Mammals in atlantic forest remnants of Barbacena, Minas Gerais

Thayná Silva Batista Camila Dornellas Estevão Débora Caliari de Lima Geraldo Majela Moraes Salvio About the authors

Abstract

Habitat loss and fragmentation are the main causes of biodiversity decline, since changes in environmental and ecological conditions directly affect species richness, abundance, and distribution. This study aimed to identify medium- and large-sized mammals occurring in three Atlantic Forest remnants located in the Barbacena campus of the Federal Institute of Southeast Minas Gerais (IFSudesteMG). The species were recorded in track plots and through active search for direct and indirect signs. 16 species distributed in six orders and 14 families were identified, including some vulnerable and threatened species such as Lycalopex vetulus (meadow fox), Lontra longicaudis (otter), and Callicebus nigrifrons (black-fronted titi monkey). Canis familiaris (domestic dog) and Didelphis sp. (opossum) were the species most frequently observed in the track plots. The largest fragment had the greatest species richness, with 15 species, or 93.75% of the total. The number of species shared among the three sampled areas was 31.2%. The similarities identified between the fragments indicate the need for higher connectivity among them, through the creation of ecological corridors to allow the movement and, consequently, gene flux among the populations, favoring the maintenance of important ecosystem services in the region. Although small, the study area plays a major role in mammal conservation in the region, preserving species from the Cerrado and the Atlantic Forest domains. To reduce potential impacts on the local fauna, management and conservation efforts should be put forward.

Keywords:
Fragmentation; biodiversity; mammalian fauna

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