This is the work plan for the application of the Ph.D. student Júlia Emi de Faria Oshima, Spatial Ecology and Conservation Laboratory, UNESP Rio Claro, FAPESP scholarship holder 2014/23132-2. This research internship will be developed at University College London, UK, supervised by Professor Ben Collen. The motivation of this internship is learning about movement ecology analysis and ecological modeling for conservation biology. The general objectives include evaluating how landscapes structure affects individual animal movement, how to detect thresholds significant to persistence, and incorporating that information to evaluate how landscape changes could affect persistence and extinction risk for a large-sized herbivore in the Neotropics, the white-lipped peccaries (our model species). We will analyze GPS collar data collected between 2014 and 2016 for 29 individuals. On the analyses, step selection functions will be used to investigate how landscape variables influence movement patterns and habitat selection for the species in several landscapes of Pantanal and Cerrado. My final goal is to compare the results gathered under different landscape-level disturbance regimes, identify key routes used by white-lipped peccaries to help decision makers prioritize and protect areas and ecological corridors for this wide-ranging species. Understanding movement patterns and how landscape modifications can impact on movement decisions for the species will provide valuable data for simulations of different future scenarios of land use change, using individual based modeling. This study can aid in predictions regarding how impacts of fragmentation and habitat loss have been affecting this species, the likely impacts on other large vertebrates, and provide important information for conservation management plans for this social herbivore.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: