Anurans of the Parque Estadual do Mirador, a remnant of Cerrado in the state of Maranhão, Northeastern Brazil

Abstract The Cerrado is one of the most threatened biomes in Brazil. It is estimated that much of its original vegetation has been replaced by some type of human use. This is quite worrying, mainly in the northern part where the number of wildlife inventories is insufficient and creates the false impression of low diversity in the region. The Parque Estadual do Mirador-PEM, located in the south-central region of the state of Maranhão, presents vegetation typical of the Cerrado biome and corresponds to one of 46 priority areas for conservation in the state. Herein, we describe the species richness and composition of the anurofauna from the PEM and analyze the influence of different types of vegetation in its formation. Our inventory was conducted from December 2013 to February 2015, using the active search and auditory census methods on breeding sites in different water bodies of the park. We recorded 31 anuran species belonging to five families (species number in parentheses): Leptodactylidae (14), Hylidae (12), Bufonidae (3), Microhylidae (1) and Phyllomedusidae (1). The rarefaction curve and species richness estimators indicated that the sampling effort was enough to record most of the species in the region. The richness of anurans in the PEM was higher than reported by other authors for several areas of Cerrado. Most species have a wide distribution in Brazil or are strongly associated with the Caatinga or Amazon biomes. Only about 19% are endemic to the Cerrado biome. This study is the first to inventory the anurans species of the south-central region of state of Maranhão and provides important data on amphibian communities from the northern part of the Brazilian Cerrado.