Plant species of the Caatinga have considerable logging and economic potential. This paper addresses the extraction and use of Caatinga wood in the municipality of Aurora (state of Ceará, Brazil) as well as residents’ conceptions regarding the origins and environmental impacts of the exploitation of this resource. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to obtain information on the origin and the forms of wood used. The data showed that, even when recognizing the risks of these actions, the interviewees extract wood from the Caatinga in a destructive manner, which is used for making furniture, doors, sculptures, instruments and fences as well as for fuel in cooking activities in homes, bakeries and pizzerias. The following species were more cited: Mimosa tenuiflora (jurema-preta), Croton sonderianus (marmeleiro), Mimosa caesalpiniifolia (sabiá), Amburana cearensis (cumaru), Combretum leprosum (mufumbo), Myracrodruon urundeuva (aroeira) and Handroanthus impetiginosus (pau-d’arco). The results point to the need for implementation of actions for the supervision and control of the exploitation of the Caatinga vegetation as well as adequate management guidelines for this important natural resource.
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