Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation
Research Letters
Impacts of mining activities on the potential geographic distribution of eastern Brazil mountaintop endemic species
João Carlos de Castro Penaa,b,1,, , Fernando Goulartc, G. Wilson Fernandesd,e, Diego Hoffmannf, Felipe S.F. Leiteg, Natália Britto dos Santosb, Britaldo Soares-Filhoc, Thadeu Sobral-Souzah,i, Maurício Humberto Vancineh, Marcos Rodriguesa
a Laboratório de Ornitologia, Departamento de Zoologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
b Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia, Conservação e Manejo de Vida Silvestre, Instituto de Ciência Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Geraisl, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
c Centro de Sensoriamento Remoto, Mestrado em Análise e Modelagem dos Sistemas Ambientais, Instituto de Geociências, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
d Ecologia Evolutiva & Biodiversidade/DBG, ICB/Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
e Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA
f Departamento de Ciências Agrárias e Biológicas, CEUNES, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, São Mateus, ES, Brazil
g Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Campus Florestal, Florestal, MG, Brazil
h São Paulo State University (UNESP), Institute of Biosciences, Spatial Ecology and Conservation Lab (LEEC), Rio Claro, SP, Brazil
i Departamento de Educação, Curso de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Metropolitana de Santos, UNIMES, Santos, SP, Brazil
Received 04 November 2016, Accepted 27 July 2017
Abstract

Mining causes profound impacts on biodiversity. In Brazil, mining pressure is intense, especially in highly biodiverse regions such as the Espinhaço range. We analyzed the direct and indirect effects of mining on the potential geographic range of 32 anuran and eight bird species endemic to the eastern Brazil mountaintops. We also assessed the mining impacts on the local biodiversity rate of both species groups. Currently, 36.44% and 28.80% of the median potential distribution of the anuran and bird species, respectively, are affected directly or indirectly by mining. More than half of the range for eight anuran species and more than 40% of two birds species's ranges are influenced by this anthropogenic activity. Regions with suitable environmental characteristics for more than one species are highly affected by mining: 67% of the pixels that are suitable for 16 species (2109km2) are currently impacted by mining. These results indicate that mining activities present a considerable threat to both anurans and birds endemic of the eastern Brazil mountaintops. We discuss many aspects related to the loss of potential habitat for these species, and call for management strategies to avert the ongoing wave of mining impacts.

Keywords
Anurans, Birds, Conservation, Ecological Niche Models, Extinction Risk, Mineral exploitation, Rupestrian grasslands