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Terrestrial mammals of Pernambuco endemism center as indicators of environmental integrity

Grant number: 20/02570-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:Luís Fábio Silveira
Grantee:Mayara Dantas Guimarães Beltrão
Host Institution: Museu de Zoologia (MZ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/23548-2 - Evaluation, recovering and conservation of endangered animal species from the Pernambuco Centre of Endemism, AP.BTA.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):22/13070-6 - Persistence of medium and large mammals in a highly fragmented tropical forest: potential distribution, landscape effects and conservation priorities, BE.EP.PD


The loss and fragmentation of native habitats is a threat to mammal diversity. In fragmented landscapes species are affected by local and landscape attributes. Low population densities and loss of mammalian species in the Atlantic Forest (AF) are factors known to drive negative effects on ecological interactions. Such effects may be more severe in the Northeast portion of AF, the Pernambuco Endemism Center (PEC), a biodiversity hotspot and the world's second largest sugarcane producer. Mammalian attributes such as habitat requirements and the variety of ecological roles they play make them an excellent indicator of environmental integrity. The objective of this project is to elucidate, on a local and landscape scale, predictors of mammal diversity, such as landscape configuration, habitat quality, spatiotemporal effect of landscape change and how these characteristics determine the occupation and persistence of these groups in these areas. Small, medium and large mammals will be sampled with livetraps, pitfalls and camera traps in AF fragments at PEC. The relationships between diversity metrics and environmental variables will be assessed by Generalized Linear Models, Occupancy and Multidimensional Scaling. Thus, the variables that most explain the mammal diversity and occupation metrics will be used to create an environmental integrity index, which will be the basis for indicating conservation policies, including suggesting areas for the creation of a conservation unit in PEC, which is all set in a very similar context of agricultural landscapes. (AU)

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