil
Research: Conservation genetic analysis of the Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) of Brazil: Can Amazonian or hybrid individuals be used in Atlantic Rainforest reintroductions?
Species/Topic: Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja)
Abstract: The Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) is a top level predator that lives in the upper canopies of New World forests from Mexico to Argentina, and is found in large areas of Brazil. In Brazil the Harpy Eagle occurs in the Amazon and Atlantic Rainforests, Cerrado and Pantanal. Globally, this species is considered to be threatened with extinction. Principal threats to its existence are habitat destruction and shooting of animals. Very few individuals exist in the Atlantic Rainforest region, and IBAMA has suggested that captive animals of Amazonian origin should be used in Atlantic Rainforest introduction programs. The objective of the project is to test if genetic differences exist between individuals from the Atlantic and Amazon Rainforests, and if the centrally located Cerrado and Pantanal act as a corridor which connects the Atlantic and Amazon Rainforest Harpy Eagles.