Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 17, Issue 13, pp 3255–3268 | Cite as

Is the Atlantic Forest protected area network efficient in maintaining viable populations of Brachyteles hypoxanthus?

  • Daniel BritoEmail author
  • Carlos Eduardo V. Grelle
  • Jean Philippe Boubli
Original Paper


Habitat loss and fragmentation are serious threats to biodiversity conservation in the Atlantic Forest. A network of protected areas is essential to the protection of native biodiversity. However, internal and external factors may threaten the preservation of biota, thus population viability analyses (PVA) are important tools in protected area design and management planning. A PVA was carried out, using the computer package VORTEX, to assess the effectiveness of the protected area network within the Atlantic Forest in Brazil in retaining viable populations of the endemic primate Brachyteles hypoxanthus. The Brazilian Atlantic Forest has 42 protected areas within B. hypoxanthus geographic distribution area, and only five of those were considered to retain viable populations for 50 generations, whereas 28 were predicted to suffer from genetic decay, seven from both genetic decay and demographic stochasticity, and two of them are probably extinct populations. The model indicates that although the protected area network of the Atlantic Forest will likely keep B. hypoxanthus populations for the next 50 generations, most of them (35 out of 42, or 83%) will be facing some kind of demographic and/or genetic problem and will probably need management actions to be implemented in order to ensure their persistence.


Brachyteles Population viability analysis PVA Protected areas Risk assessment Wildlife management 



We thank Karen B. Strier and Anthony B. Rylands for valuable comments and suggestions that greatly improved the manuscript. We also thank support received from CNPq.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Brito
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carlos Eduardo V. Grelle
    • 2
  • Jean Philippe Boubli
    • 3
  1. 1.Conservation International, Center for Applied Biodiversity ScienceArlingtonUSA
  2. 2.Laboratório de Vertebrados, Departamento de Ecologia, Instituto de Biologia, CCSUniversidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrasil
  3. 3.Human Sciences Building, Anthropology DepartmentThe University of AucklandAucklandNewZealand

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