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European hare invasion and its association with landscape heterogeneity and agricultural crops cycle in a biofuel producing zone

Grant number: 19/26334-9
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2022
Effective date (End): March 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Forestry Resources and Forestry Engineering - Nature Conservation
Principal researcher:Adriano Garcia Chiarello
Grantee:Nielson Aparecido Pasqualotto Salvador
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:18/11788-1 - European Hare invasion and its association with structure, composition and agricultural crops cycle in the interior of São Paulo, BP.DR

Abstract

The European hare invasion in the Neotropics has received little attention until now. Since biological invasion has severely threatened species and ecosystems worldwide, it is undoubtedly urgent to investigate the drivers of the spread and occurrence of this non-native species in this novel geographic realm. Moreover, it is also vital to understand the spatial coexistence patterns prevailing among the European hare and both native leporids and predators. More specifically, this study aims to investigate how the European hare occurrence is associated with agricultural landscape heterogeneity and crop cycle in the northward expansion front. Besides, the patterns of co-occurrence among the European hare and the Brazilian forest rabbit, Sylvilagus brasiliensis sensu lato, and pumas (Puma concolor) will also be investigated. For this propose, we sampled 55 circular agricultural landscapes with a wide spatial distribution (centers at least 6,180 m apart from each other) in the northeast of São Paulo state, southeastern Brazil. Landscapes were selected for maximizing the variance of predictors and minimize the interference of uncontrolled factors. The species detection was obtained using camera trapping and indirect sampling (i.e., footprints and feces) in transects. Following a multi-scale approach, we will use advanced occupancy parametrizations to appropriately answer the gaps in the scientific literature here addressed. Hence, this study intends to broaden the understanding of the European hare invasion in Brazil, generating results that will have implications not only for the conservation of the native fauna but also for the agricultural and environmental policies in general.

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