Massive Birds Species Distribution Modeling using Cloud Computing

Research conducted by Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, in collaboration with Universidade Estadual Paulista Julio de Mesquita Filho (UNESP, Rio Claro) built a hundred thousand maps of endemic bird species distribution for Caatinga Biome. These maps were used as support to produced the 2015 version of the Priority Areas for Conservation, Sustainable Use and Benefit Sharing of Brazilian Biological Diversity. The computer tasks were powered by Microsoft Azure machines, which was funded by Microsoft Research and FAPESP.

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Conservation planning in practice: landscape ecology of the Golden Lion Tamarins

Leontopithecus rosalia
Golden Lion Tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia).
Photo: Andréia F. Martins.

March 2015 began with a huge effort on maintaining populations of Golden Lion Tamarins (GLT – Leontopithecus rosalia): the strategic planning for GLT conservation, organized by the Golden Lion Tamarin Association (AMLD). The meeting gathered experienced researchers on GLT, field experts and all the AMLD team – engaged on animal conservation, forest restoration, and environmental education –, managers from conservation units and Brazilian environmental agencies, as well as landscape ecologists from the Spatial Ecology and Conservation Lab – Universidade Estadual Paulista Julio de Mesquita Filho (UNESP, Rio Claro), from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro), Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro (UENF, Campos de Goytacazes) and Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO, Rio de janeiro). Using the latest GLT research results, a new map of the forests where GLT live (produced with support of CAPES, CNPq, FAPESP, and AMLD) and more than 30 years of experience, this group put effort on planning actions to create the conditions to maintain viable GLT populations in their natural habitat, the Atlantic rainforest.

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Bats are very important in our ecosystems

Did you know that bats are very important in our ecosystems? They help restoring native forests when they feed on many fruit species and perform seed dispersal. They are also impressing on plague control and flower pollination. Motivated by that, Renata Muylaert, LEEC PhD candidate, studied their responses to habitat loss. The biologist concluded that to mantain a high bat diversity in a 2000 ha farm, it is necessary to have at least its half covered by native forest. The research was advisored by Milton Cezar Ribeiro (UNESP) and co-advised by Richard Stevens (Texas Tech University). More information in:

Spatial Ecology and Conservation lab start a working group about “Soundscape ecology and audiorecorder technologies for understanding biodiversity”

The spatial ecology and conservation lab (LEEC, UNESP Rio Claro) just started a discussion group on Sondscape Ecology and about the usage of audiorecorders. The idea is to discuss this fascinating side of ecology, where is the frontier of knowledge this research area, which software can be used to automatize data analyzes and species or other taxonimoc level identifiation. At the same time we plan to discuss about the methods to be used to analyzed this kind of information, experimental design etc. The dynamic of the group will be (a) discussion of key papers (you can participate virtually using Teamviwer; (b) in situ software testing; (c) how to configure audiorecorders to properly collect very good data; (d) discovering pitfalls in the sampling design using audiorecorders; (e) playing with simulations in R, Python etc for advance on soundscape ecology. Join us! More info on or

Animal movement

Research about animal movement within forests may assist and empower actions of environmental restoration. White lipped peccaries with GPS collars are currently being monitored at Pantanal, Mato Grosso.

“Getting to know how animals move enables us to better plan conservation and restoration actions. There are several services wildlife provides us with that are based on movement that we still do not know enough about”, says professor Milton Cezar Ribeiro.

See the report: click here.

LSCorridors: Landscape ecology, ecological corridors and Cloud computing


LSCorridors is a free package designed to model possible dispersal routes of the species among resource patches and multiple routes of ecological functional corridors. The software can deal will very large data and can manage very complex simulations. The LSCorridors is powereed by Microsoft Azure Cloud Computing for Research.


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Assessing biodiversity threats in Brazil throughout Azure Cloud computing

Atlantic Forest and Cerrado are the two biomes of São State and both recognized as biodiversity hotspots, due to its high biodiversity and the threats they suffer. The key landscape structure that best explain biodiversity distribution are: spatial arrangement of fragments, edge effect, connectivity, degree of isolation. As deal with very large datasets are highly time demanding, we are using powerful virtual machines (VM) granted by the Microsoft Azure Cloud Computing for Research on the highly complex computational processing.

More information: _biodiversity.pdf

Amazon endemic trees under climate changes

Climatic metrics can be good predictors of changes in biodiversity and this can severely impact the majority of endemic species in regions like Amazon. We predicted Amazon threat status in response to climate change for 21 century and evaluated whether climate velocities are as good surrogates to predict biodiversity change as are the climate trajectories. We found that climate trajectories are good predictors for tree´s biodiversity changes. Climate metrics should be good surrogates for changes in biodiversity, although, for a species point of view this association should be valid only for that species that can keep pace with climate change velocity.

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Resampling techniques applied to data analysis of biodiversity in Atlantic Forest

Research conducted by Universidade Estadual Paulista Julio de Mesquita Filho (UNESP, Rio Claro, Brazil, and Texas Tech University, project funded by FAPESP and CNPq) involving ecological modelling to understand multiscalebat community responses to landscape degradation. We built non-linear mixed models and resampled it 10,000 times using bootstrap technique in order to get model selection frequencies and best evaluation of null models. This wasvery time consuming and was achieved using Microsoft Azure machines, important tools to conclude tasks underlying large datasets.

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