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Changes in capybara movement patterns and home ranges across natural and human-influenced landscapes

Grant number: 16/17941-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2017
Effective date (End): August 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal researcher:Marcelo Bahia Labruna
Grantee:Beatriz Lopes
Supervisor abroad: Peter Leimgruber
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia (FMVZ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:14/27078-2 - Diagnosis and monitoring of free-living capybaras - 1, BP.IC


Capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) are the largest rodent species globally and one of the most abundant mammals in Brazil. Capybaras populations reach high demographic rates in anthropic landscapes because of its great capability of adaptation. For this reason, they are cause of conflicts with human population, like crop damage and significant role in the natural history of tick-borne disease Brazilian spotted fever (BSF). The spatial distribution of capybaras is closely associated with environmental, evolutionary and ecological factors of this species, and their pattern of habitat use changes as a result of these variables. By this way, analysis of the use and movement patterns of capybaras' populations can provide relevant information, never before studied, which can be useful in elaboration of capybara and environmental management proposals, mostly in demographic explosion areas of capybaras and high risk of transmission of BSF etiological agent, the bacterium, Rickettsia rickettsii. Ecological data of spatial use and movement of capybaras in anthropic and natural landscapes have been obtained since last year by the thematic project "Capybaras, ticks and Brazilian spotted fever" (FAPESP 2013/18046-7), coordinated by Dr. Marcelo Bahia Labruna. These data require robust analyses that can be performed using newly developed quatitative models such as continuous time movement models (CTMM). By this proposal, it's expected gaining knowledge about techniques and to start analyzing data of movement ecology of animals for further application and dissemination of this knowledge in Brazil. (AU)

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