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recursos, metas de compro-
metimento de orçamento e linhas de incentivo a ações 
envolvendo conservação de plantas a longo prazo, como 
um esforço conjunto dos países envolvidos.
The recent development of a Strategy for Plant Conservation \u2013 GSPC (Global Strategy for Plant Conservation) is considered the best way 
to contain the species extinction crisis and face the po-
tential loss of plant diversity on a worldwide scale (Wyse 
Jackson & Kennedy, 2009). As a starting point, GSPC 
is a guideline for priority plant conservation plans to 
achieve, with defined deadlines, the agreed upon goals 
of the countries that signed this pact (Wyse Jackson & 
Kennedy, 2009). Goal 2 of this strategy is to assess the 
conservation status of all known flora. Risk of extinction 
assessments are important for planning and carrying out 
conservation goals (Pimm et al., 2014). However, the 
challenges for species conservation in a mega-diverse 
country like Brazil are enormous, especially for a de-
veloping country. one of the biggest challenges facing 
the country, as a party to the Convention on Biological 
Diversity \u2013 CBD, to fulfill the goals of the GSPC is to 
assess the extinction risk of all the known species of 
flora in Brazil by the year 2020. This number currently 
stands at 45,811 (Lista de espécies da flora do Brasil, 
In view of these commitments with the CBD, the 
National Center for Plant Conservation - CNCFlora 
was set up in 2008. This Center is part of the Research 
Directorate \u2013 Dipeq of the Rio de Janeiro Botanical 
Garden Research Institute (Decree no. 6,645/08) to 
analyze the conservation status of all Brazilian florae 
(Scarano, 2014). The release of the List of Species of the 
Brazil Flora ( in 2010, 
together with the Catalog of Plants and Fungi of Brazil 
(Forzza et al., 2010) and the Red book of Brazilian Flora 
(Martinelli & Moraes, 2013) including the extinc-
tion risk assessment of 4,617 species of national flora, 
represented the first steps to achieve these conserva-
tional goals (Scarano, 2014). The Red List Project of 
CNCFlora is responsible for assessing the extinction 
risk of all Brazilian flora within the deadline agreed 
upon with the GSPC. Since 2012, the coordinator of 
CNCFlora has been recognized by the IUCN (The 
International Union for the Conservation of Nature) as 
the Red List Authority, which means that all extinction 
risk assessments, carried out nationally and internation-
ally, of Brazilian plant species should be forwarded and 
Red Lists are important tools in species conservation 
in terms of allocation of investments; however they also 
require extensive resources for their startup and contin-
uous updating (Rodinini et al., 2013). Due to high ex-
tinction rates, increase of threats and limited resources, 
the assessment of the more endangered species must be 
prioritized. The Red Lists highlight species that require 
special attention due to their rarity and/or the rapid 
decline of their populations (Fivaz & Gonseth, 2014). 
Consequently, rare species must often be treated as con-
servation targets in view of their restricted distribution, 
scarcity and habitat specificity (Rabinowitz et al., 1986; 
Magurran & Henderson, 2011). These commonalities 
between rare species make them highly vulnerable to 
demographic stochasticity (Herc et al., 2012) and an-
thropogenic threats such as overexploitation, habitat 
34 | Livro vermelho da flora do Brasil \u2013 Plantas raras do Cerrado
loss, invasion of alien species and also climate change 
(Mouillot et al., 2013).
The term \u2018rarity\u2019 must be considered very carefully 
before taking on the challenge of conserving rare spe-
cies. Although widely used, it may have different mean-
ings depending on the context and on the different at-
tributes used (Magurran & Henderson, 2011). The con-
cept of \u2018rarity\u2019 given by Rabinowitz and Kruckeberg 
(1985) is widely used, and is defined using three param-
eters: geographic distribution, affinity and specificity of 
habitat, and local density. Thus, a species may only be 
common if the three parameters are high (that is, it has 
a wide distribution, an affinity for diverse habitats and 
locally has a dense population). Despite this, to declare a 
species \u2018rare\u2019 is not a simple task due to the problem of 
\u201cData Deficiency\u201d (DD) (Rapini et al., 2009). Estimates 
suggest that there is a lack of data for about 20% of 
plant species worldwide in terms of population densi-
ties, ecology and distribution (Callamander et al., 2005). 
In Brazil, one of the most comprehensive works on rare 
species was published by Giulietti et al. (2009), who 
only considered the geographic distribution parameter¹ 
for \u2018rarity\u2019. This parameter is based on the extent of oc-
currence of the species, and which the authors advocate 
as the most objective criterion faced with the current 
knowledge gap of Brazilian flora (Giulietti et al., 2009).
There is a real risk of extinction for rare species es-
pecially when associated with environmental impacts. 
Rare species are particularly vulnerable to extinction, 
however, when they occur in non-impacted areas and/
or are abundant, even only occasionally, they may not 
be at risk of extinction. on the other hand, when lo-
cally abundant species are in severely impacted environ-
ments they tend to imminent extinction (Magurran & 
Henderson, 2011; Fattorini, 2013). Due to the historical 
exploitation of natural resources and land use in Brazil, 
the ecosystems like the Cerrado as well as the Atlantic 
Forest, which have a high degree of endemism and 
threats, have become priorities in terms of conserva-
tion (Myers et al., 2000). The Cerrado has an approxi-
mate area of 2 million square kilometers (ca. 21% of 
the country), and is the second largest Phytogeographic 
Domain of Brazil after the Amazon (Ratter et al., 1997). 
This biome houses more than 12,000 species of plants 
(Lista de espécies da flora do Brasil, 2014), of which 
44% are endemic to the Cerrado, the most diverse 
tropical savanna in the world (Klink & Machado, 2005). 
The destruction of the Cerrado, although relatively 
recent, took place at an accelerated pace. Most of the 
destruction occurred between the early 1960s and the 
end of the 20th century (Biota, 2008). By 2002, approxi-
mately 880,000 km² of Cerrado had been cleared or 
transformed by human activity (Machado et al., 2004), 
which is almost three times the area deforested in the 
Brazilian Amazon during the same period (Klink & 
Machado, 2005). Deforestation rates in the Brazilian 
Cerrado, range from 22,000 km2 to 30,000 km² per 
year (Machado et al., 2004), which are higher than the 
deforestation rates in the Amazon, though most of the 
focus and publicity is given to the conservation of the 
Amazon rainforest (Klink & Machado, 2005). However, 
due to the high species richness, the high rate of ende-
mism and the high incidence of threats, the Cerrado is 
considered a global biodiversity hotspot (Myers et al., 
2000) and should be treated as a priority for conserva-
tion actions. 
Faced with the challenges of conserving endangered 
species due to the gradual destruction of their habitats, 
the aim of this work was to evaluate the extinction risk 
of species in the Cerrado biome considered rare ac-
cording to the concept of rarity given by Giulietti et 
al. (2009). The results of this assessment are intended 
to help guide conservation strategies, with the limited 
resources available, to target those species most suscep-
tible to imminent extinction. These conservation strate-
gies must consider the high biodiversity present in the 
Cerrado, which is faced with serious threats of anthro-
pogenic origin coming from various socioeconomic 
The CNCFlora determined that the extinction risk assessment