The Cerrado and its animals
The beautiful Cerrado contains 5% of all life on Earth and there is so much to discover there. Find out more about this wonderful place.
WWF-UK’s Isabella Vitali was born and grew up in the Cerrado. She's seen the changes caused by the massive soya plantations that have replaced vast swathes of the region over recent decades.
Watch some remarkable images from the Cerrado, and listen to Isabella's personal story.
Cerrado facts and figures
- The Cerrado’s diverse landscape is a mosaic of dry grasslands, wetlands and forest areas.
- It’s home to 60 vulnerable animal species – 20 endangered and 12 critically endangered
- 44% of its plant species exist nowhere else on Earth
- Around 300 of its native plant species are used as food, medicine, handicrafts or for trade
- Nine out of ten Brazilians use electricity generated by water from Cerrado areas
- Less than 3% of the total Cerrado area is strictly protected.
The Cerrado is home to a huge number of animals and plants – here are just three of the most iconic…
Giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla)
Listed as “vulnerable to extinction” on the IUCN Red List, the giant anteater is already considered extinct in some parts of
There are very few studies into the lifecycle of the giant anteater, so we don’t know for sure how long they live or exactly what their reproductive rates are. But it’s known they’re generally solitary animals, that the females give birth to just one young once a year, and she will carry the baby on her back for about six months.
Maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus)
The maned wolf, with its slim body and fluffy reddish-orange coat, is one of the most beautiful of Brazilian animals. A relative of both the wild wolf and the pet dog, the maned wolf is the largest canid in
Brazilian three-banded armadillo (Tolypeutes tricinctus)
The Brazilian three-banded armadillo is found in the eastern areas of the Cerrado and the Caatinga habitat of north eastern Brazil. Unlike other armadillo species, this species does not burrow and have a life underground, and instead rolls into ball when threatened.
The Brazilian three-banded armadillo was thought to be extinct until the early 1990s when it was rediscovered in a handful of isolated populations throughout eastern Brazil. It is listed as vulnerable to extinction by the IUCN Red List due to its population decline, estimated to be more that 30% over the last 10-12 years.
In the Cerrado, the main threat to this species is that they primarily exist outside of the protected areas so are threatened by conversion of their natural habitat to sugar cane and soybean plantations.