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Iheringia. Série Zoologia

Print version ISSN 0073-4721

Abstract

MELO, Geruza L.; SPONCHIADO, Jonas  and  CACERES, Nilton C.. Use of camera-traps in natural trails and shelters for the mammalian survey in the Atlantic Forest. Iheringia, Sér. Zool. [online]. 2012, vol.102, n.1, pp. 88-94. ISSN 0073-4721.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0073-47212012000100012.

In order to evaluate the efficiency of different mammalian survey methods, we compared traditional sampling techniques (use of camera-traps on roads and artificial trails, track censuses, and direct field visualization) with an alternative sampling design (camera-traps positioned in natural areas such as natural trails and shelters). We conducted the study in a deciduous Atlantic-Forest park in southern Brazil, and additionally compared our results with a previous intensive study carried out in the same area. Our considerably smaller sampling effort (example: 336 trap.day for our camera-traps versus 2,154 trap.day for the earlier study) registered the presence of 85% of the local known species, with camera-traps being 68% efficient. Moreover, shelter camera-traps revealed a different species composition regarding most of other sampling methods. This sampling strategy involving natural forest sites was therefore able to effectively optimize the chances of evaluating species composition in a shorter period, especially with respect to lower-density and cryptic species, as well as to detect species that avoid open, disturbed sites such as roads and man-made forest trails.

Keywords : Combined sampling; diversity evaluation; forest interior; trapping effort.

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