Oral Presentation- Symposium 12th International Mammalogical Congress

Movement and landscape use by an ecosystem engineer in agricultural lands (#457)

Maria Luisa SP Jorge 1 , Jennifer Bradham 1 , Júlia Emi de Faria Oshima 2 , Alexine Keuroghlian 3 , Milton C Ribeiro 4
  1. Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, United States
  2. Zoologia, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Rio Claro, SP, Brazil
  3. Wildlife Conservation Society - Brazil, Campo Grande, MS, Brazil
  4. Ecologia, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Rio Claro, SP, Brazil

Pockets of native habitat embedded in agricultural lands are becoming pervasive throughout the world, and their importance to mitigate biodiversity loss is increasingly recognized. White-lipped peccaries (Tayassu pecari, Cetartiodactyla, hereafter WLP) are social forest ungulates that provide important services to their ecosystems. In this study, we GPS-tracked twenty white-lipped peccaries from ten herds (~two individuals/herd) in cattle ranches of the Cerrado and Pantanal, in Central Brazil. Preliminary results show that, in the Cerrado region, although only 33% of the region is covered with native forest, and mostly in patches smaller than 0.01 km2, WLP herds continue to use predominantly the native forests (in average, 89% of locations/individual were in native forests, ranging from 74 to 96%, N = 10). Additionally, they are found mainly in larger patches. Two herds (four animals) had 94-99% of their locations in the two largest patches of the landscape (~500 and 700 km2). Two other herds (four animals) had 98% of their locations in three patches ranging from 8, 22 and 47 km2. Finally, two individuals living in a more fragmented portion of the landscape, had more than half of their locations in a few fragments larger than 7 km2 and 40 km2, respectively. Furthermore, the herds in the more fragmented portion of the landscape seemed to preferentially move from one patch to another using corridors of gallery forest. Our results indicate that large and well-connected native habitat is fundamental to ensure that these important ecosystem engineers continue to occur in agricultural lands.