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Cassano C.R.,Institute Estudos Socioambientais do Sul da Bahia IESB | Cassano C.R.,University Estadual Of Santa Cruz | Kierulff M.C.M.,Instituto Pri Matas para a Conservacao da Biodiversidade | Chiarello A.G.,Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais
Mammalian Biology | Year: 2011

Sloths are arboreal mammals strictly dependent upon forested habitats. The southern part of the state of Bahia in northeastern Brazil harbors important forest remnants and the highest genetic diversity known for the maned sloth (Bradypus torquatus), an endangered species endemic to the Atlantic forest. Large extents of cacao agroforests (cabrucas) connected to forest patches mitigate the effects of fragmentation in this region. We radio-tracked three maned sloths during 40 months in a cabruca at the vicinity of Una Biological Reserve, southern Bahia, and estimated their home range using two commonly employed estimators (minimum convex polygon (MCP) and kernel). Overall cabrucas comprised a significant portion of the home range of the three study animals (MCP: 7-100%) and at least a third of the areas of more intensive use (kernel: 27-99%). The tagged sloths used cabrucas more than expected according to the availability of this habitat in their home range and in the surrounding landscape. In addition to the tagged individuals, maned sloths were observed five times in the study area, twice in cabrucas. Eleven tree species present in cabrucas were used as food sources by maned sloths. Results indicate that biologically rich cacao agroforests immersed in a landscape still largely composed of native forests, as is the case here, can provide habitat for the maned sloth. This finding spells good news for the conservation of this species, as southern Bahia is one of the most important strongholds for the maned sloth. However, further actions are necessary to protect the species from local extinction, including active management of protected areas, forest fragments, cabrucas and pastures in an integrated, landscape-level manner. © 2010 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde.

Oliveira L.C.,University of Maryland University College | Oliveira L.C.,Institute Estudos Socioambientais do Sul da Bahia IESB | Dietz J.M.,University of Maryland University College
American Journal of Primatology | Year: 2011

Forming interspecific associations is one of many strategies adopted by primates in order to avoid predation. In addition to improved predator detection and avoidance, benefits of interspecific associations relate to improved foraging efficiency. In this study we tested these two hypotheses explaining associations between the endangered golden-headed lion tamarin, Leontopithecus chrysomelas and the sympatric Wied's marmoset, Callithrix kuhlii. We estimated predation risk by recording the number of encounters between lion tamarins and potential predators in cabruca agroforest (shaded cacao plantation) and in mosaic forest (a mix of cabruca, primary and secondary forest). To evaluate if the association between the two species was related to foraging benefits we recorded the number of associations between the two species when the lion tamarins were eating and when they were not eating. To test if the association occurred to improve predator detection and avoidance, we evaluated if associations between the species were more frequent in areas with higher predation risk and during the part of the day when predation risk is higher. We also compared the number of associations 3 months before birth events and 3 months after, when the lion tamarins are more susceptible to predation. Predation risk, mainly by raptors, was significantly higher in cabruca than in mosaic forest (0.17 and 0.05 encounters with predators per hour of observation, respectively). Associations were significantly more frequent after birth events and during the part of the day when predation risk was also higher (5-6 am until noon). We did not observe any direct evidence of foraging-related advantages of interspecific associations for the lion tamarins. The tamarins did not associate more when they were foraging. Our findings suggest that lion tamarins are more exposed to predation in cabruca than in mosaic forest and associations between lion tamarins and Wied's marmosets are related to predation avoidance. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Schroth G.,Federal University of Para | Faria D.,State University of Santa Cruz | Araujo M.,Institute Estudos Socioambientais do Sul da Bahia IESB | Bede L.,Conservacao Internacional | And 6 more authors.
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2011

A recent debate has contrasted two conservation strategies in agricultural landscapes; either "land sparing" farm development combining intensive production practices with forest set-asides, or "wildlife-friendly" farming with greater on-farm habitat value but lower yields. We argue that in established mosaic landscapes including old cacao production regions where natural forest has already been reduced to relatively small fragments, a combination of both strategies is needed to conserve biodiversity. After reviewing the evidence for the insufficiency of either strategy alone if applied to such landscapes, the paper focuses on the cacao production landscape of southern Bahia, Brazil, once the world's second largest cacao producer. Here, small remaining areas of Atlantic Forest are embedded in a matrix dominated by traditional cacao agroforests, resulting in a landscape mosaic that has proven favorable to the conservation of the region's high biodiversity. We show that current land use dynamics and public policies pose threats but also offer opportunities to conservation and describe a three-pronged landscape conservation strategy, consisting of (i) expansion of the protected areas system, (ii) promotion of productive yet biodiversity-friendly cacao farming practices, and (iii) assistance to land users to implement legally mandated on-farm reserves and voluntary private reserves. We discuss recent experiences concerning the implementation of this strategy, discuss likely future scenarios, and reflect on the applicability of the Bahian experience to biodiversity rich cacao production regions elsewhere in the tropics. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Estrada A.,National Autonomous University of Mexico | Raboy B.E.,Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute | Raboy B.E.,Institute Estudos Socioambientais do Sul da Bahia IESB | Oliveira L.C.,Institute Estudos Socioambientais do Sul da Bahia IESB | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Primatology | Year: 2012

Agroecosystems cover more than one quarter of the global land area (ca. 50 million km2) as highly simplified (e.g. pasturelands) or more complex systems (e.g. polycultures and agroforestry systems) with the capacity to support higher biodiversity. Increasingly more information has been published about primates in agroecosystems but a general synthesis of the diversity of agroecosystems that primates use or which primate taxa are able to persist in these anthropogenic components of the landscapes is still lacking. Because of the continued extensive transformation of primate habitat into human-modified landscapes, it is important to explore the extent to which agroecosystems are used by primates. In this article, we reviewed published information on the use of agroecosystems by primates in habitat countries and also discuss the potential costs and benefits to human and nonhuman primates of primate use of agroecosystems. The review showed that 57 primate taxa from four regions: Mesoamerica, South America, Sub-Saharan Africa (including Madagascar), and South East Asia, used 38 types of agroecosystems as temporary or permanent habitats. Fifty-one percent of the taxa recorded in agroecosystems were classified as least concern in the IUCN Red List, but the rest were classified as endangered (20%), vulnerable (18%), near threatened (9%), or critically endangered (2%). The large proportion of threatened primates in agroecosystems suggests that agroecosystems may play an important role in landscape approaches to primate conservation. We conclude by discussing the value of agroecosystems for primate conservation at a broad scale and highlight priorities for future research. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

de Almeida Rocha J.M.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | de Almeida Rocha J.M.,Institute Estudos Socioambientais do Sul da Bahia IESB | De Vleeschouwer K.M.,Institute Estudos Socioambientais do Sul da Bahia IESB | De Vleeschouwer K.M.,Center for Research and Conservation | And 7 more authors.
International Journal of Primatology | Year: 2015

Predation risk may affect the way species use their habitat. Interspecific associations can help to improve predator detection and avoidance. The golden-headed lion tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysomelas) is an endangered primate of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest whose geographical range is dominated by shaded cacao agroforest (cabruca), where predation risk is high and mainly due to raptors. We investigated whether predation risk affects vertical stratum use and time spent traveling by tamarins, and the role of interspecific association with Wied’s marmosets (Callithrix kuhlii) in shaping these activities. We compared the behavior of three tamarin groups in cabruca (March 2010–June 2011) with that of three groups in mosaic forests (January 2007–December 2008), where predation risk is lower. We predicted that tamarins would use the higher strata level less in cabruca than in mosaic forests, and would use it less after encounters with predators than before such encounters. We also predicted increased use of the higher level and increased travel during interspecific associations than when tamarins were alone. We found that tamarins avoided the higher level regardless of habitat, but used it more often in cabruca than in mosaic forest, and did not avoid it after encounters with predators. Interspecific associations did not influence tamarins’ activities, except for the smallest group of tamarins in mosaic forest, which decreased its use of the lower level when in an interspecific association. Our results suggest that the benefits of interspecies association are not related to the activities investigated here, and that predation risk can influence habitat use but vegetation structure may constrain its optimal use by primates, increasing their vulnerability to predation. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

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