Protected Areas (PAs) are essential to maintaining biodiversity, while effective management plans (MPs) are essential for the management of these areas. Thus, MPs must have relevant data analyses and diagnoses to evaluate ecological conditions of PAs. We evaluated the environmental diagnoses of 126 Brazilian federal PAs, the methods used to collect data and defined the diagnostic level of PMs according to the type and number of analyzes performed for each PA category. We found a low level of diagnosis in MPs. Primary field data or research programs resulted in environmental diagnostics of higher levels. Participatory workshops and secondary data, most used in Extractive Reserves, were related to low levels of diagnoses. The most frequent analysis was the identification of threats (97% of MPs), while the least frequent were the definition of conservation targets and future scenarios for management (1.6% of MPs). Our results show that the diagnoses of the MPs need to be more analytical to generate useful information for decision-making. MPs should prioritize data analysis and specific management studies, focused on the use of natural resources, the status of conservation targets, future scenarios, and key information to planning.


  • Protected Areas (PAs) are fundamental for conserving biodiversity

  • We identified the procedures used in the environmental diagnoses in the management plans (MPs) or in the administrative processes made available by ICMBio, the methods used for data collection and the analyses performed

  • We identified five types of analyses recommended in the MP environmental diagnoses: 1) identification of biodiversity threats [8,13]; 2) definition of conservation targets [8,13]; 3) classification of PA environments, that may occur from three different forms: according to biological importance, state of conservation or vulnerability [11,20]; 4) future management and conservation scenarios [8,20]; and 5) integrated analysis of the different diagnostic themes

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Protected Areas (PAs) are fundamental for conserving biodiversity. PAs preserve endangered species, healthy ecosystems and ecological processes, generating benefits including several environmental services [1,2,3,4,5]. Global conservation efforts face increased human pressures on natural ecosystems continues to decline [6]. A good management plan (MP) is essential for an effective PA and must contain clear strategies to achieve goals for nature conservation and human well-being. MPs should address the context of the region [3,7].


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