Deforestation and hunting are the leading human-driven disturbances causing population declines of the vulnerable Great Curassow (Crax rubra) and the near threatened Great Tinamou (Tinamus major). These threats typically co-occur, with synergistic effects. We investigated habitat use of Great Curassows and Great Tinamous in the Matapalo corridor of the Osa Peninsula, southwest Costa Rica, where they are not hunted, to understand whether disturbed habitats can be suitable for these species. We analyzed camera trap data from 56 locations and 5579 trapping days using occupancy modeling. We obtained 195 independent captures of Great Curassows at 33 of 56 locations (59%) and 429 independent captures of Great Tinamous at 37 of 56 locations (66%). Great Curassow occupancy did not vary with habitat type but was negatively influenced by distance from roads and by elevation; detection probability varied with habitat type. Great Tinamou occupancy probability was principally related to habitat type; primary, secondary and plantation forest areas all displayed high occupancy probabilities, but occupancy of agricultural land was low. Our work suggests that secondary-growth forests can offer valuable complementary habitat to assist in the recovery of these declining species, at least when hunting is controlled and intact forests are nearby.
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Vol. 120 • No. 4