Esenbeckia leiocarpa, known locally as ‘Guarantã’, is a tropical tree endemic to the coastal Atlantic Forest of Brazil and is known to occur in the states of Bahia, Mato Grosso, Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Paraná. Due to threats from agriculture, logging and livestock this species was listed as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List.
This species is endemic to the Atlantic forest of Brazil, however its future is threatened by habitat loss and logging for its timber. This species doesn’t tolerate direct sunlight as a seedling and therefore will only survive in undisturbed forest, reducing the potential for natural dispersion. This species also has good prospects to be used in sustainable silviculture due to its high quality, decay-resistant and valuable timber.
Firstly, field surveys and studies will be carried out to discover the true extent of remaining populations in Brazil and to study the reproductive biology of this tree species. Following this, seed will be collected and 2,500 individuals will be propagated and incorporated into in situ habitat restoration projects. These plantings will then be monitored to ensure their successful progress. Local communities will be educated to increase awareness of the environmental importance of this species and deforestation in Brazil.