The Foraging of Baru Seeds

Foraging baru can be very labor intensive. In this video, we see how the fruits are foraged from the wild and cracked open for the seeds in Midwestern Brazil.

Some baru fruits have their pulp eaten by wildlife or cattle. Foragers have to be quick and pick them up before the rainy season. These “half-eaten” fruits will still protect the seed hermetically for up to two years under dry conditions.

Check it out!

A hotspot under threat

“With over 4,800 plant and vertebrate species found nowhere else, the Cerrado is a global biodiversity hotspot. It also spans three of the largest watersheds in South America, contributing 43% of Brazil’s surface water outside the Amazon. Despite its enormous importance for species conservation and the provision of ecosystem services, the Cerrado has lost 88 Mha (46%) of its native vegetation cover, and as little as 19.8%
remains undisturbed. Between 2002 and 2011, deforestation rates in the Cerrado (1%
per year) were 2.5 times higher than in the Amazon.”
” […]The Cerrado’s beauty and ecological significance are profoundly underappreciated, even among urban populations living in the biome. The 55% decline in deforestation rates in the Amazon in the period 2010–2014 is nationally and internationally recognized. However, the increases in losses of native vegetation in the Cerrado of 41% during the same period went largely unnoticed. Indirect land use changes are difficult to establish, but a number of studies infer translocation of deforestation from the Amazon to the Cerrado.[…]”
Soybean harvesters on a massive soybean field“[…]The Cerrado has great social importance as well. Some 12.5 million people depend on its natural resources to survive and thrive. Traditional communities and small farmers are everywhere where the native vegetation remains, but suffer intense pressure from crop and cattle expansion. The Cerrado is inhabited by traditional peoples (indigenous, quilombolas, geraizeiros, sertanejos, vazanteiros) who over many generations have developed sustainable and mutually beneficial uses of the region’s biodiversity and natural resources. Satellite-based evidence shows that native vegetation is better protected when conservation units are managed by local and traditional communities than by government park guards, who have a limited capacity to control illegal logging, poaching, and mining. Rapid and extensive loss of native vegetation in the pristine regions causes an intense fragmentation, undermining important ecological functions. The vast territories dedicated to large-scale monoculture eliminate the ecological “corridors” that flora and fauna need to migrate and thus survive extinction.[…]”
Baru and other incredible species are increasingly under threat in the Cerrado, and with them, water reservoirs and local communities. Please raise awareness on this cause!