The Cerrado region in Brazil has been identified as the most biologically diverse savanna on Earth, and Emas National Park is an important protected area for populations of wide-ranging large mammals such as giant anteaters, jaguars and puma.
But at about 500 square miles, the park is too small on its own to protect those species, said Carly Vynne, director of wildlife and habitat for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, who studied the effect of land-use changes on mammals in the Cerrado as part of her University of Washington doctoral work.
A major concern is that areas around the park are rapidly being converted to farmland, making the park more like "an island in a sea of agriculture," Vynne said.
A Brazilian law requiring landowners to leave 20 percent of their farms' original vegetation intact could be key in preservation efforts, giving the animals significantly more room to roam outside the park, though there are some efforts to change that.
The effect of the law is to create "an interesting mosaic" combining a well-managed preserve linked to a network of forested river corridors and patches of woodland left intact on adjacent private land, Vynne said.
She led a team that studied how keeping some private land in natural habitat affected preservation efforts in the Cerrado, and the work was published last month in PLoS One, a journal of the Public Library of Science.
"We often hear about the bison trying to leave Yellowstone (National Park), or the grizzlies trying to move out. This was the same kind of situation," she said.
The researchers gathered evidence on the range and habitat favored by five species of large mammals – jaguar, puma, giant anteater, giant armadillo and maned wolf – in 2004 and again from 2006 through 2008. Using a team of dogs from the Center for Conservation Biology's famed troupe of scat-hunting conservation canines, the scientists gathered scat from each species and pieced together profiles of areas the animals tended to inhabit.
They found that the giant armadillos and jaguars favored the protected habitat of the park, possibly because they are more sensitive to disturbances involved with working agricultural land outside the park.
"The jaguars and the giant armadillos need 50 percent natural area for the habitat to be effective," Vynne said. For the other species, "just having habitat available outside the park allows them to use the landscape as a whole."
The finding comes at a time when some are trying to reduce the amount of land property owners in the Cerrado must keep in natural habitat, or to allow them to alter the use of their land near the park in exchange for keeping land elsewhere in its natural state.
"Reducing the land near the park that is left in natural habitat would likely have pretty significant implications," Vynne said.She noted that already some agriculture land is being converted to sugar cane from soy beans, again altering the habitat and potentially changing significantly how the large mammals can use the area.
For more information, contact Vynne at 206-437-5247 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Vince Stricherz | EurekAlert!
Deep decarbonization of industry is possible with innovations
25.03.2019 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Five-point plan to integrate recreational fishers into fisheries and nature conservation policy
20.03.2019 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
Cancers that display a specific combination of sugars, called T-antigen, are more likely to spread through the body and kill a patient. However, what regulates...
DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.
The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...
Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.
The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...
Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.
Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...
The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.
A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...
11.03.2019 | Event News
01.03.2019 | Event News
28.02.2019 | Event News
26.03.2019 | Trade Fair News
26.03.2019 | Life Sciences
25.03.2019 | Trade Fair News