Due to the rapid growth of urban environments, interactions between animals and humans in cities are increasingly common. Large mammals, such as capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), provide benefits to people and biodiversity of urban areas, but can also result in conflicts, such as animal–vehicle collisions or disease transmission. As a consequence, understanding the space use of urban capybara, and the effect of human activity on capybaras, is conducive to the promotion of coexistence. We studied the home range and the role of human disturbance on activity and habitat selection of urban capybaras in the city of Campo Grande (Brazil). We monitored nine groups of capybaras living at four parks: two parks subjected to high human visitation on workdays and two on weekends. Home range of the urban capybaras in the study is larger than those reported in previous studies of wild capybaras. The capybaras under study presented a bimodal activity pattern, which was delayed on days of high human presence, increasing animals' nocturnality. In addition, habitat selection was completely altered on days of high human presence, leading animals to increase avoidance of urban areas and reversing the selectivity patterns for forests, grasslands, and water bodies, that capybaras show on days with low human presence. Even when completely surrounded by an anthropic environment, our results indicate that a mosaic of grasslands near a water body and forested areas will allow capybaras to maintain daily activity and large home ranges. However, human presence significantly altered the daily activity patterns and habitat selection of capybara. Urban planners should account for these data to improve the coexistence of capybaras with humans and thereby minimize the potential for conflicts.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 102 • No. 3