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9 July 2018 Importance of riparian forest corridors for the ocelot in agricultural landscapes
Roberta M. Paolino, Jeffrey A. Royle, Natalia F. Versiani, Thiago F. Rodrigues, Nielson Pasqualotto, Victor G. Krepschi, Adriano G. Chiarello
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Abstract

Worldwide, private lands have attracted increased attention from conservationists, not only because most of the globe is privately owned, but also because private lands can be an asset to the protected area conservation strategy. In Brazil, the riverine Areas of Permanent Protection (APPs) are a key instrument of the Forest Code to protect biodiversity on private lands, acting as wildlife corridors. We assessed this putative role of APPs by evaluating how ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) occurrence is influenced by covariates in 3 cerrado landscapes dominated by sugarcane and managed forests of eucalyptus and pine trees. We collected detection–nondetection data by camera trapping during 2 dry seasons (2013 and 2014) at 208 stations (6,606 camera-days). We estimated ocelot detection and mean relative abundance using a single-species, single-season occupancy model that accounts for heterogeneous detection probability induced by variation in abundance. Modeling results showed that percentage of native forest was the most important covariate to explain mean relative abundance of ocelots. This parameter was also affected positively by APPs, with ocelots being more abundant inside than outside APPs and, unexpectedly, by sugarcane. Given our study design, however, the positive effect of this crop likely reflects the contact zone between sugarcane and native forest. Our findings show that landscape composition affects ocelot abundance and highlight the importance of APPs and Legal Reserves in agricultural landscapes. We conclude that, in such landscapes, compliance to the Forest Code by private land owners is key to supporting ocelot occurrence.

© 2018 American Society of Mammalogists, www.mammalogy.org
Roberta M. Paolino, Jeffrey A. Royle, Natalia F. Versiani, Thiago F. Rodrigues, Nielson Pasqualotto, Victor G. Krepschi, and Adriano G. Chiarello "Importance of riparian forest corridors for the ocelot in agricultural landscapes," Journal of Mammalogy 99(4), 874-884, (9 July 2018). https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyy075
Received: 8 August 2017; Accepted: 9 June 2018; Published: 9 July 2018
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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KEYWORDS
Areas of Permanent Protection
Camera trap
Cerrado
Environmental law
Leopardus pardalis
occupancy
private lands
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