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Peck M.,University of Sussex | Thorn J.,Oxford Brookes University | Mariscal A.,Corporacion Botanica Ecuadendron | Baird A.,Oxford Brookes University | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Primatology | Year: 2011

Brown-headed spider monkeys (Ateles fusciceps), endemic to the Choco-Darien forests and lower Andean forests of NW Ecuador, are considered critically endangered. Unfortunately, scientific data regarding the actual status of populations is lacking. We combined satellite image analysis, species-specific habitat assessment, and a field survey technique using playback to focus conservation efforts for this species. First, we identified remaining forest via a LANDSAT mosaic and then applied species-specific criteria to delineate remaining forest with potential to hold populations. By combining this with the historical distribution from ecological niche modeling and predicted hunting intensity we generated a species-specific landscape map. Within our study area, forest capable of sustaining Ateles fusciceps covers 5872 km2, of which 2172 km2 (40%) is protected. Unprotected forest considered suitable for Ateles fusciceps extends to 3700 km2 but within this only 989 km2 (23%) is under low hunting pressure and likely to maintain healthy populations of Ateles fusciceps. To overcome problems of sampling at low primate density and in difficult mountain terrain we developed a field survey technique to determine presence and estimate abundance using acoustic sampling. For sites under low hunting pressure density of primates varied with altitude. Densities decreased from 7.49 individuals/km2 at 332 masl to 0.9 individuals/km2 at 1570 masl. Based on combining data sets in a gap analysis, we recommend conservation action focus on unprotected lowland forest to the south and west of the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve where hunting pressure is low and population densities of Ateles fusciceps are greatest. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Cervera L.,Civil University Eloy Alfaro of Manabí | Cervera L.,Oxford Brookes University | Lizcano D.J.,Civil University Eloy Alfaro of Manabí | Tirira D.G.,Fundacion Mamiferos y Conservacion | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Primatology | Year: 2015

Accurate information on the distribution, demography, and conservation status of endangered populations in threatened habitats are essential to provide the basis for conservation actions and management plans. Neglect of western Ecuador by biologists has resulted in a paucity of information of primate populations in the region. Capuchins (Cebus spp.) and howlers (Alouatta sp.) occur in the Tumbes–Chocó–Magdalena hotspot along the Pacific coast. We conducted the first primate survey in Pacoche Marine and Coastal Wildlife Refuge, one of the few protected areas in western Ecuador. Although the Pacoche refuge is protected, illegal activities inside the area include slash-and-burn agriculture and natural resource extraction. We surveyed 18 1-km transects within the protected area between April and July 2012 to evaluate the effects of anthropogenic disturbance and habitat characteristics on population densities of the Critically Endangered Ecuadorian white-fronted capuchin (Cebus aequatorialis) and the Vulnerable mantled howler (Alouatta palliata aequatorialis). We confirmed the presence of C. aequatorialis through direct observation on three occasions outside transects. The low detection rate of C. aequatorialis underscores the need for immediate conservation action for this species. Using a hierarchical distance sampling model, we predicted group size as a proxy of probability of detection and found that canopy cover explained group density of A. p. aequatorialis, following a half-normal distribution. We estimated the mean density of A. p. aequatorialis as 12.4 ind./km2 and the total population to be 621.5 individuals. The correlation between the density of A. p. aequatorialis and canopy cover underlines the need to preserve the remaining forest and its connectivity. Our results also highlight the importance of including vegetation structure in primate censuses. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Tirira D.G.,Fundacion Mamiferos y Conservacion | Boada C.E.,Fundacion Mamiferos y Conservacion | Burneo S.F.,Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador
Check List | Year: 2010

Herein we report the first record for Lampronycteris brachyotis in Ecuador, which extends its range about 570 km west of the nearest previously known published record in Loreto, Peru. We captured an adult male on 31 October 2008 in Tarangaro, near the Manderoyacu River, Pastaza province. This locality is placed in a flat, periodically flooded river valley, with small estuaries. The forest is well preserved with high canopy trees. There also are small agricultural patches in the zone. © 2010 Check List and Authors.

Boada C.E.,Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador | Tirira D.G.,Fundacion Mamiferos y Conservacion | Alejandra Camacho M.,Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador | Burneo S.F.,Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador
Check List | Year: 2010

In Ecuador, Thyroptera tricolor is distributed on the northern coastal region, in Amazonia, and in the foothills of the Andes between 50 to 1,800 m of altitude. We reported a capture of a non-breeding female at El Descanso, Los Ríos Province, in the central coastal region of Ecuador. With this record, we have extended the geographical distribution of T. tricolor in Ecuador 55 km further south. Using the available data for Ecuador, a predictive distribution model was generated using a Maximum Entropy approach. © 2010 Check List and Authors.

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