The use of fragmented landscape by medium to large mammals and its relationship to body mass in the region of Aruanã, GO

Responsible Institute:

Institute of Biology, Federal University of Goiás

This study with camera traps showed the importance of Forest fragments located in private properties in the conservation of the mammal fauna of the Cerrado. The study area is part of the Araguaia River Corridor.

Habitat fragmentation due to human activities is the main threat to biodiversity in the Cerrado Biome, but each species behaves differently to this threat. In order to assess the medium to large mammal distribution (>1 kg) in a fragmented landscape in the Cerrado, camera traps were used in forest fragments in the area around Aruanã, Goiás state, located within the potential Biodiversity Araguaia River Corridor. The following hypotheses were raised: a) larger fragments have greater species richness; b) species of larger body size are less affected by fragmentation because of their greater dispersal ability; c) those larger species are found distributed in fragments of all sizes.

The results showed that 19 medium to large mammal species occur in the study area, the most frequent being: the coati, the tapir, the giant anteater, and the ocelot. As expected, larger areas were richer. However, contrary to the initial hypothesis, larger species, including jaguar and puma, demonstrated more sensitivity to the fragmentation effects, and were limited to larger fragments. Only the tapir was distributed in fragments of all sizes.
The results of this study demonstrated the importance of maintaining forest fragments in private properties to Cerrado biodiversity conservation. The record of endangered species, such as the jaguar, reinforces the importance of implementing the Araguaia River Biodiversity Corridor, as a landscape conservation strategy to connect fragmented populations.

Read more about this topic:

Calaça, A. M. 2009. The use of fragmented landscape by medium to large mammals and its relationship with body mass in the region of Aruanã, Goiás. Master’s Dissertation, Federal University of Goiás, Goiânia. (In portuguese).