Print version ISSN 0327-9383
LINK, Andres; DI FIORE, Anthony; GALVIS, Nelson and FLEMING, Erin. Patterns of mineral lick visitation by lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) and lowland paca (Cuniculus paca) in a western amazonian rainforest in Ecuador. Mastozool. neotrop. [online]. 2012, vol.19, n.1, pp. 63-70. ISSN 0327-9383.
We studied the temporal patterns of mineral lick use by lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) and paca (Cuniculus paca) at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station, a lowland rain forest in Amazonian Ecuador. Using 24-hour camera and video traps set at two different mineral licks, we documented the frequency of mineral lick use and the influence of weather and lunar conditions on mineral lick visitations by the two species. Based on 888 nights of mineral lick monitoring, we found that both Tapirus terrestris and Cuniculus paca visit the licks frequently throughout the year. Mineral-lick visitation was not a seasonal behaviour, but rather was influenced heavily by short-term environmental correlates (e.g., dry weather). Although visits by tapir and paca occurred strictly at night, neither lunar phase generally nor the period of lunar visibility each night influenced visitation patterns. This study documents the use of mineral licks by two Neotropical mammals and suggests that these areas provide key resources to multiple species of mammals in the Neotropics.
Keywords : Geophagy; Mineral licks; Neotropical mammals; Spatio-temporal patterns.