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Palmares do Sul, Brazil

Sampling allows assessing the impact of human activities on mammal communities. It is also possible to assess the accuracy of different sampling methods, especially when the sampling effort is similar. The present study aimed at comparing two mammalian surveys carried out over a three-year interval, in terms of sampling effort, capture success, abundance of domestic dogs, impact of human activities, and relative biomass using camera traps, in the Serra do Japi Biological Reserve and surroundings, located in Jundiaí, state of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil. The total richness recorded was 13 species, one domestic and 12 wild mammals. Sampling effort in both surveys was similar, but capture success and number of captures differed. The abundance of wild mammals and dogs did also differ between surveys. There was a highly significant correlation between abundance of wild mammals and capture effort for the survey performed in 2006/2007, but not for the survey performed in 2009/2010. The difference between samples may be related to human disturbance, since the number of domestic mammals photographed was higher in the second survey, three years after the first survey. Despite being a reserve, the area is still under pressure from urbanization, biological invasion, environmental degradation, and hunting, which may reduce the abundance of wild mammals. Source

Vasconcellos A.D.S.,University of Sao Paulo | Harumi Adania C.,Associacao Mata Ciliar | Ades C.,University of Sao Paulo
Applied Animal Behaviour Science

Contrafreeloading occurs when animals spend time and effort to obtain food in the presence of freely available food. There are several interpretations for such an apparent contradiction to optimal foraging models, with an emphasis either on the need to gather and update information about the environment or on the value of performing species-typical responses. Evidence suggests that both gathering information about the environment and the expression of species-typical behaviour are important for the welfare of captive animals. The aim of the present study was to assess the existence of contrafreeloading in maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus), in a situation where animals could get food directly from a " free" source and/or search and handle hidden food items, an alternative that requires more effort and is probably more similar to natural foraging conditions. Eight captive, pair-housed maned wolves were given weekly choice tests in which they could obtain food either by approaching the usual food tray in one section of the enclosure (Tray), and/or by searching for food at variable sites amongst the vegetation in the other section of the enclosure (Scattered). Results indicate that maned wolves spent more time in the Scattered than in the Tray section of the enclosure (P=0.02) and that they obtained about half of the food from that section (48.54% ± SE 0.69). Our results, the first to demonstrate contrafreeloading in maned wolves, have implications for the husbandry and welfare of this endangered species. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

Vanstreels R.E.T.,University of Sao Paulo | Ramalho F.P.,Federal University of Sao Carlos | Adania C.H.,Associacao Mata Ciliar
Biota Neotropica

The analysis of cuticle and medulla hair microstructure is a simple and inexpensive technique to identify mammal species for a variety of applications. We studied the guard-hairs of 66 individuals of eight felid species occurring in Brazil (Leopardus colocolo, L.geoffroyi, L.pardalis, L.tigrinus, L.wiedii, Panthera onca, Puma concolor, Puma yagouaroundi), through hair samples collected from anesthetized zoo animals. The microstructure of the guard-hairs was analyzed and described through cuticle impressions and medulla preparations; a blind test was conducted to evaluate the accuracy of species identification. Although distinctive morphological characters could be identified for each species, the subtlety of these characters and the overlap of features among species resulted in a relatively poor accuracy (75%). The identification of pairs or trios of species whose hair has similar morphologies (Group A: L. pardalis, L. tigrinus, L. wiedii; Group B: L. colocolo, L. geoffroyi, P. yagouaroundi; Group C: P. concolor, P. onca) significantly improved accuracy (91%). The identification of Brazilian felids through the microstructure of their hair is challenging and requires careful examination of subtle features, and should be complemented by more accurate techniques and/or be limited mostly to applications where high accuracy is not essential or where a broader taxonomic scale is being evaluated. Source

Carvalho W.D.,Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro | Carvalho W.D.,University of Lisbon | Rosalino L.M.,University of Lisbon | Rosalino L.M.,University of Aveiro | And 2 more authors.
Iheringia - Serie Zoologia

Variation in body size, behavior, feeding habits and habitat use patterns in medium- and large-sized mammals influence the adequacy of sampling methods to register presence and abundance. Moreover, even if methods are similarly adequate, diff erent methodologies result in distinct costefficiency relationships (i.e. some may have reduced costs, be less time-consuming and/or require less-skilled technicians). Focusing on three diff erent sampling methods commonly used to monitor medium and large mammals in seasonal tropical forests, we compared the species richness detected by each method and quantified their cost-efficiencies: (1) camera traps; (2) line transects for direct observations of animals; and (3) line transects seeking tracks/footprints. We simultaneously monitored medium and large mammals along five trails between July and August 2009 and January and February 2010, in the Serra do Japi Biological Reserve, São Paulo, Brazil. Data from two distinct seasons demonstrated that significantly higher species richness was achieved by using signs of presence and direct observations detected in transects. Camera traps recorded the fewest species, but represented the lowest cost per species. Direct observations and searches for tracks/footprints required a greater number of field technicians (with more skill and experience) to record the focal species and therefore have a higher cost, but allowed twice as many species to be recorded compared to camera traps. The choice of sampling methodology depends on the study objective, mammal species targeted and/or amount of resources available. We advocate use of camera traps for long-term studies and in conjunction with the other two methods to improve identification accuracy, allow individual identification and permit more accurate abundance estimates. © 2016, Fundacao Zoobotanica do Rio Grande do Sul. All Rights Reserved. Source

Preservation of terrestrial fauna and flora has been the main reason for the settlement of most protected areas in the past 30 years, but although those areas may include water bodies, this does not necessarily mean that the biodiversity of freshwater environments are also protected. In the present study, the fauna inventory of eight streams (1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th orders) of three microbasins of Japi Mountain, a Biosphere Reserve of Atlantic Forest recognised by UNESCO since 1994, located in São Paulo state, southeast of Brazil, was conducted. The hypothesis of this study is that the conservation of this area is important for the maintenance of the aquatic biodiversity of this biome, and so, this world hotspot deserves priority conservation actions. From 2005 to 2007, benthic macroinvertebrates, fishes and, eventually, anuran amphibians were sampled in these streams. The results showed that Japi Mountain contributes to the conservation of 138 taxonomic units of the aquatic biota and covers a rich and representative biodiversity of freshwater fauna of the world (0.2%), Neotropical region (0.9%), Brazil (2.4%) and São Paulo state (17.9%). The studied streams in the Environmental Protection Area help protect endangered taxa like the fishes Neoplecostomus paranensis and Pareiorhina cf rudolphi, and shelter freshwater invertebrates and fishes whose distribution is restricted to the Brazilian territory. Japi Mountain is also an important haven of species that was missing there like the frog species Vitreorana eurygnatha. Thus, this species inventory emphasises the importance of conservation actions of the freshwater environments of this Biosphere Reserve of Atlantic Forest. Source

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