Poster presentation 12th International Mammalogical Congress

Climatic, landscape and anthropogenic drivers of habitat suitability for a neotropical ecosystem engineer (#655)

Júlia Emi de Faria Oshima 1 , Milton Cezar Ribeiro 1 , Thadeu Sobral de Souza 1 , Alexine Keuroghlian 2 , Carlos Peres 3 , Luca Börger 4 , Ben Collen 5 , Maria Luisa da Silva Pinto Jorge 6
  1. Laboratório de Ecologia Espacial e Conservacão (LEEC) - Departamento de Ecologia - IB, Universidade Estadual Paulista - UNESP, Rio Claro, São Paulo, Brazil
  2. Wildlife Conservation Society, Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil
  3. School of Environmental Sciences , University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom
  4. Biosciences Department, Swansea University, Swansea, United Kingdom
  5. Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, University College London, London, United Kingdom
  6. Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America

Biodiversity persistence and distribution throughout space and time are affected by increasing rates of environmental change induced by anthropogenic disturbance. We used a niche modeling approach to investigate the contribution of climate, landscape and anthropogenic disturbance as predictors of habitat suitability for the white-lipped peccary (WLP), a species that is primarily forest-dependent. WLP is the only large-herd-living Neotropical ungulate, and has been historically extirpated by over-hunting in many regions of South America, which may cause habitat alterations and cascading biodiversity loss. WLP occupancy data were reviewed for four biomes across Brazil, Atlantic forest, Cerrado, Amazonia and Pantanal. Three algorithms and two different ensemble modelling techniques were used to model the effects of six bioclimatic, five landscape and two anthropogenic predictors.  Model results reflect the current conservation status of populations of this species across the biomes, and predictors had different responses in explaining habitat suitability due to a long history of land use, habitat loss, habitat fragmentation and hunting, all of which affect WLP populations in those regions. Detecting suitable areas both in terms of climate and landscape structure will be critical in defining ecological corridors and optimizing the role of protected areas for the conservation of WLP. The better comprehension of the habitat suitability of this species can also help predict how impacts of habitat loss will affect other medium and large-sized mammals at varying spatial scales.