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Landscape occupancy by the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) in Cerrado remnants with different levels of disturbance in Northeastern São Paulo State

Grant number: 14/15269-8
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 29, 2014
Effective date (End): May 27, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal researcher:Adriano Garcia Chiarello
Grantee:Natalia Fraguas Versiani
Supervisor abroad: Larissa L. Bailey
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Research place: Colorado State University, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:11/23421-6 - Occupation of the landscape by giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) in grassland areas with different levels of disturbance in northeastern São Paulo., BP.DR


The large decline in native vegetation of the Cerrado in the state of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil, resulted in a highly fragmented landscape where sugarcane and, to a lesser extent, Eucalyptus plantations predominates. The resulting habitat loss is the main factor behind the population decline, particularly for species with high demand for space, low population density and specialized diet, as is the case of the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla). This taxon is in almost all national and regional endangered species lists of Central and South America and in Brazil, respectively. It is important, therefore, to know how this species, which is greatly dependent of natural environments, survives in such highly altered landscapes. This study aims to estimate the probability of landscape occupancy by the giant anteater in Cerrado remnants of this region, identifying the environmental covariates influencing this parameter. Data from about 200 camera-trapping stations collected in three landscapes of the study region between 2013 and 2014 will be analysed with the programs PRESENCE and MARK. I will model the influence of climatic and landscape covariates on occupancy, simultaneously controlling for detection variability. The project will shed light on the ecological process driving the survival ability of this emblematic mammal in zones where intensive agriculture and forestry predominates. (AU)

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