Oral Presentation- Symposium 12th International Mammalogical Congress

Using key wildlife species to inform conservation planning in the Cerrado and Pantanal of Brazil (#455)

Alexine Keuroghlian 1 , Donald P Eaton 1 , Jennifer Bradham 2 , JĂșlia Emi de Faria Oshima 3 , Maria Luisa SP Jorge 2
  1. Pantanal/Cerrado, Wildlife Conservation Society, Brazil, Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil
  2. Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, United States
  3. Spatial Ecology and Conservation Lab (LEEC), State University of Sao Paulo (UNESP-Rio Claro), Rio Claro, Sao Paulo, Brazil

White-lipped peccaries (WLPs; Tayassu pecari) play a major role in their ecosystems and are increasingly susceptible to environmental threats. Their large ranges and herd sizes, plus diverse resource requirements, make them vulnerable to habitat fragmentation and degradation in the Atlantic Forest, Cerrado, and Pantanal biomes, where 89%, 50% and 20% of original vegetation cover, respectively, have been lost to deforestation. We show how WLPs are useful tools for guiding landscape-level conservation planning and protecting regional biodiversity. Camera-trap surveys of medium to large-sized mammals in Cerrado forest fragments showed that WLPs were restricted to relatively large forest fragments and had less tolerance for degraded habitat compared to other species, such as tapir, agouti, and collared peccaries, showing their value as sensitive bioindicators of intact native habitat. We also evaluated within- and between-biome impacts of deforestation and fragmentation by analysing WLP herd home ranges in pristine and relatively-disturbed areas. In both the Pantanal and Cerrado, home ranges were larger in relatively-disturbed compared to pristine regions, 51% and 54%, respectively (95% Kernel). Comparing between biomes, we found that WLP home range was 38% larger in the Pantanal. We discuss fruit diversity, abundance, and keystone species to explain this interbiome range difference. By comparing WLP ranges across biomes and between landscapes with different disturbance regimes, we assess the status of WLP populations and identify key factors contributing to population declines. We demonstrate how these data can be used for conservation planning, i.e. identifying strictly-protected reserve areas and degraded corridor areas for restoration.