Tapirs, White-lipped and Collared peccaries, in Emas National Park: Ecology, Conservation and Impacts on Production
The study of the tapir, White-lipped peccary and collared peccary in the region of Emas National Park (PNE), started in 1999 with the objective to understand the conservation status of the three most important prey of jaguars and pumas in the region. The three species are being studied within the PNE and in fragments of cerrado forest in surrounding rural properties. The overall goal is to gather information on their ecology and identify threats to their conservation. This information will assist in developing a management plan and conservation of these three species in the region.
To date ten groups of peccaries are being monitored by radio-telemetry. For this, the animals are captured, and fitted with radio collars. Tapirs are captured using pit-falls, which are holes dug along trails used by tapirs, and covered with tiles and camouflaged with earth. To date, 15 tapirs were captured and fitted with radio collars and are being monitored by radio telemetry. Collared peccaries have not been caught, but information based on direct observations is being collected. In all captured animals blood samples, serum and ectoparasites, were collected for genetic analysis and health.
The monitoring of these species allowed us to identify, so far, two major threats to their conservation: poaching of all three species, and the slaughter of White-lipped peccaries, in retaliation for damage to corn and maize crops. To quantify the impacts these species cause on crop production, some properties were selected for the study, based on historical losses and preferably those which were close to groups being monitored by radio-telemetry. The quantification of losses and implementation of management systems to solve problems are being implemented.
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Anah TA Jácomo