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ISSN (Online) 2007-3364
Published by Asociación Mexicana de Mastozoología A. C. Homepage  [1 journal]
  • Native and no-native herbivorous relationships have mutual benefit: Lepus
           flavigularis case

    • Authors: Tamara Mila Rioja-Paradela, Luis Fernando Hernández, Arturo Carrillo-Reyes, Gamaliel Castañeda, Consuelo Lorenzo, Maricela Gómez-Sánchez, Carolina Orantes-García
      Abstract: Lepus flavigularis is an endemic leporid from southeastern Oaxaca, México, listed as “endangered” under Mexican law and the IUCN Red List.  The main threat to the species is severe habitat fragmentation due to human activities.  The jackrabbit shares the grasslands with cattle (Bos taurus), but the trophic interaction between these herbivores is unknown.  This study aimed to determine the seasonal diet of Lepus flavigularis and cattle, to identify the possible dietary overlap between these mammals.  The study zone covers an area around the locality of Santa María del Mar in Oaxaca, southern México.  Plant species were identified using linear transects, and vegetation cover was also estimated using circular plots.  Throughout the study fresh L. flavigularis and B. taurus fecal samples were collected, which were processed using the microhistological technique to determine the seasonal botanical composition of diets from the two species.  Twenty-three plant species were recorded in the diet of L. flavigularis and 29 species in the diet of B. taurus.  Both herbivores fed primarily on Poaceae species throughout the year (L. flavigularis: dry season (ds) = 79.79 %, wet season (ws) = 91.54 %; B. taurus: ds = 78.02 %, ws = 84.63 %) despite the significant difference in the availability of plant species between seasons.  No significant differences were found in the seasonal composition of the diet between the two species.  Twelve plant species were consumed by both herbivores during the two seasons.  The dietary overlap between the two species was high for both seasons (ds Ojk = 0.7311, ws Ojk = 0.8459).  Trophic niche breadth was low for both species, with a high dietary overlap.  We recorded low seasonal use values for L. flavigularis and B. taurus when compared to forage availability.  Low trophic niche breadth and high dietary overlap between the two herbivores suggest forage resources competition. However, we expect that jackrabbits benefit from cattle presence, as long as the stocking rate does not increase.  Furthermore, B. taurus grazing reduces height, cover, and density of vegetation, which could help L. flavigularis to avoid predators.
      PubDate: 2022-09-09
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2022)
  • Bison wallows effect on soil properties, vegetation composition and
           structure in a recently reintroduced area

    • Authors: Ana Laura Nolasco, Christina Siebe, Gerardo Ceballos, Rurik List
      Abstract: Bison are considered an ecologically keystone species of the North American grasslands because their activities influence ecosystem dynamics and interactions, particularly their wallowing behavior.  In 2009, 23 bison were reintroduced within a 1,500 ha private native semi-arid grassland in Janos, Chihuahua.  Our objective was to evaluate the effect of bison wallows on the composition and structure of the vegetation, on species composition of annual grasses, and soil properties.  Soil and vegetation samples were taken from inside the wallows and were compared against the samples obtained outside the wallows from late August to early September.  The percentage of plant cover and the height of the foliage were measured inside and outside the wallow.  Soil cores were taken, and the presence of soluble salts, moisture retention capacity, percentage of clay, and concentration of nutrients was determined.  The three associations preferred by bison for wallowing were toboso grassland, vine mesquite and annual grassland.  Of the 27 species of grasses and forbs recorded in the three plant associations mostly used for wallowing, we found that 17 species were present inside and outside wallows.  Five different species were found only inside wallows and another five, only outside of wallows.  The annual grassland plants had a greater height outside the wallows.  The toboso grassland association presented higher soil moisture, likely related to the higher percentage of clay, and the annual grassland presented the highest bulk density (BD) inside the wallows, which limited plant growth in this association.  Soils in other associations did not show significant differences in BD among them, mainly due to their finer texture.  No significant effect of the wallows on nutrient concentrations was recorded.  The lack of significant differences related to bison activities could be related to the brief period since the herd was reintroduced to the site.  These differences might become apparent over time with a larger herd.  For this reason, we conclude that the current differences in the soil properties are mainly due to geomorphological processes.  That is, at this stage after the reintroduction, the grasslands are responding to soil characteristics, and not to the activity of the bison.
      PubDate: 2022-09-06
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2022)
  • Variation in population density of the Andean night monkey (Aotus
           lemurinus) in areas with different landscape characteristics

    • Authors: Laura Chica Flórez, Néstor Roncancio Duque, Sergio Solari
      Abstract: In the Colombian Andes, most of the populations of Andean night monkeys (Aotus lemurinus) are found in fragmented landscapes due to the predominant changes in land use in the region.  Thus, forest fragments differ in shape, size, degree of isolation, and availability of resources.  These factors have had a differential effect on the ecology and permanence of their populations.  In order to determine the effect of fragmentation on A. lemurinus, we estimated its population density in a protected area of 489 ha of sub-Andean forest - at Otún Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary- which is structurally connected with other protected areas; then, we compared it with another study carried out in the unprotected Sub-andean forest fragments (900 ha) of Dapa, at the Valle del Cauca department.  To estimate its density, the distance sampling method was used with 31 linear transects, and the data were analyzed with the software Distance.  Landscape metrics was estimate with patch analyses tools with a Corine Land Cover information 1:100,000 scale.  The plant structure and diversity were measurement with transects to 50 x 4 m and taking account the trees with diameter at breast height over 10 cm.  We use average comparison to evaluate the similarities between patrons of the population density and explanatory variables.  A population density of 39 ind/km2 was found in our study, which is lower than the 113 ind/km2 found in the Dapa.  This relation was similar to relations of mean shape index, mean patch size and mean diameter at breast height, and inverse with the relations of proportion of the forest in the area, weighted cover index, plant diversity and density of trees.  It is likely that the protected area, by being connected and having a greater diversity of primates and trees, allows this population not to suffer from a crowding phenomenon, and that the population does not increase it carrying capacity due to the low presence of competing species, conversely to what could be occurring in the unprotected fragments.  Conversely, high density in Dapa could be reflect a system depletion in diversity and ecological processes.
      PubDate: 2022-08-23
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2022)
  • Relative abundance and activity patterns of mesomammals in central Andes

    • Authors: Maria Estela Viscarra, Guido Marcos Ayala, Herminio Ticona, Robert Benedict Wallace
      Abstract: The natural history and ecology of mammals in the High Andes and Andean cloud forests are poorly known.  This work aims to analyze the relative abundance and activity patterns of medium and large-sized mammals in the Andean portions of the Greater Madidi-Tambopata landscape using the camera trap methodology.  Between 2012 to 2017, twelve sites were sampled covering an altitudinal gradient from 1,057 to 4,902 masl.  A total of 311 digital camera trap stations were installed, and we applied a total effort of 5,144 trap nights (TN).  We recorded a total of 21,346 photographs and 1,152 independent events from which we identified 28 species of mammals.  The species with the highest relative abundance were Lycalopex culpaeus from 1 to 19.89/100TN, Didelphis pernigra from 0.1 to 10.71/100TN, and Eira barbara from 0.2 to 10.48/100TN.  An analysis of activity patterns of the species that presented more than 10 independent events was carried out.  The species with clearly nocturnal habits were Conepatus chinga, Cuniculus paca, Cuniculus taczanowskii, Didelphis pernigra, Mazama chunyi, Mazama americana, Dasypus novemcinctus, Didelphis marsupialis, Lagidium viscacia, Lycalopex culpaeus and Leopardus tigrinus, while Dasyprocta variegata, Nasua sp., Eira barbara, Hippocamelus antisensis and Tremarctos ornatus were diurnal; Puma concolor and Neogale mustela were cathemeral.  The information obtained in our study responds to information gaps of a poorly studied mammal community and highlights the importance of Andean habitats for the conservation and management of montane species.
      PubDate: 2022-08-18
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2022)
  • Land use change and its implications for biodiversity and jaguar

    • Authors: Elizabeth Jean Painter, Octavio César Rosas-Rosas, Louis C. Bender, Luis Antonio Tarango-Arambula, Juan Felipe Martínez-Montoya, Juan de Dios Guerrero-Rodríguez, Adrián Silva-Caballero
      Abstract: Protected areas are frequently established to prevent declines in biodiversity, but their effectiveness in preserving biodiversity can depend on how land outside their borders is managed.  We evaluated how land use changes from 1989 to 2016 in the Reserva de la Biosfera Sierra del Abra Tanchipa (RBSAT) landscape might affect the role of the RBSAT for conservation of biodiversity, with an emphasis on conservation of jaguars, a keystone species.  We estimated the rate of land use change within and surrounding the RBSAT, a 215 km2 natural reserve in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, from 1989 to 2016 using supervised classifications of satellite imagery.  We also analyzed the distribution of two GPS collared male jaguars.  The RBSAT and surrounding landscape became increasingly fragmented and impacted by human use over the previous ca. 30 years.  The largest increases were seen in infrastructure and intensive agriculture, while the largest decreases were seen in pasture, tropical deciduous forest, and secondary vegetation.  Jaguars were located more frequently than expected in secondary vegetation, the most common cover class, which decreased from 34.8 % of the landscape to 32.1 % by 2016.  Only 23 % of jaguar locations fell within the boundaries of the RBSAT, due to increases in preferred habitat attributes of jaguars and prey outside the Reserve.    Increasing fragmentation compromises the RBSAT’s role as a biodiversity reserve, especially for interior-dependent species. Fragmentation and edge habitats in combination with increasing agriculture enhance suitability of the landscape surrounding the RBSAT for prey of jaguar, and only 23 % of jaguar locations were within the RBSAT itself.  This increases the likelihood of jaguar-related conflicts in surrounding communities.  Regional landscape planning should include policies that incentivize practices that maintain remaining larger habitat patches and minimize the likelihood of human-wildlife conflicts. 
      PubDate: 2022-08-18
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2022)
  • Review of Gray's beaked whale (Mesoplodon grayi) in the South East

    • Authors: Jhoann Canto Hernández, Guillermo D'Elía, Richard Cadenillas, Frederick Toro, Cintya Borroni, Gerardo Cerda, Sonia Español-Jiménez
      Abstract: Information collected from a complete female juvenile individual of Gray's beaked whale (Mesoplodon grayi)  stranded on the Guanaqueros coast, Coquimbo Region in Chile (30°S) is provided.  Difficulties to differentiate specimens of Gray's beaked whale and Hector’s beaked whale (M. hectori) are discussed based on the use of diagnostic phenotypic characters, such as differences in color patterns and position of teeth on the lower jaw. The identification of the studied specimen as Gray's beaked whale was supported by a detailed review of cranial characters and molecular analyses.  Finally, we provide an updated list containing all known Chilean records for this species. 
      PubDate: 2022-08-11
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2022)
  • The oldest available name for the pampas cat of the Uruguayan Savannah
           ecoregion is Leopardus fasciatus (Larrañaga 1923)

    • Authors: Juan Andrés Martínez-Lanfranco, Enrique M. González
      Abstract: Based on a revision of historical and taxonomic accounts, we showed that Felis fasciatus Larrañaga, 1923, represents the oldest available Linnean name referable to the pampas cat endemic to the Uruguayan Savannah ecoregion, currently regarded as Leopardus munoai (Ximénez 1961).  To anchor the name Felis fasciatus to Uruguayan specimens, we designated a neotype for this taxon with terra typica in Estancia San Cristóbal, Arroyo Limetas, Conchillas, Department of Colonia, Uruguay.  Since Larrañaga's fasciatus represents a senior synonym of L. munoai, it takes precedence and, in compliance with the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, it must therefore be used to refer to the "Uruguayan" pampas cat, L. fasciatus (Larrañaga 1923), for which we suggested the vernacular name "Larrañaga’s pampas cat".
      PubDate: 2022-08-11
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2022)
  • Relative abundance, habitat selection, and diet of the coyote in northern

    • Authors: Fernando Álvarez-Córdova, Jesus A. Fernández, Angela A. Camargo-Sanabria, Juan C. Ontiveros, Mieke Titulaer
      Abstract: The coyote (Canis latrans) is a widespread predator with a high degree of adaptation to different ecosystems.  The objective of this study was to estimate the relative abundance index, habitat selection, and diet of C. latrans through scent stations, in two types of vegetation located in northwestern Chihuahua.  From April 2018 to March 2019, ten fixed scent stations (SS) were placed in pine-oak forest and other ten in semi-open grassland, with a linear separation of 500 meters between each station to achieve a five km transect in each vegetation during 12 samplings (two sampling night per month) for totaling 420 SS after discarding inactive SS.  The relative abundance index of coyote showed that both types of vegetation, pine-oak forest (0.30) and semi-open grassland (0.23) were used in a similar way.  The habitat selection test (Chi2) showed that coyote abundance and type of vegetation were independent (χ2 = 2.96, P > 0.05), not showing statistically significant differences in annual relative abundance index of coyotes between the two vegetation types.  The food items detected in thirty-four scats collected belonged to mammals (55.9 %), fruits (35.3 %) and arthropods (8.8 %). Rodents and lagomorphs were the main source of food.  Throughout the sampling period, the pine-oak forest showed the greatest relative abundance index of C. latrans.  This may be because the forest provides them with shelter from climatic situations and a greater variety of seeds, fruits and insects.  In this study the two seasons with the highest relative abundance were spring and autumn in both ecosystems, coinciding with an increase in rainfall, resulting in an abundance of potential prey (rodents and lagomorphs), and other food items like fruits.  Regarding annual diet the most consumed prey were mammals.  We found differences in diet between seasons, that can be explained by the variation in food availability among seasons.
      PubDate: 2022-07-19
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2022)
  • Effect of anthropogenic noise on the echolocation pulses of the bats
           Molossus sinaloae and Mormoops megalophylla

    • Authors: Ana Cristel Lara-Nuñez, José Antonio Guerrero, Areli Rizo-Aguilar
      First page: 235
      Abstract: Anthropogenic noise interferes with the acoustic signals of various wildlife species.  For bats that use echolocation, noise can mask the information received in the echo.  The effect of anthropogenic noise on the time and frequency components of echolocation pulses emitted by the aerial insectivorous bats Molossus sinaloae and Mormoops megalophylla in urban and natural habitats were evaluated.  We hypothesized that the frequency components of pulses would increase in response to masking, while time components would not change significantly.  To this end, acoustic recordings of both species were made in the two types of habitats using ultrasonic detectors; simultaneously, the intensity of the ambient noise was measured.  Frequency (kHz) and time (ms) were analyzed for each echolocation pulse using the BatSound 4.2 software.  Consistent with our hypothesis, the results showed that under background noise of 75 dB in an urban environment, M. sinaloae increased the low and high frequencies of its echolocation pulses by 5.8 kHz on average.  For M. megalophylla, no increase in pulse frequencies was observed.  Contrary to our expectation, the time components of pulses for M. sinaloae were modified, being of shorter duration in urban sites.  Increasing the maximum amplitude-frequency by M. sinaloae may be a response to the Lombard effect, i. e., the increase in vocal amplitude in response to increased background noise.  It is important to carry out studies focused on understanding the modification of echolocation pulses, mainly for species living in urban environments.
      PubDate: 2022-05-29
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2022)
  • Evaluation of the distribution pattern on a Neotropical microcarvivora

    • Authors: Rodolfo Rodríguez-Ruiz, Alejandro Juárez-Agis, Silberio García Sánchez, Branly Olivier Salome, Víctor Hugo Reza Galicia
      First page: 245
      Abstract: The Pacific region, one of the most disturbed areas in México, is home to the pygmy spotted skunk (Spilogale pygmaea), a local endemic species and one of the smallest carnivores in the world.  This small carnivore is currently listed as a species subjected to special protection in México and the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  The objective of this work was to model environmental suitability and estimate the potential distribution of S. pygmaea in México.  Predictive models were created using climatic, anthropic, and topographic variables with the Maxent tool.  Models were assessed through partial Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) performance by omission rate and AUC.  Finally, land use within the predicted potential area (potential distribution) was analyzed using the 2015 land cover layer of México issued by CONABIO.  According to the model, S. pygmaea has a potential distribution from southern Sinaloa to Chiapas, comprising Michoacán and Guerrero towards the Balsas River basin in relation to dry forests.  The predicted area was 95,600 ± 0.02 km2, representing a restricted distribution in México.  Many localities have low environmental suitability (<0.4) and ecosystem modification and fragmentation, mainly influenced by livestock density.  Spilogale pygmaea may be considered rare due to the lack of sampling, which jeopardizes the conservation of this group given its fragmented habitat.  Additionally, S. pygmaea is attracted to areas with human settlements, potentially leading to human-animal conflicts.  Natural areas, along with information sharing on the presence and importance of the species in nearby communities, may be an effective strategy to benefit this small carnivore.
      PubDate: 2022-05-29
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2022)
  • Analysis of the male annual antler cycle, reproductive behavior and
           spotted fawn presence in the tropical white-tailed deer

    • Authors: Miguel Rodríguez-Ramírez, Jose Manuel Mora
      First page: 143
      Abstract: The rutting season of the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) is seasonal in North America, but in tropical latitudes it occurs year-round with peaks locally variable. Reproductive cycle of this species in Costa Rica is variable, clearly seasonal in San Lucas Island but continuous with two birth peaks in Palo Verde and Santa Rosa national parks in northwestern Costa Rica. In Hacienda y Refugio de Vida Silvestre Curú in the Nicoya Peninsula, a site south of these parks but in a different life zone, we observed males with hard antlers in 2015 but only from July to November. We therefore hypothesized that white-tailed deer have a continuous reproductive cycle during the year in Curú because the rainfall pattern is the same as in Palo Verde and Santa Rosa. We visited Curú every month and recorded the status of white-tailed deer antler growth: nubs, velvet, and hard, from January 2016 to December 2019. We also recorded other rut behaviors and the presence of spotted fawns. We recorded 1,134 observations of the status of antler growth, 13 observations on reproductive behavior and 133 observations of spotted fawns. The antler cycle was seasonal in the four years of study. Male antler casting took place from mid-November to mid-February and the growth of new antlers began in mid-December and lasted until mid-March. Velvet shedding occurred in April, May and June, and by July males had hard antlers. The rutting season lasted three months from mid-June to mid-August. Small spotted fawns were observed from the middle of the dry season to the beginning of the rainy season. All this highly contrasts with the reproduction pattern observed in Santa Rosa. Lack of seasonal variation in the photoperiod is likely an important factor that allows deer to reproduce throughout the year in these protected areas, but this variation does not exist in Curú either, where the species is seasonal. The reproductive patterns of white-tailed deer in Central and South America may have evolved in response to seasonal fluctuations in specific food availability, competition, or predation, all of which may be directly related to rainfall patterns. Greater knowledge of the link between rainfall patterns and food availability for deer would be of great help to further our understanding of factors driving the reproduction cycle of the White-tailed deer.
      PubDate: 2022-03-23
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 1 (2022)
  • Daytime diet of the lesser sac-winged bat (Saccopteryx leptura) in a
           Colombian Pacific Island

    • Authors: Isabela Vivas-Toro, Julián Alexander Mendivil-Nieto
      First page: 153
      Abstract: Insectivorous bats represent more than half of all the Chiropterans of the world.  Although they are important stabilizers of insect populations within their habitat due to their feeding habits, just few studies have been focused on the diet of insular bat species.  The lesser sac-winged bat, Saccopteryx leptura, is widely distributed in the new world tropics, but little is known about its prey selection.  In this study we determined the diet composition of the population of S. leptura from Gorgona Island, Colombia, using stomach and intestinal content samples.  We focused our research on their atypical daytime feeding behavior to evaluate differences in prey selection considering two main factors: 1) plant canopy cover and 2) bat sex.  We found prey representatives of nine orders of insects, with Hymenoptera, Coleoptera and Hemiptera as the most consumed according to their abundance and volume percentage.  We identified two new records at genus level in S. leptura´s diet, Camponotus (Formicidae) and Trigona (Apidae).  In general terms, we did not find differences in the diet between canopy covers nor sexes.  However, when analyzing the consumed percentage volume by order, there were significant differences in consumption of Psocoptera in both factors.  Our results suggest that S. leptura has an opportunistic diet, as they tend to feed on prey of a wide range of sizes, usually the most abundant and available in the environment.
      PubDate: 2022-03-24
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 1 (2022)
  • In search of bachelorettes: Observations of male Leptonycteris yerbabuenae
           with dorsal patches across its range

    • Authors: Theresa M. Laverty, Kathryn E. Stoner
      First page: 163
      Abstract: The lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae) is a partially migratory, nectarivorous species that exhibits reproductive asynchrony across its range.  Both migratory and resident populations of sexually active males of L. yerbabuenae may form an odoriferous dorsal patch during their mating season.  This is created by smearing saliva, urogenital fluids, and anal secretions over the interscapular dorsal region with their feet.  Dorsal patches are believed to influence female mate choice.  We synthesized the sightings of male dorsal patches across the species’ range, including gathering new observations of male L. yerbabuenae with dorsal patches captured at the northern extent of their range and citing previously unreported observations that we obtained by contacting other researchers.  We also conducted a literature review to include all previously documented records of male L. yerbabuenae presenting dorsal patches.  We document the first observations of male L. yerbabuenae with dorsal patches in the southwestern United States.  In the Big Hatchet Mountains in New Mexico, we captured 1 male with a developed dorsal patch (i. e., bare dorsal skin with sticky fur) on 25 July 2019 and two others on the night of 13 August 2019.  New observations of males with developed dorsal patches were obtained from Hilltop Mine in Arizona (June 2006 or 2007) and at a hummingbird feeder at a residence near the Hilltop Mine (July 2013).  A male with a recovering dorsal patch (i. e., bare dorsal skin with regenerating fur) was also captured in a roost near Patagonia, Arizona, in late August 2008 and at a hummingbird feeder at a residence near Silver City, New Mexico (September 2021).  All previously published records of males with dorsal patches occurred in roosts in Mexico during known mating seasons.  These new observations suggest that L. yerbabuenae may breed in New Mexico and Arizona between June and August, but follow-up studies are needed to confirm this behavior.  Much of the reproductive biology of this important pollinator remains unknown.  Therefore, identifying regions where males present dorsal patches may not only assist in locating and protecting mating roosts, but would also further our understanding of the population ecology of this migratory species.
      PubDate: 2022-03-30
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 1 (2022)
  • Habitat use and activity patterns of ungulates in a tropical rainforest of
           southern México

    • Authors: Fredy A. Falconi-Briones, Eduardo J. Naranjo, Rafael Reyna-Hurtado, Manuel Spínola, Paula Enríquez-Rocha, Rodrigo A. Medellín
      First page: 171
      Abstract: Baird’s tapir (Tapirella bairdii), white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari), and collared peccary (Dicotyles tajacu) sympatrically occur in the Lacandon Forest of Chiapas, México.  These species contribute to maintain ecosystem dynamics through herbivory, seed dispersal, and seed predation, constituting important prey for large carnivores and hunters. We analyzed activity patterns and habitat use of the three focal species to assess the degree of temporal and spatial habitat segregation among them in Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (REBIMA) and surrounding communities.  Between February and October 2015 we deployed camera-traps during 8,463 camera-trap days to estimate the presence and activity of tapirs and peccaries in two habitat types: “conserved” (REBIMA), and “transformed” (community forests; AFC). Habitat use and activity patterns of tapirs and peccaries were assessed through logistic regression models.  We found that Baird’s tapir was almost exclusively nocturnal with a trend towards crepuscular activity, while both peccary species were diurnal, therefore showing a high daily temporal segregation from the tapir. Both peccary species were similarly active in the two study sites, while tapirs were more active in continuous forest within the protected area.  The occurrence of tapirs and white-lipped peccaries depended on the presence and proximity of water sources and roads. Our results suggest that spatial segregation of the habitat allows coexistence of both peccary species in the study area. AFC have potential for maintaining populations of tapirs and peccaries in the Lacandon Forest. Conserving these forests by local communities is essential to ensure the persistence of these mammals.
      PubDate: 2022-03-30
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 1 (2022)
  • Effect of an urban area in the distribution pattern and diversity of
           Neotropical rodents

    • Authors: Gloria Tapia-Ramírez, Consuelo Lorenzo, Arturo Carrillo-Reyes, Darío Navarrete, Óscar Retana
      First page: 183
      Abstract: Urbanization implies the loss of biodiversity and promotes the extirpation of local flora and fauna.  It favors habitat fragmentation and the establishment and increase of non-native species and, eventually, the homogenization of the landscape.  This study aims to evaluate the urbanization process in a medium-sized city in the Mexican southeast, San Cristóbal de Las Casas (SCLC) in the Neotropics, and the response of the rodent community to such process.  The study area was categorized according to its structural characteristics into four coverage classes: urban, forest, agricultural and mountain wetlands.  Rodents were sampled over urbanization gradients.  In each gradient, nine sampling sites were established.  The responses of rodent alpha and beta diversities to landscape structure (landscape metrics) were evaluated.  The larger diversity of rodents was found in the mosaic and transition landscape categories and the least diverse were the conserved and urban ones.  In SCLC, rodent richness responds to the number of fragments and the diversity of the landscape.  Mus musculus and Rattus rattus were more abundant in landscapes with a high percentage of urban cover, while Peromycus mexicanus and P. beatae, in landscapes with higher forest cover.  San Cristóbal de Las Casas is a city that grows over areas with native vegetation, forests and mountain wetlands; of which fragments remain embedded in the urban matrix.  Mosaic and transition landscapes favor areas with high diversity and richness of rodent species (intermediate disturbance hypothesis).  This study suggests that both native and non-native rodent species are abundant in areas with natural vegetation and also in urban sites.  Sanitary measures are granted, since reservoir species of pathogens with zoonotic potential can be found in the area.
      PubDate: 2022-03-30
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 1 (2022)
  • Spatial and temporal distribution of bat mortality on a highway in
           southeast Brazil

    • Authors: Marcione Brito de Oliveira, Cecília Bueno
      First page: 195
      Abstract: Roads and highways can work as barriers to the movement of many species, thereby preventing the individuals from accessing feeding and reproduction sites and the immediate risk of colliding wild species with vehicles.  Identifying the impacts of roads on wildlife can contribute to the establishment of actions that promote conservation.  In Brazil, data on collisions between bats and vehicles are scarce and underestimated in the literature.  We described bat roadkill from 2008 to 2019 on a stretch of the BR-040 highway, which crosses an area of Atlantic Forest.  Roadkill species were identified and the sites with high collision frequencies were characterized.  A total of 923 individuals of 57 species and five families of chiropterans were identified.  Frugivore bats showed the largest number of affected individuals, with Artibeus lituratus, a common species in the study region, with the highest number of roadkills.  The diet and foraging behaviour were the most likely factors explaining most of the bats killed on the highway.  The highest roadkill rate was documented in the fall, and the critical points located nearby the APA Petrópolis and REBIO of Tinguá, environmental protection areas.  We reinforce the need to mitigate these roadkills, ensuring that road systems, which constitute municipal, state and federal highways, are built to prevent major disturbance of habitat and displacement routes of these species.  We believe in the need for mitigations, and considering the various species involved, we suggest speed bumps construction reducing the speed limit, installing bridges, and signaling the presence of wildlife, before the stretches identified as hotspots.
      PubDate: 2022-03-31
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 1 (2022)
  • Evidence of the genetic and spatial structure of Nasua narica in Central
           America and northern South America from mitogenomic analysis

    • Authors: María Fernanda Jaramillo, Manuel Ruiz-García
      First page: 205
      Abstract:  Carnivores are extremely important in ecosystem dynamics.  Coatis (Procyonidae) are a group of Neotropical species with highly developed social behavior.  One coati species is the Central American or white-nosed coati (Nasua narica).  This work describes the analysis of two sets of mitochondrial data for a sample of N. narica covering most of the geographic distribution range of the species.  The first data set analyzed 74 specimens for three mitochondrial loci; the second, 59 specimens for complete mitochondrial genomes.  Our phylogenetic analyses revealed six distinct genetic groups of N. narica in southern México, Central America, and South America, which, together with three additional groups found in northern México and southern USA in a previous study, resulted in a total of nine genetically distinct groups of N. narica.  The first genetic group (G1), which began to differentiate 4.1 to 3.2 million years ago, was located on the Pacific coast of Ecuador and northern Colombia.  A second genetic group (G6) was detected in northern Colombia, Panama, and southern Costa Rica, being introgressed by mitochondrial DNA from the mountain coati (Nasuella olivacea).  The third genetic group (G3) was located in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, and southern Guatemala.  The fourth genetic group (G4) was located in north-central Guatemala and Belize.  The fifth genetic group (G5) was distributed in southern México (Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Yucatán) and northern Guatemala.  Finally, the sixth genetic group (G2) was found only in Mérida (Yucatán, México).  Groups G2 to G5 became mitochondrially diversified over 1.9 to 1.1 million years.  All groups showed high mitochondrial genetic diversity, although the South American genetic group (G1) had the highest diversity.  The northern genetic groups (G4, G5) had lower genetic diversity, except for the Merida group, which is likely composed of other undetected subgroups.  The existence of six (nine, considering another study) well-developed groups in N. narica is related to female phylopatry and climatic changes during the Pleistocene.  A spatial autocorrelation analysis showed a very high structure, well in line with the south-to-north colonization of the American continent by N. narica.
      PubDate: 2022-05-23
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 1 (2022)
  • Potential Distribution of the Neotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis
           annectens) in the State of Yucatán, México

    • Authors: Alicia Andrea Ortega-Padilla, Juan Pablo Gallo-Reynoso, Verónica Farías-González, Javier Enrique Sosa-Escalante, Silvia Hernández-Betancourt, Gloria Ponce-García, Tania Elizabeth Quintana-Salvador
      First page: 225
      Abstract: En el Estado de Yucatán los registros de nutria neotropical (Lontra longicaudis annectens) son insuficientes para determinar si existen diferentes tipos de hábitat para la especie, su estatus de conservación y los riesgos potenciales que enfrenta.  Nuestros objetivos son el generar un modelo de distribución potencial de la nutria neotropical para el Estado de Yucatán, y el verificar la presencia de la nutria neotropical en sitios predichos por el modelo.  Se generó un modelo de distribución potencial de la nutria neotropical con MaxEnt con registros de presencia de la especie y variables ambientales de EarthEnv a 1 km² de resolución.  Se verificó la presencia de la nutria en siete sitios predichos por el modelo mediante visitas en el mes de octubre de los años 2017 al 2019 y 2021.  Se caracterizó el hábitat y se colectaron muestras biológicas, así como evidencia video-fotográfica de las señales de presencia de las nutrias y de su hábitat.  La distribución potencial de la nutria cubrió 3,487 km2, el 8 % de la superficie del Estado de Yucatán, en ríos, lagunas y ecosistemas generalmente costeros, sin embargo, el modelo permitió identificar la idoneidad ambiental del hábitat para la nutria en áreas al interior de la península, y la validación en campo de los sitios predichos produjo los primeros registros de la especie en cenotes y lagunas epicontinentales.  Los sitios presentaron disponibilidad de presas, vegetación riparia para refugio y madrigueras, y conectividad acuático-terrestre con manantiales de agua dulce.  Se  obtuvieron observaciones directas de nutrias en dos de los sitios visitados, así como señales indirectas de su presencia en los siete sitios, las cuales consistieron en heces, letrinas, geles, huellas, rastros, residuos de alimento, madrigueras de descanso y veredas hacia el cuerpo de agua. Los resultados señalan la necesidad de continuar con el monitoreo minucioso en las áreas potenciales predichas por el modelo para poder sugerir medidas de conservación para la nutria neotropical y su hábitat en el estado de Yucatán.
      PubDate: 2022-05-26
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 1 (2022)
  • Abundance, microhabitat and feeding of Peromyscus yucatanicus and
           Peromyscus mexicanus in the Mexican tropics

    • Authors: Elisa Paulina Zaragoza-Quintana, Nallely Verónica Rodríguez-Santiago, Silvia F. Hernández-Betancourt, Livia Socorro León-Paniagua, María Cristina MacSwiney G.
      First page: 129
      Abstract: Introduction: Rodents influence the processes of succession and regeneration in tropical forests, functioning as important dispersers and predators of seeds and plants.  In this study, we describe aspects of the population structure and dynamics, and characterize the microhabitat and composition of the feces of the semi-tree-dwelling rodents Peromyscus yucatanicusand Peromyscus mexicanus in tropical forests of Quintana Roo and Veracruz, in Mexico.Methods: We trapped Peromyscus yucatanicus from September 2014 to February 2015, with 122Sherman traps between 2 to 10 m of height in 62 trees.  Peromyscus mexicanus was trappedfrom March to September of 2015, with 105 Sherman traps between 0-11 m of height on 57trees.  We characterized the microhabitat, identified the trees, and calculated the canopyopenness in the sites where individuals were trapped.  We collected and analyzed thecomposition of the feces of each species.Results: We captured 48 individuals of Peromyscus yucatanicus at an average height of 2.58 m above ground level.  Its population density was 26.6 ind/ha, with reproductive activity in the dry season.  The average canopy openness was 7.75 %.  Their feces mainly contained seeds, fruit pulp and starch.  We recorded 54 individuals of Peromyscus mexicanus at an average height of 1.15 m.  Its population density was 20.83 ind/ha, with reproductive activity in both dry and rainy seasons.  The canopy openness was 4.78 % (dry season) and 4.5 % (rainy season).  Their feces mainly contained fruit pulp, starch and chitin remains in both seasons.  Discussion and conclusions: The captured of rodents were higher on trees with small diameters and low leaf litter percentage; the rainy season favored the captures.  Both species were mainly captured in sites with a covering of organic matter on the soil and in sites with higher vegetal cover and reduced canopy openness.  Conservation of a diverse tropical forest is fundamental for the conservation of both semiarboreal rodents.
      PubDate: 2021-11-13
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 1 (2021)
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
Tel: +00 44 (0)131 4513762

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