Mamiraua Sustainable Development Institute

Tefé, Brazil

Mamiraua Sustainable Development Institute

Tefé, Brazil
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Humphries S.,University of Florida | Holmes T.P.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Kainer K.,University of Florida | Koury C.G.G.,Institute for Conservation and Sustainable Development of Amazonas | And 2 more authors.
Ecological Economics | Year: 2012

Community-based forest management is an integral component of sustainable forest management and conservation in the Brazilian Amazon, where it has been heavily subsidized for the last ten years. Yet knowledge of the financial viability and impact of community-based forest enterprises (CFEs) is lacking. This study evaluates the profitability of three CFEs in the Brazilian Amazon: Ambé, an industrial-scale, upland forest operation producing logs in a national forest, in Pará state; ACAF, a small-scale operation in flooded forests producing boards with a portable sawmill in Amazonas state; and Mamirauá, one of 30 CFEs in a reserve in Amazonas state producing logs and boards in flooded forests. Costs for each CFE were compiled by forest management activity and cost type. Annual total costs were calculated as the sum of fixed and variable costs and then subtracted from total revenue to obtain annual profit. The annual rate of return on investment was calculated by dividing profits by total costs. The Ambé and Mamirauá cases were profitable, demonstrating rates of return of approximately 12% and 2%, respectively; the ACAF case was not profitable. This study illustrates the benefits of cost-sharing among CFEs, and the potential return for investments in small and large-scale community forestry. © 2011 Elsevier B.V..

Arraut E.M.,National Institute for Space Research | Arraut E.M.,University of Oxford | Marmontel M.,Mamiraua Sustainable Development Institute | Mantovani J.E.,National Institute for Space Research | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Zoology | Year: 2010

We investigated the paradox of why Amazonian manatees Trichechus inunguis undergo seasonal migrations to a habitat where they apparently fast. Ten males were tracked using VHF telemetry between 1994 and 2006 in the Mamirauá and Amanã Sustainable Development Reserves, constituting the only long-term dataset on Amazonian manatee movements in the wild. Their habitat was characterized by analysing aquatic space and macrophyte coverage dynamics associated with the annual flood-pulse cycle of the River Solimões. Habitat information came from fieldwork, two hydrographs, a three-dimensional model of the water bodies and classifications of Landsat-TM/ETM+ images. We show that during high-water season (mid-May to end-June), males stay in várzea lakes in association with macrophytes, which they select. We then show that, during low-water (October-November), the drastic reduction in aquatic space in the várzea leads to the risk of their habitat drying out and increases the manatees' vulnerability to predators such as caimans, jaguars and humans. This explains why males migrate to Ria Amanã. Based on data on illegal hunting, we argue that this habitat variability influences females to migrate too. We then use published knowledge of the environment's dynamics to argue that when water levels are high, the habitats that can support the largest manatee populations are the várzeas of white-water rivers, and we conjecture that rias are the species' main low-water refuges throughout Western Amazonia. Finally, we warn that the species may be at greater risk than previously thought, because migration and low-water levels make manatees particularly vulnerable to hunters. Moreover, because the flooding regime of Amazonian rivers is strongly related to large-scale climatic phenomena, there might be a perilous connection between climate change and the future prospects for the species. Our experience reveals that the success of research and conservation of wild Amazonian manatees depends on close working relationships with local inhabitants. © 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 The Zoological Society of London.

Morcatty T.Q.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | Morcatty T.Q.,Mamiraua Sustainable Development Institute | El Bizri H.R.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | El Bizri H.R.,Mamiraua Sustainable Development Institute | And 6 more authors.
Ecological Research | Year: 2013

Habitat loss is considered to be the principal cause of the local extinction of mammals worldwide. We assessed the extinction pattern of medium- and large-sized mammals caused by the effects of habitat loss in reserves in the Quadrilátero Ferrífero, southeastern Brazil, and discussed the effectiveness of these natural remnants for conserving mammals. A literature review and field collections were conducted from 2006 to 2011 to estimate the composition and richness of mammals in nine remnants of different sizes, including reserves and non-protected areas. A species-area relation and a nested subset analysis were performed, and a degree of sensitivity to habitat loss was obtained for each species according to its frequency of occurrence. Forty-five species of mammals were recorded. There was a strong species-area relation involving the legal size of reserves. High species richness was associated with large reserves, and the z value was within the range of very isolated continental remnants. The mammalian community exhibited a nested occurrence pattern, suggesting that most species were part of a more continuous ecosystem and that non-random extinction caused by habitat loss occurred in southeastern Brazil. The negative relation found between species frequencies and body weights suggested that selective species loss is associated with decreases in the size of the reserves. The estimated viable size required to conserve all of the sensitive species is greater than the size of the largest reserve inventoried. We recommend the aggregation of neighboring natural remnants and the creation of new reserves to reduce extinction risks. © 2013 The Ecological Society of Japan.

El Bizri H.R.,Mamiraua Sustainable Development Institute | Da Silva Araujo L.W.,Mamiraua Sustainable Development Institute | Da Silva Araujo W.,Mamiraua Sustainable Development Institute | Maranhao L.,Mamiraua Sustainable Development Institute | Valsecchi J.,Mamiraua Sustainable Development Institute
Wildlife Biology | Year: 2016

The lowland paca Cuniculus paca is a large rodent and is one of the most hunted mammal species in the Neotropics. Conservation strategies for the lowland paca that depend on data from live captures have been hampered due to the elusive behavior of the species. Here, we introduce a scientifically standardized version of a traditional method used by hunters in the Amazon to capture pacas and compare its cost-effectiveness with conventional scientific methods. First, we used each of these methods at 11 sites in the Brazilian Amazon. The hunting technique captured 12 pacas, whereas the conventional methods captured none, and the hunting technique proved to be as inexpensive as the least-costly conventional method. Second, we analyzed the cost-effectiveness of the methods by comparing the results obtained in the field with data from previous paca studies. The hunting method was four-fold more efficient than the study with the highest paca capture rates achieved to date. This study shows that the use of a hunting technique to capture paca is an efficient and safe procedure that may be applied at different sites in the Amazon and represents an example of how traditional knowledge can be used in partnership with science to enhance the development of successful conservation efforts. © 2016 The Authors.

Morcatty T.Q.,Mamiraua Sustainable Development Institute | Valsecchi J.,Mamiraua Sustainable Development Institute
Ecology and Society | Year: 2015

Chelonians constitute an important source of food and income for the inhabitants of tropical forests. We assessed the social, biological, and environmental factors affecting the hunting and trade of the endangered yellow-footed tortoise (Chelonoidis denticulata) in rural and urban areas in the Amazon and estimated the sustainability of tortoise use. We also discuss possible conservation alternatives that are compatible with the needs of local inhabitants. We monitored tortoise hunting and trade for 12 years in 10 traditional communities that exploit different habitat types in the Brazilian Amazon and collected data on the tortoise trade in two urban markets for six years. In upland forests, tortoise hunting mainly occurred during the dry season; in whitewater flooded forests, hunting mainly occurred during the flood season. The tortoise trade was carried out nearly entirely by whitewater flooded forest users and was intimately related to fishing, the main economic activity in these communities. Furthermore, the tortoise trade was encouraged in whitewater flooded forests because this environment yielded significantly heavier tortoises than upland forests, and we observed a strong relationship between trade probability and tortoise size. The tortoise trade was found to primarily supply nearby urban centers, generating high monetary gain. Female tortoises suffered greater hunting pressure and were more valued in the bushmeat market. The productivity of tortoise hunting in the monitored communities severely decreased with time. In addition, the price per kilogram of tortoise greatly increased in the urban market. Given this unsustainable scenario, policies regulating tortoise hunting in the Amazon are needed. These policies must be adapted to the different patterns of tortoise use by rural communities while maintaining the culture and food sovereignty of the local inhabitants. © 2015 by the author(s).

El Bizri H.R.,Mamiraua Sustainable Development Institute | Morcatty T.Q.,Mamiraua Sustainable Development Institute | Lima J.J.S.,Mamiraua Sustainable Development Institute | Valsecchi J.,Mamiraua Sustainable Development Institute
Ecology and Society | Year: 2015

The impacts of unregulated sport hunting can severely affect populations of target game species. Because hunting in Brazil is limited by law, obtaining data on illegal sport hunting in this country is challenging. We used an unusual online resource, YouTube™, to detect the occurrence of sport hunting in Brazil, measure the impacts of the activity on the main Brazilian game species and biomes, evaluate the opinions of hunters and internet users on sport hunting, and discuss the need for policy interventions in wildlife conservation in this country. We found 383 videos related to Brazilian sport hunting on YouTube™, accounting for more than 15 million views. Most videos were produced in the Cerrado (Brazilian savannah) and approximately 70% of them depicted events of pursuit and killing of wild animals, especially lowland pacas (Cuniculus paca) and armadillos (Family Dasypodidae). Videos were posted primarily in July and December, coinciding with the two main Brazilian vacation periods. Furthermore, the shotguns identified on videos show that sport hunters expend large sums of money to undertake their hunts. These results indicate that Brazilian sport hunters are possibly wealthier urban residents who travel to rural areas to hunt, contrasting with previous hunting studies in the country. Most viewers declared themselves in favor of sport hunting in comments (n = 2893) and ratings (n = 36,570) of the videos. Discussions generated by comments suggest that Brazilian sport hunters employ several informal management strategies to maintain game species stocks for future hunting and intensely question the restrictions of Brazilian environmental policies. Our results demonstrate that solutions are needed for the regulation of sport hunting in Brazil. Government actions, whether to increase surveillance or legalize hunting programs, should take into account the opinions of sport hunters and their perceptions on hunting dynamics to support effective policy decisions on wildlife conservation in Brazil. © 2015 by the author(s).

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