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1 June 2017 Biodiversity and conservation of Cuban mammals: past, present, and invasive species
Rafael Borroto-Páez, Carlos A. Mancina
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Land mammals of the Caribbean Islands biodiversity hotspot have suffered a high rate of extinction since human arrival, principally in the last 500 years since colonialism began. Here, we present an extensive review and bibliography of this topic in Cuba, including details regarding the surviving endemic species of volant and terrestrial mammals and locations of species on 121 protected areas. We analyzed patterns of species richness, endemism, body mass, diet, habitat, geographic distribution of the observed richness, conservation threats, and possible causes and threats to future extinction. Cuban mammal biodiversity is comprised of 59 native species, 24 extinct species and 35 extant species, most of which are endemic to the Cuban archipelago. We compared the threats of habitat destruction and hunting, with emphasis on invasive mammal species as drivers of historical extinction in Cuba. A total of 44 mammal species have been introduced since 1509, with 33 invasive species living in the wild and exerting differing degrees of impact, principally by predation and competition. Additionally, we evaluated interactions among invasive and native mammals, emphasizing predation of feral cats upon Solenodon cubanus, Capromys pilorides, and other small endemic vertebrates as determined from analyses of scat contents. We found that black rats (Rattus rattus) reach densities of 147–322 individuals/ha in Solenodon habitat, thus likely are major competitors for food and refuges to these evolutionarily distinct and endangered Cuban mammals.

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© 2017 American Society of Mammalogists,
Rafael Borroto-Páez and Carlos A. Mancina "Biodiversity and conservation of Cuban mammals: past, present, and invasive species," Journal of Mammalogy 98(4), 964-985, (1 June 2017).
Published: 1 June 2017

Cuban land mammals
fossil mammals
introduced mammals
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