Commonly known as serelepe, to date, the squirrel of the species Sciurus Ingrami only identified between the south of Bahia and the state of Rio Grande do Sul, was sighted by the researchers working at the Company’s Program of Monitoring of Fauna and Flora for Conservation of Biodiversity. According to environmental analyst Sílvio Lima of BSC / Copener Institutional Relations and Sustainability team, serelepe specimens have been living in the native forests of the Sergipe project and in Jabuticaba HCVA (High Conservation Value Area), in the municipality of Jandaíra. The rodent has been spotted and it is currently listed among mammal species continuously monitored by the Company.
Lima indicates that “little is known about the species of neotropical squirrels, especially about their biology and ethology, because they are free-living animals, extremely agile and of daytime habits without specific activity schedules“.
The researcher explains that the serelepe, like the other neotropical squirrels, preferentially feed on the palm fruits and are considered to be the main vertebrates responsible for the dispersal of the seeds of the Syagrus romanzoffiana palm. “The fruits of these palms are recognized as key resources in neotropical ecosystems because fruiting is plentiful and stable throughout the year, and as a consequence represents an important food resource in times of seasonal shortage of other nutritional sources“.
In the words of BSC / Copener Institutional Relations and Sustainability Manager Sabrina de Branco, the findings promoted by the Company’s Monitoring Program corroborate the positive results of the conservation of the native forests coupled with forest management, since the loss of habitats and the extinction of species are not the only threats to biodiversity. “Environmental services, which are vital to nature conservation, are also threatened. Interferences in ecosystems alter the balance of biological interactions in the natural world, oftentimes leading to loss of processes such as seed dispersal, climate stabilization, soil protection or water purification“, she remarks.