Poster presentation 12th International Mammalogical Congress

Is the Brazilian environmental law positive for ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) occurrence? (#747)

Roberta M Paolino 1 , Jeffrey A Royle 2 , Natalia F Versiani 3 , Thiago F Rodrigues 1 , Nielson Pasqualotto 3 , Victor G Krepschi 4 , Adriano G Chiarello 3
  1. Departamento de Ciências Florestais, Universidade de São Paulo - Escola Superior de Agricultura "Luiz de Queiroz", Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brasil
  2. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, United States Geologycal Survey, Laurel, MD - Maryland, United States of America
  3. Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brasil
  4. Departamento de Ecologia, Universidade Estadual Paulista ‘‘Júlio de Mesquita Filho’’, Instituto de Biociências, Rio Claro, São Paulo, Brasil

Wildlife corridors might represent additional habitat, apart from improving connection between remaining isolated populations of native species. In Brazil, the riverine Areas of Permanent Protection (APP) are recognized as wildlife corridors. However, these areas had suffered reduction in their extent due to recent changes in the Brazilian Native Vegetation Protection Law, which protects native vegetation in private lands. Given these changes, and the growing demand for agricultural and biofuel production, it is important to assess the role of APPs in their current configuration. We did this by analysing ocelot occurrence in three Cerrado landscapes dominated by sugar cane and silviculture. We collected detection/non-detection data with camera-trapping during two dry seasons (April to September of 2013 and 2014) at 208 stations (6606 camera days). We estimated ocelot detection and mean relative abundance (lambda) using single-species/single-season occupancy models with heterogeneous detection probability induced by variation in abundance (Poisson distribution) using the package Unmarked in R. The amount of native forest, silviculture and sugarcane were, in this order, the covariates with higher explanatory weight; silviculture and sugarcane had a negative effect and native forests a positive effect on the relative abundance of ocelots. Furthermore, location relative to APP and degree of protection also had a positive effect on ocelot relative abundance since these cats were more abundant inside APP than outside it, which reinforces the importance of wildlife corridors. Our results demonstrate that landscape composition was determinant of ocelot relative abundance, corroborating the importance of native vegetation protected by law in private lands.