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Neotropical Biology and Conservation
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.272
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 2  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2236-3777
Published by Pensoft Homepage  [58 journals]
  • Sensitisation, research and management for conservation within ESPOL
           University forests after the COVID-19 pandemic, Ecuador

    • Abstract: Neotropical Biology and Conservation 18(4): 283-303
      DOI : 10.3897/neotropical.18.e110615
      Authors : Ricardo Villalba-Briones, Paolo Michael Piedrahita, Daniel Omar Garces, Juan S. Monrós : Non sustainable land uses are disturbing natural habitats and wild animals’ ecology worldwide. Nevertheless, the sensitisation of key actors combined with research and a consequent management can influence decision-making and improve animals’ well-being. COVID-19 has influenced the number of interactions with wildlife in urban environments and the ESPOL Polytechnic University is a university campus that holds forested areas in Guayaquil, Ecuador. We implemented an environmental education course with an empathetic approach for the security guards of the university. We used questionnaires to evaluate their attitudes and knowledge on wildlife before and after the sensitisation course. In addition, we registered the incidences of native fauna resulting from the guards’ collaborations and we designed management strategies according to the data gathered. The guards showed an improvement in their knowledge of the issues covered (n = 81–87; X̄ = 163.4%) and an increased preference for wild and native fauna after the sensitisation course (n = 67; 151.6%). Furthermore, the collaborations of guards with the Biodiversity Unit of the university concerning animal-human interactions increased, as did the supporting actions towards the well-being of native animals. Moreover, the information about direct and indirect interactions with wildlife included reports on traces of large to medium animal activity and a record of illegal hunting of Choloepus hoffmanni for bushmeat consumption. Obtained data sustained adaptive management actions such as signalling and restrictions in use. We recommend educating key actors with an empathetic approach, developing critical skills and promoting collaborations to reduce human impacts in wild areas. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Thu, 23 Nov 2023 09:29:06 +020
  • Comparing diversity of the terrestrial mammal communities inhabiting
           native forests and exotic plantations in southern Chile

    • Abstract: Neotropical Biology and Conservation 18(4): 261-282
      DOI : 10.3897/neotropical.18.e110272
      Authors : Nelson Colihueque, Víctor Vidal, Contanza Vásquez, Alberto Gantz : The mammal community of the Coastal Range of southern Chile has been little studied even though they inhabit an environment under severe threats due to anthropic disturbance. During the spring-summer seasons of 2020–2021 and 2021–2022, we characterized the communities of wild terrestrial mammals in a native forest (NF) and an exotic plantation of Eucalyptus (PL) of the Coastal Range of Osorno province by phototrapping. We used 1,060 camera-trap days in the NF and 960 camera-trap days in the PL to explore the effect of habitat type on wild mammal diversity in two localities (L-1 and L-2). We quantified the species richness, abundance, community similarity and daily distribution of mammal communities. Species richness was higher in the NF (7–8 spp) than in the PL (3–4 spp). Two community similarity index (CSI) was significantly higher between native forests (CSI = 0.728 ± 0.088) than between Eucalyptus plantations (CSI = 0.211 ± 0.097) (95% CI). Mean abundance was also higher in the NF than in the PL (L-1: 0.011 vs. 0.004 occurrence/camera-trap day (OCT); L-2: 0.008 vs. 0.004 OCT). In L-1, the most abundant mammals in the NF were Leopardus guigna (45.3% of relative occurrence (RO)) and Pudu puda (18.9% RO), and in the PL, they were Lycalopex culpaeus (50% RO) and L. guigna (37.5% RO). In L-2, the highest abundances in the NF were for P. puda (34.5% RO) and Puma concolor (27.6% RO), while in the PL, P. puda was predominant (66.7% RO). In NF of both localities, 22.2% of melanic L. guigna individuals were observed. The highest frequency of occurrences in both locations was between 12:00 and 23:59 hours, with 60% and 76.9% of detections, respectively. The species richness found in native forest is in accordance with studies carried out in other temperate rainforests of southern Chile. In addition, native forests support a richer and more similar community of terrestrial mammals than exotic forest plantations, which indicates that native forests are the main habitat for most mammals detected and that exotic plantations function as a complementary habitat for some species. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Wed, 15 Nov 2023 19:09:49 +020
  • Corrigendum: Witt PBR, Faria HH, Oliveira J, Oliveira LR (2023)
           Management effectiveness of Nature Conservation Units in southern Brazil.
           Neotropical Biology and Conservation 18(3): 209–230. doi:

    • Abstract: Neotropical Biology and Conservation 18(4): 259-260
      DOI : 10.3897/neotropical.18.e113743
      Authors : Patrícia Bernardes Rodrigues Witt, Helder Henrique de Faria, Juliano de Oliveira, Larissa Rosa de Oliveira : A implantação de áreas protegidas, em especial, Unidades de Conservação da Natureza (UCs), é uma estratégia de conservação reconhecida mundialmente. No entanto, estes limites de uma gestão eficiente para atingir os seus objetivos de conservação. Quando a gestão das UCs ​​é deficiente, resulta em prejuízos aos seus próprios objetivos, afetando a biodiversidade e os processos ecológicos, além de causar impactos sociais e econômicos. Nesse contexto, avaliamos a efetividade da gestão de 11 Unidades de Conservação Integrais da Natureza no Estado do Rio Grande do Sul, sul do Brasil, por meio de entrevistas, visitas a essas UCs ​​​​e revisão de seus documentos oficiais.Para esta análise utilizou-se o método adaptado de Efetividade de Gestão de Áreas Protegidas (EMAP) que foi desenvolvido por meio de uma escala Likert com cinco níveis oito escopos 73 indicadores e 65 cenários de avaliação. Noventa e um por cento das UCs ​​avaliadas no Sul do Brasil pelo método EMAP oscilaram entre eficácia média e muito insatisfatória e baixa efetividade de gestão: 18% das UCs ​​apresentaram qualidade de gestão muito insatisfatória, 37% insatisfatória, 36% média e apenas 9% alta ou garantia. Além disso, as UC não cumpriram os objetivos principais para os quais foram criados. Neste contexto, recomendamos uma série de ações a aplicar para a melhoria da UC, como a adoção de um modelo de avaliação quali-quantitativo das unidades, através de um modelo matemático;aumento de pessoal; treinar equipes e gestores; melhoria da infraestrutura e insumos da UC; alocação orçamentária regular; regularização fundiária, implementação de conselhos consultivos e revisão urgente dos planos de manejo. Noventa e um por cento das UCs ​​avaliadas no Sul do Brasil pelo método EMAP oscilaram entre eficácia média e muito insatisfatória e baixa efetividade de gestão: 18% das UCs ​​apresentaram qualidade de gestão muito insatisfatória, 37% insatisfatória, 36% média e apenas 9% alta ou garantia. Além disso, as UC não cumpriram os objetivos principais para os quais foram criados.Neste contexto, recomendamos uma série de ações a aplicar para a melhoria da UC, como a adoção de um modelo de avaliação quali-quantitativo das unidades, através de um modelo matemático; aumento de pessoal; treinar equipes e gestores; melhoria da infraestrutura e insumos da UC; alocação orçamentária regular; regularização fundiária, implementação de conselhos consultivos e revisão urgente dos planos de manejo. Noventa e um por cento das UCs ​​avaliadas no Sul do Brasil pelo método EMAP oscilaram entre eficácia média e muito insatisfatória e baixa efetividade de gestão: 18% das UCs ​​apresentaram qualidade de gestão muito insatisfatória, 37% insatisfatória, 36% média e apenas 9% alta ou garantia.Além disso, as UC não cumpriram os objetivos principais para os quais foram criados. Neste contexto, recomendamos uma série de ações a aplicar para a melhoria da UC, como a adoção de um modelo de avaliação quali-quantitativo das unidades, através de um modelo matemático; aumento de pessoal; treinar equipes e gestores; melhoria da infraestrutura e insumos da UC; alocação orçamentária regular; regularização fundiária, implementação de conselhos consultivos e revisão urgente dos planos de manejo. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Wed, 18 Oct 2023 15:30:05 +030
  • The Trichoptera of Panama. XXVI. Status of the genus Protoptila
           (Trichoptera, Glossosomatidae)

    • Abstract: Neotropical Biology and Conservation 18(4): 251-258
      DOI : 10.3897/neotropical.18.e111801
      Authors : Roger J. Blahnik, Yusseff P. Aguirre, Brian J. Armitage : The caddisfly genus Protoptila (Trichoptera, Glossosomatidae) in Panama is currently represented by 15 species, including four endemic species and 11 species also found in Costa Rica. The shared occurrences of Panamanian species with other countries in the region are minimal. Herein, we describe and illustrate a new species, Protoptila harrisi sp. nov., and add one new country record, Protoptila bribri Holzenthal & Blahnik, 2006. These additions are the result of several projects conducted by the Aquatic Invertebrate Research Group at the Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí. The Republic of Panama now has 17 species of Protoptila and 535 species of caddisflies distributed among 15 families and 56 genera. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Thu, 5 Oct 2023 19:12:48 +0300
  • Managing invasive wild boars in Southern Brazil’s protected areas:
           Challenges and strategies

    • Abstract: Neotropical Biology and Conservation 18(4): 231-250
      DOI : 10.3897/neotropical.18.e110008
      Authors : Matheus Fragoso Etges, Demétrio Luis Guadagnin, Andreas Kindel : Invasive species pose significant threats to ecosystems and biodiversity, necessitating effective management strategies to mitigate their impacts. One such invasive species of concern is the wild boar in Brazil, which has the potential to cause widespread environmental changes. A national plan for monitoring and controlling invasive species, including the wild boar, was developed in response to this threat. Despite this initiative, uncertainties persist regarding the presence of wild boars in protected areas (PAs) and the effectiveness of current management actions. This study intends to diagnose the situation of wild boars in protected areas within the southern region of Brazil, specifically focusing on their distribution, management techniques employed, and reasons for the lack of management actions. An online questionnaire was sent to 297 PAs, with 134 responding. The findings revealed that wild boars were present in 36 surveyed PAs, but management efforts were only being carried out in 14 of them. Cages and corrals were identified as the most commonly used techniques, with corn serving as the preferred bait. The study identified two primary reasons for the lack of management actions: the wild boar’s low invasion intensity and management capacity limitations. To address these challenges effectively, this study advocates for a centralized organization of management actions and emphasizes the development of materials and resources to support successful management strategies. Implementing these measures is essential to safeguard the conservation of ecosystems and vulnerable species in Brazil’s protected areas and ensure the long-term resilience of these valuable ecological assets. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Thu, 5 Oct 2023 19:12:15 +0300
  • Management effectiveness of Nature Conservation Units in southern

    • Abstract: Neotropical Biology and Conservation 18(3): 209-230
      DOI : 10.3897/neotropical.18.e103019
      Authors : Patrícia Bernardes Rodrigues Witt, Helder Henrique de Faria, Juliano de Oliveira, Larissa Rosa de Oliveira : The implementation of protected areas, in particular, nature Conservation Units (CUs), is a conservation strategy recognised worldwide. However, these territories require efficient management to achieve their conservation goals. When the management of CUs is deficient, it results in damage to their own goals, affecting biodiversity and ecological processes, as well as causing social and economic impacts. In this context, we evaluated the management effectiveness of 11 integral Conservation Units of nature in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil, through interviews, visits to these CUs and a review of their official documents. For this analysis, we used the adapted method of Effectiveness of Management of Protected Areas (EMAP), which was analysed using a Likert scale with five levels, eight scopes, 73 indicators and 65 evaluation scenarios. Ninety-one percent of the CUs assessed in southern Brazil by the EMAP method oscillated from average to very unsatisfactory efficacy and low management effectiveness: 18% of the CUs had a very unsatisfactory quality of management, 37% unsatisfactory, 36% average and only 9% high or satisfactory. Moreover, the CUs did not fulfil the main objectives for which they were created. In this context, we recommended a series of actions to be applied for CU improvement, such as the adoption of a quali-quantitative evaluation model for the units, through a mathematical model; increase in staff; training teams and managers; improvement of CU infrastructure and inputs; regular budget allocation; land regularisation, implementation of consultative councils and urgent review of management plans. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Wed, 27 Sep 2023 19:00:08 +030
  • Climatic signals on phenological patterns among tree species in a
           subtropical forest community

    • Abstract: Neotropical Biology and Conservation 18(3): 191-208
      DOI : 10.3897/neotropical.18.e103506
      Authors : Gabriela Morais Olmedo, Mateus Raguse-Quadros, Guilherme Taboada Conrado, Juliano Morales Oliveira : The study of vegetative and reproductive phenophases of plants is critical for understanding aspects related to plant behavior in different environments. In the tropics, there is a gap of understanding related to plant phenology since the theoretical framework on the topic has been built from perspectives of the temperate region. Furthermore, there are few studies in tropical regions influenced by anthropic conditions, which may be important for understanding these issues in the face of future climate scenarios. This study aimed to describe the vegetative and reproductive phenology of trees in an urban subtropical forest community and to test the influence of climatic variables on the tree community. In an urban forest fragment in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, eight individuals of locally dominant species were monitored: Allophylus edulis, Casearia sylvestris, Guarea macrophylla, Mimosa bimucronata, Myrsine coriacea, Myrsine umbellata, Schinus glandulosum, and Schinus terebinthifolia. The monitoring occurred every two weeks, for two years, with the recording of the presence of leaf flushing, leaf shedding, flowering, and fruiting phenophases for each tree. The seasonality of the species was tested using the Rayleigh test. We described the common pattern of community phenological activity by a Principal Component Analysis. Finally, we correlated the common patterns of each phenophase in the community with climatic variables of total precipitation, average temperature, and day length. All species showed a non-uniform phenological pattern for the evaluated phenophases despite the variable intensity. We evidenced common patterns for the community only for the vegetative phenophases. The reproductive phenophases of flowering and fruiting present themselves independently among species in the community. Finally, we identified influences only of temperature and day length on the vegetative phenophases. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Wed, 27 Sep 2023 19:00:07 +030
  • A case of leucosis in Heptapterus mustelinus (Siluriformes,
           Heptapteridae) among populations of streams in southern Brazil. Has
           leucosis in Heptapterus mustelinus an adaptive value in shaded streams'

    • Abstract: Neotropical Biology and Conservation 18(3): 177-189
      DOI : 10.3897/neotropical.18.e103523
      Authors : Marlon Ferraz, Uwe Horst Schulz, Carlos Alberto Santos de Lucena, Pablo Lehmann A. : Fish populations in environments with a high degree of geographic isolation may be prone to mutations expressed in the phenotypes. These mutations may be related to color pattern, forming leucistic individuals. This work aims to register and to describe possible mechanisms that influence this mutation. Additionally, the study compares other morphometric variations among different populations and leucistic individuals of Heptapterus mustelinus. A total of four leucistic individuals were collected in a small shaded stream, highly segmented by rapids and waterfalls. The biometric analyses showed no significant morphological differences when compared to other populations of the same ecoregion. The selection of leucism may be directly related to the sampled environment, since the leucistic specimens occurred in a shaded stream with dense vegetation cover. Low occurrence of predatory species of fish can be an important point to maintain the characteristic. Consequently, predation may not exert a negative selective pressure on leucistic individuals. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Wed, 27 Sep 2023 19:00:06 +030
  • Regeneration in a Neotropical land planarian (Platyhelminthes,

    • Abstract: Neotropical Biology and Conservation 18(3): 163-176
      DOI : 10.3897/neotropical.18.e103357
      Authors : Piter Kehoma Boll, Ilana Rossi, Silvana Vargas do Amaral, Ana Maria Leal-Zanchet : Planarians are known for their ability to regenerate missing body parts. However, little is known about the regeneration ability of land planarians, especially regarding Neotropical species. Herein, we investigated the regeneration in the Neotropical land planarian Luteostriata abundans. Specimens were cut in two at different points along the body and monitored for 50 days. Larger and anterior pieces survived more than smaller posterior pieces. Anterior pieces that retained the pharynx continued to feed normally as intact animals, while posterior pieces that retained the pharynx lost its function temporarily. The growth rate was similar amongst all pieces across 50 days. Anterior mouthless pieces regenerated the pharynx and mouth significantly faster than posterior mouthless pieces. After 50 days, the relative position of the mouth along the body reached values close to intact animals in all regenerating pieces. In general, anterior pieces showed higher survival and regenerated faster than posterior fragments, which agrees with observations with other planarian species. However, surviving posterior pieces were able to retain the proportions of intact animals as well. Our results suggest that L. abundans has a good regenerative capacity similar to many freshwater planarians. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Wed, 27 Sep 2023 19:00:05 +030
  • Land planarians (Platyhelminthes) also prey on web-building

    • Abstract: Neotropical Biology and Conservation 18(3): 157-162
      DOI : 10.3897/neotropical.18.e103322
      Authors : João C. F. Cardoso, Fernando Carbayo, Marcelo O. Gonzaga : Although spiders and land planarians constitute diverse groups of terrestrial predators, interactions between them are still unknown. Here, we describe a predatory event of a land planarian (Choeradoplana cf. gladismariae) on a web-building spider (Helvibis longicauda) in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The prey was constricted and covered with sticky mucus while remaining on its web trying to protect its egg sac. The event was observed in the middle-end afternoon at ca. 1.80 m height. Our observation broadens the scope of possible natural enemies of web-building spiders and the prey items of land planarians. It also indicates that these organisms can capture and overpower dangerous predatory arthropods, suggesting that even complex three-dimensional sticky webs can be ineffective against the attack of land planarians. Finally, we also show that land planarians can exhibit a flexible foraging strategy, exploiting the environment during the day and at higher heights from the ground. Our observation opens new possibilities involving focal observations and experiments using spiders and land planarians as models in predator-prey research. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Wed, 27 Sep 2023 19:00:04 +030
  • Where do they live' Predictive geographic distribution of Tadarida
           brasiliensis brasiliensis (Chiroptera, Molossidae) in South America

    • Abstract: Neotropical Biology and Conservation 18(3): 139-156
      DOI : 10.3897/neotropical.18.e101390
      Authors : Izidoro Sarmento do Amaral, Jéssica Bandeira Pereira, Maurício Humberto Vancine, Ariadna E. Morales, Sérgio Luiz Althoff, Renato Gregorin, Maria João Ramos Pereira, Victor Hugo Valiati, Larissa Rosa de Oliveira : Tadarida brasiliensis, the Brazilian free-tailed bat, is an insectivorous molossid with a wide distribution in the Americas. It occurs in different ecosystems and uses varied shelters, from caves and crevices to human constructions, such as roofs and ceilings. Despite its wide distribution, there are several sampling gaps that make it difficult to identify the regions where the species occurs. This is a particular problem for the subspecies T. brasiliensis brasiliensis in South America, a region with few studies in comparison to North America. Considering these problems involved with identifying the distribution of T. b. brasiliensis in South America, we inferred its distribution based on 121 confirmed occurrences for the subspecies. We created a species distribution model (SDM) using the ensemble approach from the combination of BIOCLIM, SVM, GLM and MaxEnt algorithms. The resulting model suggested that the subspecies is unlikely to occur in the Amazon region and has a positive affinity with human population density, topography, a lower vegetation index, and the precipitation in the driest month. Our results show there is a large continuous area suitable for T. b. brasiliensis in central and eastern South America, with interruptions and narrow areas toward Central America. The population in this last area is separated from a smaller site in Chile by Andean deserts, snowy peaks, and high-altitude points. Our results demonstrated that along its distribution suitable habitat for T. b. brasiliensis is not continuous. The discontinuities in populations require further investigation to determine if there are phylogeographic consequences for the species. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Wed, 27 Sep 2023 19:00:03 +030
  • Are caves true habitats for anurans or more a favorable rocky
           environment' A discussion of habitat occupation by frogs in Neotropical

    • Abstract: Neotropical Biology and Conservation 18(3): 131-137
      DOI : 10.3897/neotropical.18.e100778
      Authors : Vinícius da Fontoura Sperandei, Denizar de Almeida Alvarenga, Marcel Santos de Araújo, Cássio Cardoso Pereira : Not applicable HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Wed, 27 Sep 2023 19:00:02 +030
  • Productivity and impact of the Unisinos’ Postgraduate Program in
           Biology and the consequences of its interruption for Brazilian science

    • Abstract: Neotropical Biology and Conservation 18(3): 119-129
      DOI : 10.3897/neotropical.18.e103070
      Authors : Piter Kehoma Boll, Lucas Krüger : On 22 July 2022, the Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (Unisinos), a private institution and community university in southern Brazil, announced the interruption of 12 of its postgraduate programmes, including the Postgraduate Program of Biology (PPG Biologia), whose professors founded the journal, Neotropical Biology and Conservation. We conducted a bibliometric analysis of papers published by PPG Biologia in the past 20 years to assess its impact on biological research at a national level. The number of publications and citations increased constantly over the years, with publications growing exponentially. Although most collaborations with other research programmes occurred inside Brazil, a significant number of studies were co-authored by researchers from other countries from at least four continents. The main research lines focused on biological sciences, ecology, sociology, education, environmental sciences and genetics. Despite being affected by the decrease in research funding and the reduction of personnel, PPG Biologia kept its high impact score according to the national evaluation, above that of most programmes in private universities and similar to public ones. With a team of renowned researchers working on different and sometimes unique research lines, the interruption of PPG Biologia will harm the progress of biological research and conservation across the Neotropical realm. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Wed, 27 Sep 2023 19:00:01 +030
  • Beware of scientific scams! Hints to avoid predatory publishing in
           biological journals

    • Abstract: Neotropical Biology and Conservation 18(2): 97-105
      DOI : 10.3897/neotropical.18.e108887
      Authors : Cássio Cardoso Pereira, Marco A. R. Mello, Daniel Negreiros, João Carlos Gomes Figueiredo, Walisson Kenedy-Siqueira, Lara Ribeiro Maia, Stephannie Fernandes, Gabriela França Carneiro Fernandes, Amanda Ponce de Leon, Lorena Ashworth, Yumi Oki, Gislene Carvalho de Castro, Ramiro Aguilar, Philip M. Fearnside, G. Wilson Fernandes : Our motivation for writing this editorial is to alert the academic community about the risks of predatory publishing in Biology. By piggy-backing on the open access (OA) movement and taking advantage of the “publish or perish” culture in a system that prioritises quantity over quality, predatory publishing has grown exponentially in recent years and spread across all areas of knowledge. Thousands of predatory journals and books have emerged and (provided a fee is paid) they publish scientific papers and chapters without submitting them to rigorous peer review. Now there are even predatory meetings, which promise to accept talks and publish complete works for a fee, also without reviewing them properly. These profit-making machines can damage both academia and society, putting at risk the quality of science and public trust in it, the well-being of the population, the conservation of biodiversity and the mitigation of climate change. We show the modus operandi behind invitations to contribute to predatory journals, books and meetings and suggest ways to separate the wheat from the chaff. Finally, we discuss the need to create regulatory agencies that perform a careful and systematic evaluation of the activities carried out by publishers. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Wed, 2 Aug 2023 17:01:15 +0300
  • Mammal use of underpasses to cross Route 606 in Guacimal, Costa

    • Abstract: Neotropical Biology and Conservation 18(2): 107-117
      DOI : 10.3897/neotropical.18.e102809
      Authors : Eleanor R. Terner : Roads severely affect the health of ecosystems across the globe by fragmenting and diminishing habitats, reducing population connectivity, and increasing animal mortality. Wildlife underpasses allow for increased road permeability–the ability for animals to safely cross the road. Despite growing success in other regions, little is known about underpass usage in Central America. In this study, I monitored two dry circular culverts and two unfenced tunnels with barbed wire partially blocking their entrances on Route 606 in Guacimal, Costa Rica, from 14 November to 6 December 2021 using 15 camera traps to assess which species used them to cross. Twelve species used the culverts and tunnels for a total of 108 individual crossings. The tunnels were used, in descending order, by agouti (Dasyprocta punctata), common opossum (Didelphis marsupialis), dog (Canis familiaris), nine-banded armadillo (Dasyous novemcinctus), cat (Felis catus), Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus), ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), squirrel (Sciurus variegatoides), northern tamandua (Tamandua mexicana), and coati (Nasua narica). The circular tunnel, Tunnel 1, was used more frequently and by a greater diversity of species than observed in the square tunnel, Tunnel 2. The two smaller culverts were used by common opossum (Didelphis marsupialis), cat (Felis catus), rat opossum (Micoureus alstoni), and Watson’s climbing rat (Tylomus watsoni). Culvert 2 was used more frequently; however, Culvert 1 was used by a greater diversity of species. This study highlights wildlife underpasses as a critical strategy for biological conservation in Costa Rica through improved road safety and habitat connectivity. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Wed, 2 Aug 2023 09:12:55 +0300
  • Habitat use, non-breeding groupings and chromatic pattern in
           Johngarthia lagostoma (H. Milne Edwards, 1837) (Decapoda, Gecarcinidae) in
           Trindade Island, South Atlantic Ocean

    • Abstract: Neotropical Biology and Conservation 18(1): 83-95
      DOI : 10.3897/neotropical.18.e101409
      Authors : Hilton Entringer Jr, Ana Carolina Srbek-Araujo : The land crab Johngarthia lagostoma is endemic to Trindade Island, Atol das Rocas, Fernando de Noronha and Ascension Islands. The natural history of the species in non-breeding periods is little known. Therefore, here we reported the formation of non-breeding groups and evaluated the chromatic populational pattern of J. lagostoma in Trindade Island. Records were obtained between April and June 2015. The groups were characterized according to their location, terrain elevation, environmental characteristics and specimens’ behavior. The chromatic pattern was defined by the classification of individuals between yellow and purple, and the proportion of each color was compared between populational units (previously defined based on genetic differences). Non-breeding groups were recorded in four locations in Trindade Island, at altitudes < 40 m, and all of them were in locations with food resources and sediment suitable for the construction of shelters. Isolated individuals or the absence of the species were observed in the most inhospitable places, indicating that the maintenance of the species depends on portions of suitable habitat amid the currently arid matrix. Yellow individuals (96.4%) were predominant on Trindade Island and the chromatic pattern differed from the other populations. Color patterns seem to follow genetic differences between populations, and the founder effect may account for current patterns. From the data obtained, we emphasize that the maintenance of the species may depend on food, sediment suitable for shelters construction, humidity and shade. Due to the significant population decline in other regions, the need to define guidelines for the conservation of the species on Trindade Island is highlighted. In this context, the regeneration of insular vegetation and prohibiting the known anthropic consumption of individuals may represent important strategies for the maintenance of the species. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Wed, 22 Mar 2023 10:03:10 +020
  • Influence of tree-fall gaps on directional seed dispersal by small
           mammals in Central Panama

    • Abstract: Neotropical Biology and Conservation 18(1): 73-82
      DOI : 10.3897/neotropical.18.e97653
      Authors : Autumn B. Phillips-Lewis, Thomas D. Lambert, Gregory H. Adler : Small mammals, particularly rodents, are often important seed-dispersal agents in Neotropical forests. Directional seed dispersal into tree-fall gaps may enhance seedling survival of light-demanding species and thus influence forest regeneration. To examine this proposition, we tracked seeds of a light-demanding palm (Attalea butyracea), with a focus on spiny rats (Proechimys semispinosus), the most-likely seed-removal agents. We established seed-removal stations at three distances relative to 28 gaps (gap center, gap edge, and intact forest 10 m from a gap edge) in a lowland forest in Central Panama. We placed five fresh fruits (with their seed) in semi-permeable exclosures to exclude larger mammals at each station and tracked the directions in which seeds were moved and deposited intact. More seeds were moved toward or into gaps when removed from gap center or edge stations; however, seeds dispersed from intact forest stations showed no such directionality. Small mammals may have dispersed seeds into and within tree-fall gaps because they favored caching seeds in areas that offered increased cover, which is typical of gaps, and consequently protection from predation. The lack of directional dispersal from intact forest stations may have been because spiny rats were able to find sufficient cover in the young intact forest that was closer than the gaps. In older forest, the contrast between intact forest and gaps may be greater, resulting in directed dispersal into gaps. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Fri, 3 Feb 2023 18:12:30 +0200
  • Biochemical, physiological, and molecular characterisation of a large
           collection of aerobic endospore-forming bacteria isolated from Brazilian

    • Abstract: Neotropical Biology and Conservation 18(1): 53-72
      DOI : 10.3897/neotropical.18.e86548
      Authors : Paulo Henrique Rosa Martins, Leon Rabinovitch, Juliana Capela de Orem, Waldeyr Mendes C. Silva, Felipe de Araujo Mesquita, Maria Ines Andre de Magalhães, Danilo de Andrade Cavalcante, Adriana Marcos Vivoni, Edmar Justo de Oliveira, Vera Cristina Pessoa de Lima, Josiane Teixeira Brito, Marlene Teixeira De-Souza : The aerobic endospore-forming bacteria (AEFB) comprise species of Bacillus and related genera and have long been regarded as prominent constituents of the soil bacterial community. The wide diversity of AEFB renders appropriate categorisation and generalisations a challenging task. We previously isolated 312 AEFB strains from Brazilian soils that we designated SDF (Solo do Distrito Federal) strains. To better understand the SDF diversity and explore their biotechnological potential, we addressed the biochemical and physiological profiles of these 312 environmental strains by performing 30 tests in this work. Of these, the 16S rRNA gene sequences segregated 238 SDF strains into four genera in the family Bacillaceae and two in the Paenibacillaceae. Bacillus spp. were the most prevalent, followed by species of Paenibacillus. We summarised the phenotypic test relationships among selected SDF strains using a Pearson correlation-based clustering represented in heatmaps. In practice, biochemical and physiological profiles are often less discriminatory than molecular data and may be unstable because of the loss of traits. Although these test reactions are not universally positive or negative within species, they may define biotypes and be efficient strain markers, enhancing the accuracy of unknown sample identification. It can also help select the most representative phenotypes of samples. Along with the other phenotypic and genotypic data, the present results are of great importance for the robust classification of the SDF strains within the scope of the polyphasic approach. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Fri, 3 Feb 2023 18:06:24 +0200
  • A review of environmental and anthropogenic variables used to
           model jaguar occurrence

    • Abstract: Neotropical Biology and Conservation 18(1): 31-51
      DOI : 10.3897/neotropical.18.e98437
      Authors : Víctor H. Montalvo, Carolina Sáenz-Bolaños, Eduardo Carrillo, Todd K. Fuller : Jaguars (Panthera onca) are a landscape species of conservation importance and our understanding of environmental and anthropogenic drivers of jaguar occurrence is necessary to improve conservation strategies. We reviewed available literature to simply describe environmental and anthropogenic variables used and found to be significant in occurrence modeling. We reviewed 95 documents published from 1980 to 2021 that focused on jaguar occurrence and that used 39 variable types (21 anthropogenic, 18 environmental) among different techniques, scales, and approaches. In general, these variables included both anthropogenic (roads, land use, human activities, and population) and environmental (climate, vegetation, ecological interactions, topographic, water, and others) factors. Twelve variables were identified as affecting jaguar occurrence overall, eleven at local scale and seven at broad scales (regional and continental). Focusing more specifically on the variables that correlate with occurrence should help researchers to make better predictions in areas without quantitative jaguar data. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Mon, 30 Jan 2023 10:15:35 +020
  • Mammals of the Tandilia Mountain system, current species inhabiting
           Pampean highland grasslands

    • Abstract: Neotropical Biology and Conservation 18(1): 13-29
      DOI : 10.3897/neotropical.18.e98374
      Authors : María Florencia Aranguren, Melina Alicia Velasco, Clara Trofino-Falasco, María Gimena Pizzarello, David Gustavo Vera, Igor Berkunsky : Neotropical temperate grasslands comprise the Pampas ecoregion in Argentina. This region is also the center of agricultural development in Argentina, which has led to a significant simplification and homogenization of the landscape. The Tandilia Mountains, located in the Southeast of the ecoregion, house one of the last remnants of the highland grassland that acts as a refuge for several native species, including both endemic and threatened species. This work aims to present an updated inventory of mammal species that inhabit the highland grassland remnants of the Tandilia Mountains. We used several sources of information to compile the list, including museum collections, citizen science projects (i.e., iNaturalist, EcoRegistros, and Argentinian Network for Monitoring Run Over Fauna), literature, and personal observations. We recorded 40 species of mammals, which include 32 native species and eight exotic species. The richest orders were Rodentia (42.5%), Chiroptera (17.5%), and Carnivora (12.2%). The native mammals found in the Tandilia Mountains represent 44% of the mammal diversity of the Pampas ecoregion, among which there are endemic species of the ecoregion, species whose populations are declining globally, and threatened species. Unfortunately, the presence of protected areas in the system is limited to a few small ones, which highlights the urgency of increasing the number and variety of protected areas. The information presented in this work contributes to the knowledge of biodiversity and the planning of conservation actions for the last remnants of highland grasslands. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Fri, 27 Jan 2023 18:28:50 +020
  • Activity pattern and predatory behaviour of the ocelot (Leopardus
           pardalis) (Carnivora, Felidae) in mineral licks of the Yasuni National
           Park, Ecuador

    • Abstract: Neotropical Biology and Conservation 18(1): 1-11
      DOI : 10.3897/neotropical.18.e95027
      Authors : Patricio Macas-Pogo, Edison Mejía Valenzuela, Gabriela Arévalo-Serrano : The ocelot, Leopardus pardalis, is one of the opportunistic predators of the tropical forests that includes birds, small and medium mammals, amphibians and reptiles in its diet. Aiming to observe its behaviour within its natural habitat, 10 cameras were installed in 10 mineral licks within the Yasuni National Park (Ecuador). Both images and videos of ocelot predation events were collected. Hence, the frequency of activity of this specie was determined with the register of captures obtained. Three events are described: the first one, an image of an ocelot stalking a Mazama deer was taken, while in the second scene, a video of stalking an anuran was obtained and in the third event, a video of the ocelot capturing a flying bat was recorded. The use of camera traps allowed us to collect valuable behavioural information about this feline and provide evidence of the importance of the mineral licks for this and other wild species. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Wed, 18 Jan 2023 17:39:19 +020
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