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15 December 2009 Underestimation of Abundances of the Monito Del Monte (Dromiciops gliroides) due to a Sampling Artifact
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Abstract

The monito del monte (Dromiciops gliroides) is an arboreal marsupial found only in austral South American temperate rain forests. Its conservation is a priority as the only extant species of the order Microbiotheria. We investigated whether the apparent low abundances reported for D. gliroides are real, or reflect a sampling artifact. We used wire-mesh and Sherman live traps, devices for recording tracks and hair, 2 types of bait, and 2 trap placements (ground level and 1.5–2.5 m high) in an old-growth forest in southern Chile. Type of bait and placement height affected captures of D. gliroides. The most efficient trapping combination (wire-mesh traps baited with banana, and placed above ground) yielded capture rates of up to 11%, and a relative population density of 21 ± 5 individuals/ha (mean ± SE), whereas traditional methods used for sampling small mammals were not effective. The sampling artifact uncovered here may have important future management and conservation implications.

Francisco E. Fontúrbel and Jaime E. Jiménez "Underestimation of Abundances of the Monito Del Monte (Dromiciops gliroides) due to a Sampling Artifact," Journal of Mammalogy 90(6), (15 December 2009). https://doi.org/10.1644/09-MAMM-A-027R1.1
Received: 19 January 2009; Accepted: 1 March 2009; Published: 15 December 2009
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