Context. Urbanisation and human population growth can generate conflicts, threatening biodiversity. Resource availability and vegetation complexity owing to human influence may increase the potential that a habitat would lose its species. Conservation biology aims to understand how to soften human influence and maintain viable in situ populations.
Aims. We evaluated the non-volant mammal’s richness and abundance in an Atlantic Forest protected area. Specifically, we tested (1) the effect of distance from water resource and vegetation (canopy and understorey cover) on richness and abundance and (2) the effects of anthropogenic pressure such as domestic dog abundance, distances from human settlements, and from the road on the community of non-volant mammals.
Methods. We collected the data from January through December of 2017 in 20 sampling sites by using live traps (for small mammals), active search, sand plots and camera traps.
Key results. We recorded 22 species of non-volant mammals, among them four endemic, two endangered and two invasive exotic species. The main covariates that affected the structure and composition of the non-volant mammal’s assemblage was the domestic dog abundance, which repels most of the species into the forest and water resources, which attract the species to forest edges.
Conclusions. Our results indicated that the negative impact of domestic dog presence in the non-volant mammal’s community is so evident that it could generate changes in the composition, richness, and local distribution of the species.
Implications. We suggest that management action in this protected area must initiate a control of domestic dogs to minimise their impact.