METROPOLITAN MAMMALS: UNDERSTANDING THE THREATS INSIDE AN URBAN PROTECTED AREA

Miguel Coutinho Moretta Monteiro, Paula Koeler Lira

Abstract


Protected areas (PA) are widely recognized as conservation cornerstones. However, we still lack information about PA effectiveness in conserving biodiversity. With the accelerating process of urbanization, urban PAs have gained increasing importance. Thus, evaluating their effectiveness is particularly urgent, especially when located in a biodiversity hotspot. The aim of this study was to describe the large and medium-sized mammalian community within Tijuca National Park (TNP) – an urban PA located in the Atlantic Forest biodiversity hotspot – and to investigate if it is affected by proximity to the park border and by potential threats that occur inside the park such as roads, hiking trails, tourism infrastructure, domestic dogs and hunting. A camera-trap survey was conducted in a grid with 42 sampling units from April to September 2016. Each sampling unit was categorized as park border or interior and according to the aforementioned potential threats. A model selection framework was employed to evaluate the effects of threats on species richness and abundance. Our findings suggest that TNP harbors an impoverished fauna of large and medium-sized mammals when compared with larger and more well-preserved Atlantic Forest PAs. Furthermore, our results highlight that the mammalian abundance was affected by edge effects, presence of roads and tourism infrastructure and abundance of domestic dogs. We highlight some management actions to properly control and minimize those threats and increase the effectiveness of TNP in conserving biodiversity


Keywords


Atlantic Forest; Brazil; Human-induced disturbances; Large and medium-sized mammals; Urban Ecology

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4257/oeco.2020.2403.10

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