The Cerrado-Pantanal Corridor

This project investigated the distribution of mammals, with a focus on carnivores, along the Taquari River that runs from the Cerrado to the Pantanal.

The region of the Cerrado-Pantanal Corridor comprises the surroundings of the Taquari River, from its springs close to Emas National Park (ENP), Goiás state, to the eastern border of the Pantanal, Mato Grosso do Sul state, with a total extension area of 350 km (217 miles). The corridor is principally composed of pasture, with some fragments of native vegetation. The region is a potential connection between ENP, whose fauna suffers from isolation due to extensive agricultural activities in its surroundings, and the Pantanal, still harboring large populations of mammals. This project, executed in several specific studies, aimed at analyzing the functionality of the region as a corridor between the Cerrado and Pantanal, contributing to conserving local mammal populations in the long term.

Although the composition of mammal species showed differences between the Cerrado and Pantanal, the project Monitoring Endangered Mammals along the Emas-Taquari Biodiversity Corridor indicated that the corridor is used by mammal species of both biomes. However, the project Carnivores of the Cerrado-Pantanal Corridor showed that the Cerrado specialists among the carnivores, like the pampas cat, hoary fox or striped skunk, are not present in areas with high human impact along the corridor. Other carnivores were found in the Cerrado, corridor and Pantanal, but with distinct frequencies, with the maned wolf being more abundant in the Cerrado, and the crab-eating raccoon, ocelot, coati and crab-eating fox more abundant in the Pantanal (Silveira et al. 2006).

Evaluation of the relationship between landscape structure and mammal richness, gained within the project Effects of Spatial Autocorrelation on Diversity and Abundance of Mammals and Optimum Conservation Strategies along the Cerrado-Pantanal Corridor, indicated that larger fragments with more distinct habitat types had a larger number of mammal species (Diniz-Filho et al. 2008).

Results of the project Epidemiology and Parasitology of the Crab-eating Fox and Maned Wolf in the Region of the Cerrado-Pantanal Corridor showed that both species presented antibodies against Erlichiosis (a diseases transmitted by ticks) and Toxoplasmosis. However, no individual showed any clinical signs of these diseases.
All these results combined demonstrate that in spite of its environmental situation of habitat fragmentation and alteration, the Taquari River and its surroundings still represent a corridor for various mammal species of the Cerrado and Pantanal.

References:

Diniz-Filho, J.A.F., Silveira, L., Jácomo, A.T.A., Bini, L.M., Barroso, M., e Tôrres, N.M. 2008. Spatial autocorrelation of mammalian richness and abundance along the Cerrado-Pantanal corridor, Central Brazil. Neotropical Biology and Conservation 3(3):103-111.

Silveira, L., Jácomo, A.T.A., e Bini, L.M. 2006. Carnivore distribution and abundance patterns along the Cerrado-Pantanal Corridor, Southwest Brazil. Im: Morato, R.G., Rodrigues, F.H.G., Eizirik, E., Mangini, P.R., Azevedo, F.C.C., e Marinho-Filho, J. (Editors). Manejo e Conservação de Carnívoros Neotropicais. IBAMA, Brasília, Brasil.

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