Countryside Biogeography of Neotropical Mammals: Conservation Opportunities in Agricultural Landscapes of Costa Rica

Countryside Biogeography of Neotropical Mammals: Conservation Opportunities in Agricultural... Abstract: The future of mammalian diversity in the tropics depends largely on the conservation value of human‐dominated lands. We investigated the distribution of non‐flying mammals in five habitats of southern Costa Rica: relatively extensive forest (227 ha), coffee plantation, pasture, coffee with adjacent forest remnant (<35 ha), and pasture with adjacent forest remnant (<35 ha). Of the 26 native species recorded in our study plots, 9 (35%) were restricted to forest habitat, 14 (54%) occurred in both forest and agricultural habitats, and 3 (11%) were found only in agricultural habitats. Species richness and composition varied significantly with habitat type but not with distance from the extensive forest. Interestingly, small forest remnants (<35 ha) contiguous with coffee plantations did not differ from more extensive forest in species richness and were richer than other agricultural habitat types. Small remnants contiguous with pasture were species‐poor. When clearing started, the study region likely supported about 60 species. Since then, at least 6 species (10%), one family (4%), and one order (11%) have gone extinct locally. The species that disappeared were the largest in their families and included carnivorous (e.g., jaguar (Panthera onca)), herbivorous (e.g., Baird's tapir, (Tapirus bairdii)), and arboreal (e.g., mantled howler monkey(Alouatta palliata)) species. Although there is no substitute for native forest habitat, the majority of native, nonflying mammal species use countryside habitats. The populations of many persist even >5 km from relatively extensive forest, at least over the 40 years since forest clearance. Moreover, if hunting ceased, we expect that at least one of the locally extinct species could be reestablished in the existing landscape. Thus, there is an important opportunity to maintain and restore the diversity, abundance, and ecosystem roles of mammals in at least some human‐dominated regions of the Neotropics. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Conservation Biology Wiley

Countryside Biogeography of Neotropical Mammals: Conservation Opportunities in Agricultural Landscapes of Costa Rica

Loading next page...
 
/lp/wiley/countryside-biogeography-of-neotropical-mammals-conservation-X6nhpic5Nr
Publisher
Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0888-8892
eISSN
1523-1739
D.O.I.
10.1111/j.1523-1739.2003.00298.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract: The future of mammalian diversity in the tropics depends largely on the conservation value of human‐dominated lands. We investigated the distribution of non‐flying mammals in five habitats of southern Costa Rica: relatively extensive forest (227 ha), coffee plantation, pasture, coffee with adjacent forest remnant (<35 ha), and pasture with adjacent forest remnant (<35 ha). Of the 26 native species recorded in our study plots, 9 (35%) were restricted to forest habitat, 14 (54%) occurred in both forest and agricultural habitats, and 3 (11%) were found only in agricultural habitats. Species richness and composition varied significantly with habitat type but not with distance from the extensive forest. Interestingly, small forest remnants (<35 ha) contiguous with coffee plantations did not differ from more extensive forest in species richness and were richer than other agricultural habitat types. Small remnants contiguous with pasture were species‐poor. When clearing started, the study region likely supported about 60 species. Since then, at least 6 species (10%), one family (4%), and one order (11%) have gone extinct locally. The species that disappeared were the largest in their families and included carnivorous (e.g., jaguar (Panthera onca)), herbivorous (e.g., Baird's tapir, (Tapirus bairdii)), and arboreal (e.g., mantled howler monkey(Alouatta palliata)) species. Although there is no substitute for native forest habitat, the majority of native, nonflying mammal species use countryside habitats. The populations of many persist even >5 km from relatively extensive forest, at least over the 40 years since forest clearance. Moreover, if hunting ceased, we expect that at least one of the locally extinct species could be reestablished in the existing landscape. Thus, there is an important opportunity to maintain and restore the diversity, abundance, and ecosystem roles of mammals in at least some human‐dominated regions of the Neotropics.

Journal

Conservation BiologyWiley

Published: Dec 1, 2003

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off