|Town/Region||Serra da Canastra National Park|
|Continent||Central and Latin America|
|Date||21 Jan 2004|
The Brazilian Merganser is considered Critically Endangered on a global level and among the world’s ten most threatened waterfowl. Its best known population is in the region of Serra da Canastra National Park, southeast Brazil.
The species is extremely sensitive to the degradation and loss of its habitat and its major threats are the siltation of watercourses, as a consequence of the degradation of riverbanks and riparian forests, brought about by mining, agriculture, cattle ranching, forest fires and ecotourism related activities.
The Brazilian Merganser’s protection will only be effective in the Serra da Canastra region if the local community take an active role and become involved, mainly those who live within its area of occurrence.
The Brazilian Merganser is unknown to most of the residents and tourists of the Serra da Canastra region. Moving this public might bring a sense of communal commitment to the application of beneficial actions for the conservation of the Brazilian Merganser and ultimately the natural resources including the protection of the national park.
Focusing on the protection of the watercourses, and showing the Brazilian Merganser as indicator of water quality, this species will become a flagship species for the best use of water, indicator of ecosystem quality and, consequently, to the conservation of the natural resources in the region. Driving the local community’s attention to the local environment, as well as rising pride for conserving a species of world importance, will help to a better land use practices and benefits of everyone. Besides, locals will be further engaged by reporting sightings of the Brazilian Merganser, and the data collected will be checked in the field. All of that meant to encourage the persons to act in favor of the merganser and its environment.
A folder will be created in addition to a series of lectures aiming to divulge the region’s natural resources and the presence of the species. This folder is a tool to involve local people, allowing the dialogue related to conservation matters and serves as a fundamental strategy in surveying the Brazilian Mergansers in the region with the participation of residents and visitors
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