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Who is the red Mazama in Rio Doce State Park, Minas Gerais? A genetic non-invasive approach and integrative taxonomy

Grant number: 21/02087-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Animal Genetics
Principal researcher:José Maurício Barbanti Duarte
Grantee:Jeferson Lucas Sousa Freitas
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias (FCAV). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Jaboticabal. Jaboticabal , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):22/06502-7 - Improving analytical approaches for estimating forest deer density, BE.EP.MS


The understanding of the geographic distribution and the taxonomic diversity of Mazama's species contains several gaps, mostly due to the elusive habits and great morphological similarity between species. Recently, a population of Mazama sp. belonging to the Odocoileina subtribe was discovered in the Rio Doce State Park, Minas Gerais, however it was not possible to identify it at the species level, which could be a threatened species or even a species not yet described by science. Given this context, this project has as its central objective identify and characterize the population of Mazama sp. belonging to the Odocoileina that occurs in the Rio Doce State Park using non-invasive sampling. For this purpose, the following methodologies will be used: 1) camera traps for obtaining photos aiming morphological identification through comparative images, 2) fecal sampling with the aid of a detection dog for molecular identification with mitochondrial DNA and for population density and size estimates using the Faecal Standing Crop method and 3) collection of hair samples for analysis of population genetics through microsatellite regions of nuclear DNA. Using only non-invasive approaches, this project will be able to identify the existing species in the Rio Doce State Park and determine its main characteristics from a population and genetic point of view. Obtaining such results brings with it several implications for the management and conservation of Brazilian deer species, especially if the presence of a new species or a taxon threatened with extinction is confirmed. (AU)

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