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Mastozoología neotropical

Print version ISSN 0327-9383On-line version ISSN 1666-0536


MARINHO, Paulo H et al. Medium to large-sized mammals from the Caatinga of the Rio Grande do Norte, in Northeast Brazil. Mastozool. neotrop. [online]. 2018, vol.25, n.2, pp.345-362. ISSN 0327-9383.

Medium to large-sized mammals are the most affected by habitat loss and hunting, while at the same time playing important roles in the ecosystem. The knowledge about this group in the Caatinga, the dry tropical forest of northeastern Brazil, however, is still scarce. In this study, we carried out the first systematic survey of medium to large-sized mammals in the Rio Grande do Norte state, with camera traps installed in 188 points distributed in 10 priority areas for the conservation of the Caatinga biodiversity. With a sampling effort of 7271 camera-days, we obtained 1607 records of 14 native medium to large-sized mammals, distributed in six orders and 10 families: eight species of the order Carnivora, two species of the order Cingulata, and one species for each of the other orders (Artiodactyla, Didelphimorphia, Pilosa e Primates). The richness recorded represents a third of the 45 large and medium-sized mammal species found in the Caatinga, and half of the large and medium-sized mammal species recorded in northern Caatinga dominium, significantly increasing the knowledge about the group in the region. Among the recorded species are three threatened felids, including a large top predator (Leopardus tigrinus, Herpailurus yagouaroundi, and Puma concolor). The low number of records of some species and the absence of others indicate the critical status of the mammal fauna in the state and highlight the importance and urgency of the creation of new protected areas in the Caatinga of the Rio Grande do Norte.

Keywords : Biodiversity conservation; Camera trap; Seasonally dry tropical forest; Species richness; Threatened species.

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