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Goiânia, Brazil

Brazil’s large territory displays significant richness in caves with about 12 thousand caves already recorded. Nevertheless, studies on bats in these environments are extremely scarce and fragmented. This study characterized the chiropteran fauna from two sandstone caves under the influence of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam (Belo Monte UHE) in Pará, Brazil. The Kararaô and Kararaô Novo caves are located on the same ridge, 250 m apart. Three expeditions were carried out in 2013 and 2014, with a 4- to 5-month interval in between. A total of 589 animals were caught, 246 in the Kararaô cave and 343 in the Kararaô Novo cave. Fifteen species were recorded (13 in each cave) representing 79% similarity. With the exception of Vampyrum spectrum, which is not a cave species, the remaining recorded species were mostly cave bat species. Some species seemed to use the caves seasonally, although the basis of this pattern is still unknown. The most commonly observed species were Pteronotus personatus (dominant in the Kararaô cave), P. parnellii (dominant in the Kararaô Novo cave), and Lionycteris spurrelli, which accounted for 65% of all captures recorded for the two caves. Natalus macrourus is a species recorded in the Kararaô cave that is regionally threatened with extinction. Both caves are less than 500 m from the future reservoir; however, because the Kararaô cave entry is in an area that is lower than the reservoir, it can suffer alterations that would affect its dynamics. This raises great concern about the cave’s associated fauna. © 2015, Instituto Internacional de Ecologia. All rights reserved.

Vaz-Silva W.,Pontifical Catholic University of Goias | Oliveira R.M.,Rua 86 C | Gonzaga A.F.N.,Rua 86 C | Pinto K.C.,Rua 86 C | And 9 more authors.
Brazilian Journal of Biology | Year: 2015

The region of Volta Grande do Xingu River, in the state of Pará, presents several kinds of land use ranging from extensive cattle farming to agroforestry, and deforestation. Currently, the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Power Plant affects the region. We present a checklist of amphibians and reptiles of the region and discuss information regarding the spatial distribution of the assemblies based on results of Environmental Programmes conducted in the area. We listed 109 amphibian (Anura, Caudata, and Gymnophiona) and 150 reptile (Squamata, Testudines, and Crocodylia) species. The regional species richness is still considered underestimated, considering the taxonomic uncertainty, complexity and cryptic diversity of various species, as observed in other regions of the Amazon biome. Efforts for scientific collection and studies related to integrative taxonomy are needed to elucidate uncertainties and increase levels of knowledge of the local diversity. © 2015, Instituto Internacional de Ecologia. All rights reserved.

Aguiar-Silva F.H.,National Institute of Amazonian Research | Junqueira T.G.,Rua 86 C | Sanaiotti T.M.,Av. Andre Araujo | Sanaiotti T.M.,National Institute of Amazonian Research | And 3 more authors.
Brazilian Journal of Biology | Year: 2015

In the Tapajos-Xingu interfluve, one of the largest birds of prey, the Harpy Eagle, is under intense anthropogenic pressure due to historical and recent reductions in forest cover. We studied prey availability and use by Harpy Eagle on six breeding territories on the low- and mid-Xingu River, between 2013 and 2015. We evaluated food resource availability using the environmental-surveys database from two methods: terrestrial surveys (RAPELD method) and fauna rescue/flushing before vegetation suppression for the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Complex construction. Harpy Eagle diet was identified by prey remains sampled around six nest trees. Eighteen species of mammals, birds and reptiles comprised the prey items. Most prey species were sloths, primates and porcupines, which have arboreal habits and are found in forested areas, but two species, hoatzin and iguana, are usually associated with riverine habitats. The proportion of prey from each species predated on the nest best studied was different from estimated availability (χ2 = 54.23; df = 16; p < 0.001), however there was a positive correlation (rs = 0.7; p < 0.01) between prey species consumed and abundance available, where the predation was more on species more abundant. Continuous monitoring of the Harpy Eagle diet at these nests could evidence changes in the assemblage of prey species available for Harpy Eagles, due to changes in the seasonal flood pulse of the Xingu River to be caused by the operation of the hydroelectric dam, and changes in habitat features by forest reduction around breeding territories. We believe that it is important to consider the protection of remnants of forested areas in the landscape matrix surrounding the breeding territories to maintain the food resource availability and allow all pairs to successfully reproduce. © 2015, Instituto Internacional de Ecologia. All rights reserved.

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