ABSTRACT We investigated habitat preference in the community of ungulates in the Calakmul Forest of Southern Mexico through systematically counting the tracks of six species in randomly placed transects. Tracks were associated with one of four major forest types according to Pennington and Sarukhan (1998). Forest type availability was estimated through 393 independent points on the same transects. We surveyed 90 transects in three hunted areas and one large nonhunted area, with a total of 206 km walked. A total of 1672 tracks of the six species were found. Brocket deer (Mazama americana and Mazama pandora) preferred low‐dry forest in the nonhunted area and low‐flooded forest in the hunted areas. Collared peccary (Pecari tajacu) was a generalist species in the nonhunted area, whereas in the hunted areas, it preferred the subperennial forest. White‐lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari) was found only in subperennial forest in the nonhunted area and favored low‐flooded forest in the hunted areas. White‐tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) preferred low‐flooded forest in the hunted areas, while it was a generalist in the nonhunted area. Tapir (Tapirus bairdii) preferred low‐flooded forest in the hunted areas. The most evident habitat difference among hunted and nonhunted areas was a major use of low‐flooded forest in the hunted areas for the species. Conservation of ungulate species in the Calakmul region requires protection of all major habitat types in hunted and nonhunted areas.
Biotropica – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 2005
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