The large decline in native vegetation of the Cerrado in São Paulo resulted in a highly fragmented landscape, steeped in a scene where predominate vast sugarcane plantation, grazing lands and forestry. Thus, the habitat loss, especially for species like the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), which has great demand for space, low population density and highly specialized diet, has become a major factor for this population decline. The taxon is present in almost all the lists of regional and national endangered species of Central and South America and, therefore, it's important to know how this species dependent to a greater degree of natural environments is surviving in these highly altered landscapes. This study aims to determine the probability of landscape occupation by the giant anteater in the Cerrado remnants in northeast of Sao Paulo and identify which environmental covariates are influencing the occupation. For this, data will be collected through the use of camera traps and detection of tracks and feces in four areas: Jataí Ecological Station (Conservation Unit), Cajuru State Forest (production forest area) and two preservation areas owned by the International Paper of Brazil (Dois Córregos e Cara Preta). Data analysis to determine the detection and occupation probabilities will be made by the program PRESENCE, modeling environmental covariates and selecting the most parsimonious model to estimate the giant anteater occupation in the study areas. These studies are needed for us to generate knowledge and important information designed to assess the true status of conservation of the species, sustaining the creation of new protected areas capable of supporting a viable population and develop an effective regional conservation strategy for the giant anteater.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: