Population Mapping and Management of South American Coati in Mangabeiras Park and surrounding Conservation Units

South American coatis are medium-sized carnivores from the Procyonidae family that live in groups and have opportunistic behavior. The species has wide distribution throughout South America and is present in all Brazilian biomes. However, there are few studies about coatis.

Mangabeiras Park, a conservation unit in the city of Belo Horizonte surrounded by urban and mined areas, has a density of coatis larger than other places that conduct studies on the species. The absence of a predator in the area and the great amount of food source from garbage dumps, visitors and houses around the park could be the cause of increase in the number of coatis. In addition, the fragmentation of the species habitat could also be influencing the population density by making dispersion to other areas more difficult.
The large number of coatis is causing a conflict between themselves and other people due to certain situations, such as bites, scratches and food robbery, and can cause drastic alterations in this small vertebrate community.

Faced with this situation, it is crucial that we study more the dynamic of coati’s population in Mangabeira Park. We need to verify if there is, in fact, a connection between the park area with the surrounding conservation units (Baleia State Park, Private Reserve of Natural Heritage of Baleia State Park, Private Reserve of Natural Heritage Jambeiro Forest and Carrapatos Ecological Park), to suggest population management strategies.

Since 2007, the number of coatis is estimated yearly, through capturing and marking techniques. The animals receive a microchip that contains an identification number. The information of each individual is stored in a database. We will also conduct research on the animal´s living area through radio telemetry and on diet to evaluate the anthropic influence in their feeding. In addition, there are also studies in the area of parasitology, genetics, morphophysiology, hematology, and ethno zoology.

As soon as enough information is obtained, we will elaborate a management plan for the coatis in the researched conservation units. In other words, we will seek for alternatives to minimize conflicts involving this species in the area. We are searching for partnerships with private initiative to support our project in this regard.

Operational area

atlantic-forest,cerrado-en

Responsible team

Project coordinator:

Flávio Henrique Guimarães Rodrigues
Nadja Simbera Hemetrio

Team:

Nadja Simbera Hemetrio
MSc. Júlia Angélica Gonçalves da Silveira
Lara Ambrósio Leal Dutra
Wander Ulisses Mesquita
Daniele Cristina Barcelos
Bárbara Regina Neves Chaves
Paula Cristina Senra Lima
Alessandra Vitelli de Araujo
Eduardo de Carvalho Dutra
Felipe Novais Bahia

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