Time filter

Source Type

Fundación, Colombia

Saavedra-Rodriguez C.A.,Carrera 25 No. 4 39 | Saavedra-Rodriguez C.A.,University of Valle | Kattan G.H.,Pontifical Xavierian University | Osbahr K.,University of Applied and Environmental Sciences | Hoyos J.G.,Fundacion EcoAndina
Endangered Species Research

The factors that influence habitat and space use by animals, and therefore their distribution and abundance, vary with spatial scale. The pacarana Dinomys branickii is a large rodent of the tropical Andes threatened by illegal hunting and habitat loss. We identified variables related to pacarana habitat use at 4 spatial scales in the Colombian Andes: landscape (3.14 km 2 circles), forest patch, foraging area, and den. At the landscape scale, pacaranas used areas with 20 to 95% forest cover that were not different from randomly sampled sites. At the forest fragment scale, used patches (mean = 12ha) were larger than unused patches, but independent of distance to continuous forest. At the foraging area scale, habitat use was related to the presence of rocky caves used as dens and was unrelated to forest structure. At the den scale, pacaranas used deep caves (>4 m) in sloping rocky outcrops with >40% exposed rock (in 100 m 2 patches). Pacarana groups (4 to 5 individuals) had a mean home range of 2.45ha around caves. We estimated a population density of 9.9 and 5.5 groups km -2 based on sign clusters (footprints, latrines, and foraging areas) and dens, respectively. Pacaranas fed on a variety of plant families found in primary and secondary forest and disturbed areas near streams. Our results indicate that pacaranas can survive in forest fragments, and the main factor limiting their distribution and abundance is the availability of adequate dens. Conservation of pacarana populations in rural landscapes may be helped by protecting a network of forest patches connected by riparian vegetation, but these populations would be vulnerable to illegal hunting. © Inter-Research 2012. Source

Kattan G.H.,Fundacion EcoAndina | Kattan G.H.,Pontifical Xavierian University | Valenzuela L.A.,Fundacion EcoAndina | Valenzuela L.A.,University of Santiago de Chile
Journal of Tropical Ecology

Fig trees (Ficus spp) produce fruit year-round and figs are consumed by a large proportion of frugivores throughout the tropics. Figs are potential keystone resources that sustain frugivore communities during periods of scarcity, but studies have produced contradictory results. Over 1 y we monitored the phenology of 206 trees of five Ficus species in a Colombian cloud forest, to test whether figs produced fruit during periods of low overall fruit availability. We also measured fig tree densities in 18 0.5-ha plots and made 190 h of observations at 24 trees of three species to determine whether figs were abundant and consumed by a large proportion of the local frugivores. The five species produced fruit year-round but fig availability varied monthly by orders of magnitude. Fig trees reached comparatively high densities of 1-5 trees ha-1 and were consumed by 36 bird species (60% of the local frugivore assemblage) and three mammal species. However, there was no season of fruit scarcity and figs represented on average 1.5% of the monthly fruit biomass. Figs in this Andean forest are part of a broad array of fruiting species and at least during our study did not seem to constitute a keystone resource. © Cambridge University Press 2013. Source

Kessler-Rios M.M.,Fundacion EcoAndina | Kattan G.H.,Fundacion EcoAndina | Kattan G.H.,Pontifical Xavierian University
Journal of Tropical Ecology

The fruits of Melastomataceae are consumed by many Neotropical frugivorous birds. Several studies have reported segregated fruiting seasons of melastomes, but this pattern is not widespread. The segregated fruiting phenologies of congeneric sympatric species may be an evolutionary response to reduce competition for seed dispersers. Alternatively, aggregated fruiting phenologies may be favoured if local fruit abundance attracts more frugivores, thus enhancing seed dispersal. We monitored melastome fruiting in transects over a 2-y period at a cloud-forest site in the Colombian Andes. Fruiting periods of nine melastome species were aggregated and fruiting peaks coincided with rainy seasons. In a separate 6-mo study, observations at focal plants revealed that 47 of 61 bird species fed on 10 species of melastome, representing 37.4% of feeding events observed. Melastomes were consumed by birds in a higher proportion than expected from their availability and peak melastome fruit abundance coincided with the breeding season of the frugivore community, when melastomes constituted 54% of feeding records. Melastomes interact with a large number of bird species throughout their annual cycles, and seem to constitute pivotal elements that sustain the frugivore community in montane forests. © Copyright Cambridge University Press 2011. Source

Kattan G.H.,Pontifical Xavierian University | Murcia C.,Fundacion EcoAndina | Galindo-Cardona A.,Fundacion EcoAndina | Galindo-Cardona A.,University of Puerto Rico at San Juan
Tropical Conservation Science

Degraded lands in the Colombian Andes have been restored by means of monospecific tree plantations of native and exotic species, and by abandoning lands to natural regeneration. Both methods rapidly produce a vegetation cover that helps to stabilize soils, but the value of resulting ecosystems for wildlife needs to be evaluated. We assessed the effects of these two restoration methods on the diversity and abundance of bess beetles (Passalidae), which are important deadwood recyclers. We quantified coarse woody debris (logs and branches >10 cm diameter) and associated passalid beetle fauna in 40-year-old Andean alder (Alnus acuminata) plantations, adjacent natural regeneration and old-forest remnants, at 2430 m of elevation in the Central Andes. The three forest types contained the same number of logs per unit area, but wood volume was lower in alder stands than in natural forest types. Old-forest remnants contained a higher number of occupied logs and individual beetles per transect and per unit wood volume than the two other habitats. We found six species of beetle, three of which were found in the three habitats and the other three in one habitat each. Forest remnants and natural regeneration had four species each, whereas alder plantations had three species. Although beetle abundance was lower in alder stands, in the small-scale mosaic found at this site alder plantations behaved similarly to secondary forest and merged as part of the local habitat heterogeneity. Whether these results apply to larger and more isolated plantations remains to be established. © Gustavo H. Kattan, Carolina Murcia and Alberto Galindo-Cardona. Source

Palma A.C.,University of Los Andes, Colombia | Velez A.,University of Los Andes, Colombia | Gomez-Posada C.,Fundacion EcoAndina | Gomez-Posada C.,University of Valle | And 6 more authors.
American Journal of Primatology

Howler monkeys are among the most studied primates in the Neotropics, however, behavioral studies including estimation of food availability in Andean forests are scarce. During 12 months we studied habitat use, behavior, and feeding ecology of two groups of red howler monkeys (Alouatta seniculus) in an isolated fragment in the Colombian Andes. We used a combination of focal animal and instantaneous sampling. We estimated fruit production (FP) using phenology transects, and calculated young leaf abundance by observing marked trees. The home range area used by each group was 10.5 and 16.7ha and daily distances traveled were 431 ± 228 and 458 ± 259m, respectively. We found that both groups spent most of their time resting (62-64%). Resting time did not increase with leaf consumption as expected using a strategy of energy minimization. We did not find a relationship between daily distances traveled and leaf consumption. However, howlers consumed fruits according to their availability, and the production of young leaves did not predict feeding time on this resource. Overall, our results are similar to those found on other forest types. We found that despite limited FP in Andean forests, this did not lead to a higher intake of leaves, longer resting periods, or shorter traveling distances for red howlers. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Source

Discover hidden collaborations