White-lipped peccary movement and range in agricultural lands of Central Brazil

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White-lipped peccaries (WLPs) are known as forest-dependent species and are thus expected to respond negatively to deforestation. Yet, little is known about how WLP herds use agricultural lands where high portions (i.e., more than 50%) of the native forest have been removed. In order to understand how WLPs access and use forested habitats nested within agricultural landscapes, we analyzed WLP movement (i.e., linear distances moved) at varying temporal intervals (3 h, 6 h, 12 h, 24 h, 168 h, and 720 h) and monthly herd ranges (MCP 30%, 50%, 70%, and 90%) in two agricultural regions of Central Brazil. Short- and long-term movement did not show variation across months or seasons. Yet, long-term movement and ranges positively correlated with the diversity of available fruits and negatively correlated with the percent of forest cover. Furthermore, the negative relationship between ranges and forest cover was more pronounced during the wet season, with herds in areas with less forest cover having ranges twice as large as those in areas with more forest cover. Our results suggest that short-term movement is most likely reflective of internal drivers (e.g., body shape, physiology). On the other hand, long-term movement and ranges respond to external drivers, which, in this case, are most likely changes in the spatiotemporal distribution of fruiting trees in areas with less forest cover. Our results provide important information for the conservation of this keystone species by establishing that WLPs are negatively affected by forest removal, of which the consequences may be exacerbated with seasonality.




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Movement Ecology of Neotropical Forest Mammals: Focus on Social Animals, p. 39-55.

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