Ecology and Conservation of the Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) in Emas National Park
Is there significant seasonal variation in home range, activity pattern and population density of the species?
Is there a spatial structure in genetic variability within the population, related to different areas of the Park and adjacent disturbed areas?
What is the distance of gene flow (is there a tendency of mating between individuals of adjacent home ranges)?
What are the main diseases that are present in the sampled populations of anteaters?
The project, began in July 2000 and was completed in 2003.
Summary of results:
The average home range of giant anteaters in Emas National Park (PNE) was approximately 12 km2. These values are much higher than those found by other researchers in the Serra da Canastra National Park and also in the Pantanal, but are lower than those found for the Venezuelan Llanos. Though larger than other locations in Brazil, the areas occupied by the giant anteaters PNE are not extensive. There was a high overlap of home ranges for both males and females. These two characteristics – relatively small areas and high overlap, mean that high densities are achieved and the NEP is one area where this density is higher (perhaps with the exception of PN Serra da Canastra) (GHB & FHG Rodrigues de Miranda, unpublished data).
As well as individuals monitored within the Park with conventional VHF telemetry, 10 anteaters at the periphery of the park have also been fitted with a VHF transmitter and a GPS to map habitat use in disturbed areas. The results show that the anteaters on the periphery use the edge of crop areas, but primarily to reach other natural areas. Therefore, although they can survive in a matrix of disturbed areas, the anteaters are heavily dependent on areas of native vegetation and it is these that enable the occupation matrix.
Blood from 30 captured anteaters was collected for analysis of genetic variability. The DNA of all samples was extracted and stored. These samples are being analyzed.
The population survey conducted with terrestrial transects indicated that there are approximately 530 anteaters living in the Emas National Park. From an aerial survey we found a result of about 276 anteaters in the PNE.
Região de atuação
Flávio Henrique Guimarães Rodrigues
Guilherme Miranda – UCB
Rosane Colevatti – UCB