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Tropical Conservation Science
Guest Editors: Dr. Sonia Gallina and Dr. Salvador Mandujano
May 2009 | Vol. 2 | Issue 2 (Special Issue) | pages 116-265

Ecology and conservation of Baird’s tapir in Mexico | pages 140-158
Eduardo J. Naranjo

Baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii) is endangered primarily because of habitat destruction and overhunting throughout its distribution range in southeastern Mexico. The number of tapirs occurring in Mexico is around 2600 individuals, which are also threatened by forest fires, building of highways and dams, disease transmission from domestic animals, pollution of rivers and lagoons, and global climatic change effects. A strategy for tapir conservation in Mexico should include: 1) habitat protection and management; 2) creation of corridors among isolated forest fragments containing tapirs; 3) reduction of poverty and control of poaching in communities near tapir habitat; 4) captive breeding programs for recovery of wild populations; 5) environmental education and communication programs in rural and urban areas near tapir habitat; and 6) research on population status, threats, and alternatives for conservation of tapirs and their habitat.

Conservation status of the white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari) outside the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve in Campeche, Mexico: a synthesis | Estado de conservación del pecarí de labio blanco (Tayassu pecari) fuera de la reserva de la biosfera de Calakmul, Campeche, México: una síntesis | pages 159-172
Rafael Reyna-Hurtado

The white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari) is a pig-like species that forms the largest groups documented for any other related species living in tropical forests. White-lipped peccaries have become increasingly rare in Mexico and Central America in the last 50 years. Here I suggest some management actions for conservation of this endangered species based on a synthesis of ecological and social data coming mainly from a two-years’ field study conducted in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve (CBR) and three human communities (ejidos) that surround it in Southeastern Mexico. The species inhabit and area that was among the largest area reported anywhere for this species. White-lipped peccary groups were larger in the CBR than in the hunted areas, these smaller group sizes signal a conservation concern for this species in the Calakmul region. Hunting occurs mainly in the dry season when the breeding season is at the peak and peccary groups are visiting water bodies where they are more easily hunted. To conserve the white-lipped peccary in the Calakmul region we need to reduce hunting pressure and preserve large forested areas and ponds outside the CBR.

Evaluation of feral pig population (Sus scrofa) and its impact in the Sierra La Laguna Biosphere Reserva, Baja California Sur, Mexico. | pages 173-188
Aurora Breceda Solís-Cámara, Gustavo Arnaud Franco, Sergio Álvarez Cárdenas, Patricia Galina Tessaro and Juan José Montes Sánchez

Invasive species are those that occur beyond their accepted normal distribution, either introduced by humans or other means, and become so well adapted to their new environments that interfere with native species. The introduction of invasive species is one important cause of loss of biodiversity throughout the world. The domestic pig (Sus scrofa) is native from Eurasia and North Africa, and has been introduced around the world as a source of food, some groups escaped from human care, turning into feral animals. Its presence in the Baja California peninsula dates from the 18th century. Our study assessed its relative abundance, distribution and its impact to the vegetation in the "Sierra La Laguna" Biosphere Reserve", located at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula. The feral pig in the reserve is common at moderate levels of impact. The most impacted vegetation is the pine-oak forest. One problem in monitoring the impact of feral pigs is their high mobility in their search for food and water. Continued monitoring multi-seasonally and multi-annually is recommended to further understand the impact of their presence and growing numbers upon the native vegetation.

Assessment of structural elements of bighorn sheep habitat at Sierra del Mechudo, Baja California Sur, Mexico | pages 189-203
Sergio Alvarez-Cárdenas, Patricia Galina-Tessaro, Sara Días-Castro, Israel Guerrero-Cárdenas, Aradit Castellanos-Vera and Erika Mesa-Zavala

Habitat loss puts in extinction risk small and isolated populations of mammals like the bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis weemsi) in Sierra del Mechudo, Baja California. This study emphasizes the importance of intermountain movement of individuals looking for suitable areas for breeding, rearing of young, feeding, finding water, movements which may also result in genetic exchange. The study evaluates the importance of two structural elements of the habitat: ruggedness of the terrain and vegetation structure, two features determinant in the anti-predator behavior of bighorn sheep. Our study suggests that maintaining and restoring the connectivity between isolated populations is an important conservation approach to sustain populations of bighorn sheep.

Estudio poblacional y uso de hábitat por el Venado Cola Blanca (Odocoileus virginianus) en un bosque templado de la Sierra de Pachuca, Hidalgo, México | Population study and habitat use by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in a temperate forest at Sierra de Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico. | pages 204-214
Gerardo Sánchez-Rojas, Cristian Aguilar-Miguel and Edel Hernández-Cid

The White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) is an exploited species. In México the use of wildlife is regulated in conservation units of wildlife (UMAs). In the Rancho Santa Elena (UMA), Hidalgo, México. Using counts of fecal clumps we assess the density and demographic structure of the population of white-tailed deer. The deer density was estimated at 2 individuals/km2. The fecal group proportions were: young 40%, adult female 40%, and adult male 20%. The spatial distribution of the fecal clumps showed that habitat characteristics were significantly different between adults and young, but similar between males and females. The study suggests that data based on the study of the spatial distribution of white-tailed deer fecal clumps can be an important tool to monitor the deer population in the study area and in other areas where white-tailed deer occurs.

Habitat Evaluation of white-tailed deer using spatial models and their implications for management in central Veracruz, Mexico | pages 215-228
Christian Alejandro Delfín-Alfonso, Sonia Gallina and Carlos A. López-González

Our study aimed at defining management strategies, in terms of habitat quality, for the white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus, in in the central region of Veracruz, Mexico. Important variables under consideration were slope, altitude and protection from vegetation cover for the species. We determined that 70% of the suitable habitat in the study area is of poor quality for deer, but a high percentage of presence records for deer were found in habitats of medium to good quality.

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   Tropical Conservation Science is an open-access e-journal that publishes research relating to conservation of tropical forests and other tropical ecosystems.

Volume 2: Issue 2
Table of Contents

Estrada & Butler
Gallina & Mandujano
Gallina & Mandujano
Solís-Cámara et al
Alvarez-Cárdenas at al
Sánchez-Rojas at al
Delfín-Alfonso at al
Arellano at al
Mandujano & González-Zamora
Gallina & Escobedo-Morales

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