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Impact of domestic dogs on habitat use and activity time of endangered species


The way dogs interact with wildlife may depend on the extent to which these dogs are constrained and cared for by humans (fed, sheltered, or vaccinated). The increasing number of free-ranging dogs recorded at Furnas do Bom Jesus State Park (2,069 ha) could be a serious threat to dozens of endangered species. This protected area is one of the most important in the Cerrado biome in São Paulo State, and has been monitored by camera trap since 2011. Previous data indicate the presence of several endangered species, including the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), the hoary fox (Lycalopex vetulus), the puma (Puma concolor), the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), margay (L. wiedii), the jaguarundi (Herpailurus yagouaroundi), the naked-tailed armadillo (Cabassous tatouay) and the bare-faced curassow (Crax fasciolata), considered almost extinct in São Paulo State. My goals are to determine: (1) how free-ranging dogs use the landscape (home range and hábitat use), (2) use of native areas and size of home range in relation to the care received the relation between the dog conditions care and the use of protected area; and (3) how free-ranging dogs affect hábitat use and activity time of target species. I will monitor 40 dogs with i-gotU USB GPS Travel for 1-2 years. I will assess dogs care condition by a questionnaire and by body conditions score. I will use camera trap and occupancy co-occurrence species models to evaluate if dogs affect the species distribution in the landscape. I will use data from cameras trap to evaluate overlap activity time among dogs and target species, and if dogs can interfere on activity time of target species. The results will allow to understand the role the dogs play in this community and how the human attitudes towards their dogs are inserted in this context and then address management measure to reduce dog invasion and impacts upon wildlife, mainly in endangered species. (AU)

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