Temperature induces activity reduction in a Neotropical ungulate

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Oxford Univ Press Inc



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Because global climate change results in increasingly extreme temperatures and more frequent droughts, behavioral thermoregulation is one avenue by which species may adjust. Changes in activity patterns in response to temperature have been observed in a number of mammal species, but rarely have been investigated in humid tropical habitats. Here we examine the relationship between activity patterns and microclimate temperatures for white-lipped peccaries (Tayassu pecari, Tayassuidae, Cetartiodactyla) in four distinct biomes-the Cerrado, the Pantanal, the Atlantic Forest, and the Amazon. From 2013 to 2017, we monitored 30 white-lipped peccaries fitted with GPS collars that included accelerometers and temperature sensors. White-lipped peccaries were primarily diurnal, with peaks of activity in the morning and late afternoon, except in the Amazon where activity was high throughout the day. Total time active did not vary seasonally. White-lipped peccaries were significantly less likely to be active as temperatures increased, with the probability of being active decreasing by >49% in all biomes between 30 and 40 degrees C. Our findings indicate that white-lipped peccaries are likely to be adversely impacted by rising temperatures, through being forced to reduce foraging time during their prime active periods.




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Journal Of Mammalogy. Cary: Oxford Univ Press Inc, v. 102, n. 6, p. 1514-1524, 2021.

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