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Mastozoología neotropical

versión impresa ISSN 0327-9383versión On-line ISSN 1666-0536


BORONI, Natália L; PARDINAS, Ulyses F. J  y  LESSA, Gisele. Vanished Lagoa Santa: rodent species loss in the last two centuries. Mastozool. neotrop. [online]. 2018, vol.25, n.1, pp.17-33. ISSN 0327-9383.

The extensive work developed by Peter Lund and other naturalists in the nineteenth century in Lagoa Santa Karst has generated a large volume of data on the extinct and extant local fauna. Despite these classic pioneer works, little work has been done about the fauna currently present in the region. Therefore, this study analyzes the richness and diversity of the modern fauna of small rodents of the Lagoa Santa region and compares the results with the historical data of Lund and Winge. We collected owl pellets from calcareous caves in Lagoa Santa, Cordisburgo and Sete Lagoas. These pellets were divided in two categories for comparison: ‘superficial’ (collected on the surface of the cave floor) and ‘stratified’ (collected in small excavations in the cave floor). We identified a total of 18 rodent species: 13 Cricetidae, 3 Echimyidae and 2 Muridae. Richness considering the minimum number of individuals (MNI) was greater in ‘stratified’ samples than in ‘superficial’ samples, but the two sets of samples did not differ when considering rarefaction. According to the Shannon- Wiener and Pielou indices, the ‘stratified’ samples were more diverse and with less species dominance. Nine species mentioned or described by Lund and Winge in the nineteenth century as inhabiting this region were absent in our samples. The proportion of small mammals in owl pellets in the modern samples was different from historical data, with predominance of Calomys spp. instead of Necromys lasiurus, as recorded by Lund using similar methods. It is likely that human activities in the region over these 180 years have influenced the fauna of Lagoa Santa, triggering local or regional extinctions.

Palabras clave : Cerrado; Environmental degradation; Herluf Winge; Owl pellets; Peter Lund.

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