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Fewer mangaba trees in Sergipe

Ana Ferreira/Flickr Mangaba production range fell nearly 30% in Sergipe from 2010 to 2016Ana Ferreira/Flickr

The mangaba is the fruit of a tree found only in Brazil, mainly in areas of tablelands, coastal lowlands, and restingas in the Northeast. Nearly all of the mangabas sold in Brazil are wild-harvested. The results of a study released in November 2016 by the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation’s Coastal Tablelands Division, in Aracaju, paints a troubling portrait for the future of this activity in Sergipe, a state that accounts for half of Brazil’s annual output of 700 metric tons of mangaba. According to the survey, over the past six years, the area of natural growth of mangaba trees in Sergipe fell by roughly 30%, or 10,456 hectares. The study compared the current scenario with that of 2010, when a similar survey mapped places where Hancornia speciose – the scientific name of the mangaba tree – was growing in nine municipalities of the state. The two biggest culprits behind this reduction in the space occupied by the species were deforestation of native vegetation (to make room both for planting sugarcane and eucalyptus and for construction works) and the fencing off of areas of plant growth.