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Tropical Conservation Science
March 2016 | Vol. 9 | Issue 1 | pages 1 - 564

Growing trends in submissions and manuscript acceptance in Tropical Conservation Science
Alejandro Estrada and Rhett Butler

Guidelines for wildlife monitoring: savannah herbivores
Tim Caro
Monitoring is important for maintaining viable wildlife populations and assessing management actions, but in Africa authorities rank it low compared to law enforcement and community conservation interests. To reduce time, effort and financial costs of monitoring large mammals, I examined data collected on large herbivores using vehicle transects over a 20-year period in Katavi National Park, Tanzania. Reassuringly, population trends obtained from ground transects were similar to those from aerial surveys conducted over a much wider area. Encouragingly, the frequency of vehicle surveys driven per year, or across years, could be reduced without losing substantial information thereby saving considerable effort. Nonetheless, it is inadvisable to stint on numbers of transects driven, or to use trends in populations of single species to represent those of others. These findings are heartening because they indicate that managers can obtain relatively accurate information about herbivore population trends through infrequent and therefore more cost-effective monitoring.

Factors structuring the fish community in the area of the Coaracy Nunes hydroelectric reservoir in Amapá, northern Brazil
Júlio C. Sá-Oliveira , Victoria J. Isaac , Andrea Soares Araújo and Stephen F. Ferrari
This study investigated the factors influencing fish community structure in the Coaracy Nunes reservoir, the first hydroelectric plant built in the Brazilian Amazon region. Standardized samples were collected in the reservoir, nearby lake, and adjacent stretches of the river for the evaluation of community structure and ecological conditions, and a multivariate analysis of their relationship. The results indicated seasonal patterns in the downstream and lake sectors, suggesting that species competition or environmental factors play a role in community structure. Random patterns were found in the reservoir itself and upstream, although water quality and the level of the reservoir had a direct influence on fish abundance. Predation was an important determinant of community structure, but it was impacted by selective fishing. The study provided important insights into the long-term management of fish stocks in Amazonian and other tropical river systems impacted by human activities such as hydroelectric dams.

The need to improve and integrate science and environmental licensing to mitigate wildlife mortality on roads
Fernanda Zimmermann Teixeira, Igor Pfeifer Coelho, Mozart Lauxen, Isadora Beraldi Esperandio, Sandra Maria Hartz and Andreas Kindel
The expansion of road network is one of the major threats to tropical biodiversity. In recent years, the Brazilian government is investing large amounts of money in paving and upgrading of many roads. It is time to improve how we mitigate two important road impacts: wildlife mortality and the isolation of animal populations. We can diminish such impacts through better research on road ecology topics and improved environmental impact assessments. Research should focus on effects of mortality on animal populations, the effects of regional road networks across time, and how effective can be the measures applied for mitigation. Environmental impact assessments should use better study designs and focus on clear questions. Furthermore, we need to integrate professions of road construction, biodiversity management and conservation for better environmental licensing of roads.

The ecology of human-anaconda conflict: a study using internet videos
Everton Miranda, Raimundo Ribeiro-Jr. and Christine Strüssmann
That anacondas significantly impact ranchers and livestock is a well know phenomena in South American wetlands, but to what extent the anaconda killing is retaliatory hasn’t been well-documented. That need was addressed by an internet-based study; some of the early results are surprising. Everton Miranda, a predator researcher, note that it was only a matter of time before anacondas being included in the list of species causing human-wildlife conflict, saw in the internet an opportunity to collect data on conflict without the bias of interviewing the people. “We selected the internet as a way of studying this, since videos of people killing and harassing anacondas are widespread, and depictions of livestock predation were common”, Miranda explains. The researchers collect data on Human Development Index (HDI) of each location where the incident occurred, besides the outcome of the human-anaconda encounter. HDI data of the location determine how large was the chance of an anaconda being killed, having it being or not responsible for preying on livestock. “In poorly developed areas, we were able to confirm more anaconda kills. And didn’t matter if the animals were or not killing domestic prey,” Miranda says. Now, the researchers are moving over creating solutions to this problem “These killings are directed for large animals, which are large females that produces most of newborns,” says Miranda. “This could have a negative effect in some anaconda species”.

Small-scale fisheries of lagoon estuarine complexes in Northwest Mexico
Nadia T. Rubio-Cisneros, Octavio Aburto-Oropeza and Exequiel Ezcurra
Over 2 million people receive economic benefits from fisheries of LECs in Northwest Mexico. These generate over $20 million per year and most revenues are from the shrimp fishery. Many other species are also caught at LECs. However their fisheries and the coastal habitats they depend on, continue to be undervalued. Government policies have encouraged an increasing fishing effort. This has promoted unsustainable fishing practices and has magnified the “race to fish” by fishers. Despite limitations that are known to exist for small-scale fisheries data in developing countries, this study provides a broad overview of diverse and novel information related to the: taxonomy, fishing seasonality, and latitudinal patters of species groups caught in LECs. As well revenues of the most profitable fisheries are reported. In closing this research suggests how changes in fisheries management of LECs, such as the introduction of “bottom-up actions” where resource users can participate, could help establish more sustainable fishing regulations. The later could help for the preservation of fisheries ecosystem services provided by coastal lagoons and mangroves. These services are critical for the future welfare of coastal people that obtain economic and food sources from LECs fisheries in Northwest Mexico.

Classification of landscape types based on land cover, successional stages and plant functional groups in a species-rich forest in Hainan Island, China
Zhidong Zhang, Runguo Zang, Guangyu Wang and Xuanrui Huang
Tropical forests have high species diversity and very complex structural features. Identifying forest landscape types and examining the relationships between forest types distributions and environmental factors can provide us the basic information for understanding the driving forces of vegetation changes and their spatial heterogeneity. In the present study, we developed a classification system of tropical forest landscape types based on land cover, successional stages, and dominant plant functional groups. Our study suggests that the classification accuracies are acceptable for all three classification schemes. We found that landscape types dominated by different functional groups changed along the spatial (topographical factors) and temporal (recovery period) gradients in the study area. Each functional group had its optimum ranges of distribution along the gradients of elevations, aspects and recovery stages. The approach used in this study is very useful in vegetation classification, land-use planning, biodiversity conservation, and other management activities in species-rich and structurally complex ecosystems.

Habitat environment data and potential habitat interpolation of Cyathea lepifera at the Tajen Experimental Forest Station in Taiwan
Yuan-Wei Ho, Ya-Li Huang, Jan-Chang Chen and Chaur-Tzuhn Chen
Cyatheaceae first appeared in the Middle Jurassic age and distributed in warm and moist tropical and subtropical forests. However, changing in ecology and the evolution of the Earth, most of the Cyatheaceae are extinct. It is an urgent priorities problem of maintaining species biodiversity to thrash out. Cyathea lepifera (J. Sm. ex Hook.) Copel. (Cyatheaceae) is the most widely distributed and also has ornamental and medicinal values, they are widely distributed in low-altitude areas in Taiwan. The GIS and RS development is a efficient and accurately methods to figure out the habitat preferences of the species. We found that the potential habitat preferences of C. lepifera to establish In situ conservation area, maintaining a healthy native habitat can increase the genetic diversity of a species. Moreover, developing the multilayered forest structure via selective cutting that can increase the light exposure received for healthy growth by the forest. Mild understorey management must be employed to protect C. lepifera growth, and to retain adequate space for seedling growth.

New population and range extension of the Critically Endangered Ecuadorian brown-headed spider monkey (Ateles fusciceps fusciceps) in western Ecuador
Laura Cervera and Daniel M. Griffith
When it comes to conservation in Ecuador, most attention is focused on the Amazon and Galápagos Islands. Yet Ecuador’s Pacific region also merits recognition for its high levels of biodiversity and unique species found nowhere else. One such species is the Critically Endangered Ecuadorian brown-headed spider monkey (Ateles fusciceps fusciceps), which, in the face of ongoing habitat loss and hunting, has dwindled to a mere 250 individuals. Yet there still may be hope for this species, as a new population has just been found in an unexpected place – a highly fragmented landscape 100 km away from where it is known to occur. While it is still too early to tell whether this new population represents a significant boost to the species’ total numbers, this discovery provides a unique opportunity to understand how the brown-headed spider monkey may be adapting to increasingly human-dominated landscapes.

Can community-protected areas conserve biodiversity in human-modified tropical landscapes? The case of terrestrial mammals in southern Mexico.
Carlos Muench and Miguel Martínez-Ramos
One objective of Government-managed reserves (GMR) is to protect endangered species, like many wild mammals, sometimes at the expense of local people´s access to natural resources. Many rural communities create their own reserves, keeping control of their land and resources. These Community-protected areas (CPA) are usually smaller and surrounded by productive land. Can humans and wild mammals coexist in these places? Using motion-activated cameras, we registered terrestrial mammal species present at CPAs, non-protected areas and GMR sites in a tropical rainforest in Mexico. We found a similar number of species in the three categories, but GMRs and CPAs had more large mammals than non-protected areas, where no big carnivores were found and medium-sized species were more abundant. Small herbivores, which are preferred prey for hunters, were more abundant in GMR sites. These results indicate that CPAs are an effective conservation strategy, as they preserve large mammals, important for their role in the ecosystem, better than non-protected areas.

Global Climate Change Impacts on Pacific Islands Terrestrial Biodiversity: a review
S. Taylor and L. Kumar
The Pacific islands region is extremely diverse and rich in biodiversity. Global climate change will have a range of impacts on this biodiversity. This manuscript reviews the literature on observed and potential impacts of climate change on terrestrial biodiversity of the Pacific region. Biodiversity found at high elevations are projected to disappear entirely by the year 2100 while sea level rise threatens species on small low-lying atolls. It is difficult to undertake accurate assessments of climate change impacts in this region because some species are still unknown to science. Furthermore, there is limited knowledge about the species that are known in terms of their biology and distribution. Climate change may also act together with other factors like habitat loss but such impacts have not been comprehensively assessed in the Pacific region. Addressing these knowledge gaps will be difficult for Pacific island nations due to limited financial resources and expertise.

How much potential biodiversity and conservation value can a regenerating rainforest provide? A best-case scenario’ approach from the Peruvian Amazon
Andrew Whitworth, Roger Downie, Rudolf von May, Jaime Villacampa and Ross MacLeod
Through the use of a ‘best-case scenario’ assessment, we show that regenerating rainforest, recovering for over 30 years from heavy human disturbance (including clear-felling and selective logging activities), has the potential to once again contain high levels of tropical wildlife. We assessed the potential conservation and biodiversity value of a regenerating rainforest in one of the world’s most biodiverse and important conservation areas, the Manu Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site designated to protect the globally important Amazon rainforest in and around Manu National Park, southeast Peru. We found that biodiversity of this regenerating site was higher than might have been expected, reaching 87% (±3.5%) of primary forest species richness, and importantly, contained 37 species of special conservation concern (including short-eared dog, harpy eagle and black-faced spider monkey). Regenerating rainforests can therefore be important areas for tropical wildlife, supporting conservation efforts in and around primary forest protected areas.

Cavity occupancy by lowland paca (Cuniculus paca) in the Lacandon Rainforest, Chiapas, Mexico
Avril Figueroa-de-León, Eduardo J. Naranjo, Hugo Perales, Antonio Santos-Moreno and Consuelo
We analyzed variables which influence the use and permanence of lowland pacas in cavities of three sites with different conservation levels in the Lacandon Rainforest, Chiapas, Mexico. This species remained in cavities nearby water, located under tree roots and fallen logs where their offspring were safe, on paths with low hunting pressure and in the best preserved sites. Our results suggest that the best preserved sites function as breeding sites, favouring the lowland paca population growth. Transformed sites are useful for dispersal, contributing to paca population persistence in the long term, which will be achieved if hunting is regulated and the cavities used by this species are maintained. This information is new for the lowland paca and will help for decision-making regarding its management and conservation in the wild.

Road-edge Effects on Herpetofauna in a Lowland Amazonian Rainforest
Ross J. Maynard, Nathalie C. Aall, Daniel Saenz, Paul S. Hamilton, and Matthew A. Kwiatkowski
Road construction is one of the biggest drivers of habitat modification and population declines in flora and fauna. Despite increasing road development in tropical forests, little is understood about their impacts on local biodiversity, particularly those from unpaved roads. We investigated how a low-use dirt road affected amphibian and reptile abundance, diversity, and composition at a lowland rainforest site in eastern Ecuador. After the road was constructed in 2010, it was immediately rendered impassible to vehicles due to erosion and has since been used only for foot traffic. We found that the number of species, as well as individual animals, were significantly lower in the edge-forest adjacent to the road compared to 100 m into the forest. Overall, although unpaved roads are generally preferable to paved roads due to their comparably reduced ecological impacts, we demonstrate that even a small, little-used dirt road can nonetheless have profound impacts on amphibian and reptile distributions.

Edge effects on the phenology of the guamirim, Myrcia guianensis (Myrtaceae), a cerrado tree
Nara Oliveira Vogado, Maria Gabriela Gutierrez de Camargo, Giuliano Maselli Locosselli and Leonor Patrícia Cerdeira Morellato
In our study we described vegetative and reproductive patterns of an abundant Cerrado species, the guamirim (Myrcia guianensis, Myrtaceae). We also verify whether these patterns differ due to different local abiotic factors between the edge and the interior and/or between cardinal orientations at the study site. We showed that microenvironmental variations related to edges and cardinal orientation influence plant phenological patterns in the cerrado, with changes in onset dates, individual synchrony and the intensity of flower and fruit production, mainly due to temperature and light incidence. Those changes may affect plant-animal interactions, with consequences for pollination and seed dispersal success. Besides contribute to future conservation studies for the Brazilian cerrado vegetation, a highly diverse and threatened ecosystem, we suggest that fragment edges could be used to evaluate plant responses to the temperature increases predicted for future climate change scenarios.

A report of a Malayan Krait snake Bungarus candidus mortality as by-catch in a local fish trap from Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
Matt Crane, Katie Oliver, Inês Silva, Akrachai Aksornneam, Taksin Artchawakom and Colin T. Strine
Thailand is an exciting country for snake research with over 176 species. However, Thailand is rapidly developing. Because agriculture is so prevalent, many artificial canals have been constructed to facilitate water flow through rice paddies. People often place funnel traps within the canals throughout Thailand, the canals can serve as capture points for many species that would otherwise be able to move safely through the overgrown canals. We radio tracked highly venomous Malayan Kraits, and one of our radio-tracked individuals fell victim to an aquatic fish trap. Although we suspect incidental mortality among upland-dwelling snakes as a result of aquatic trapping is common, this is the first time a radio tracked snake has been killed in a fishing trap in our study area. Our findings suggest fishing traps may be another risk for snakes in human-dominated landscapes, and that further studies may reveal ways to reduce by-catch in agricultural canals.

Interspecific comparisons with chloroplast SSR loci reveal limited genetic variation in Nigerian montane forests: A study on Cordia millenii (West African Cordia), Entandrophragma angolense (tiama mahogany), and Lovoa trichilioides (African walnut)
Joshua A. Thia, Marie L. Hale and Hazel M. Chapman
Genetic diversity is an important aspect of conservation because it tells us how variable individuals within a population are, which is important for long-term persistence of these populations. In this study, we compared genetic diversity in the chloroplast of three co-occurring tree species in montane forests on the Mambilla Platea, a highly biodiverse region at the border of Nigeria and Cameroon that is under growing anthropogenic stress. Our study species were West African Cordia, tiama mahogany, and African walnut—three trees that are under logging pressure in Nigeria. Our results indicate virtually no genetic variation at the genetic markers we sampled and raise questions as how to best manage these trees on the Mambilla Pleateau. Future work will thus need to explore patterns of gene flow amongst forests and the potential consequences of low chloroplast genetic diversity in these populations.

Serenading for ten thousand years: the mating call of insular populations of the green treefrog Aplastodiscus eugenioi (Anura: Hylidae)
Rogério Benevides de Miranda, Patrícia Alves Abrunhosa and Hélio Ricardo da Silva
Oceanic Islands are result of volcanic activities, like Hawaii and Galapagos, or top of small mountains in areas inundated by sea level rise due to past global warming, called continental islands and closer to the coast. They represent unique historical laboratories for the study of effects acting on insulated populations. Here we present a study of the call structure of a Brazilian green frog, common in forested areas of the coast of Rio de Janeiro State. Male frogs call to defend their territory and to attract females. These social functions of call are under selective pressures, so variations in call structure may cause other individuals not to react properly to its signals. Our study was designed to investigate call structure taking advantage of the unique set of nearby islands insulated about 10.000 years ago. We found that for only one island variation is noticeable, and present possible explanations for that.

Wild vertebrates kept as pets in the semiarid region of Brazil
Mauricélia Macário Alves, Sérgio de Faria Lopes and Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega Alves
The practice of keeping wild and domestic animals species as pets is widespread worldwide. In this study conducted in a semiarid area in northeast Brazil, we recorded that this practice is a common activity, which most cases involved domestic species. Nevertheless, wild animals are also commonly targeted as pet species by local people, leading to a stimulation of the illegal trade of wild animals and raising obvious conservation concerns, especially over the avifauna, which comprises the favourite group among wild animals keepers in the area surveyed. This practice is ancient and has been perpetuated in the Brazilian semiarid region, involving people of different socioeconomic levels – thus indicating its strong cultural character. Clearly, it highlights the need to implement educational actions and effective measures to combat the illegal trade in wild animals, thus aiming to mitigate the impacts of this clandestine activity that, although prohibited by law, still takes place in the region.

The Elephant poaching crisis in Tanzania: a need to reverse the trend and the way forward
Jafari R. Kideghesho
Elephant poaching is a sad reality in Africa, Tanzania being slated among the worst offenders. The crime detrimentally affects the structure and functioning of savannah ecosystems and poses security risks by funding civil wars and terrorist activities. Economically, the crime undermines tourism sector, one of the top foreign exchange earner, since the sector is mainly stimulated by charismatic species, including elephant. The sector employs about 500,000 Tanzanians, contributes 25% of total exports earnings and 17.5% of the GDP. International community’s zero-tolerance approach against poaching has also affected tourism sector, especially hunting industry. For instance, Tanzania has lost market for its elephant trophies following a ban imposed by the United States of America and members of the European Union. The implications of elephant poaching prompt an immediate action. Addressing the drivers of this crime including high demand for ivory, poverty, inadequate conservation budgets and widespread corruption can significantly reduce this crime.

A review of the ecological functions of reed bamboo, genus Ochlandra in the Western Ghats of India: Implications for sustainable conservation
SijiMol K., Suma Arun Dev and Sreekumar V. B.
Reeds are tall, thin, shrubby, highly productive grasses which have a distribution in both the temperate and tropical countries. Reeds are an important component of the forest ecosystem, providing numerous ecosystem services which help to maintain forest stability. They serve as an important food source for many animals. Reed biomass is widely used for solid biofuel production, and for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. Reed bamboos have been considered as the most important non-timber forest product (NTFPs) for the subsistence and support of the economically weaker strata of the society. Owing to ever increasing demand, coupled with unscientific management practices, there has been a gradual depletion of reed resources over the years. In this review, we highlighted the need for effective conservation and proper scientific management of the severely depleted reed bamboo biomass of the Western Ghats, India, to ensure its viability and long-term survival.

Transferability of microsatellite markers among Myrtaceae species and their use to obtain population genetics data to help the conservation of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest
Bruna Saviatto Fagundes, Lucas Fernando da Silva, Renata Mussoi Giacomin, Daiane Secco, Jesus Alberto Díaz-Cruz and Paulo Roberto Da-Silva
The most plants from Myrtaceae family occurring in Brazil produce eatable fruits which give to them high ecological importance by providing food to wild animals. In this regard the maintenance of these species in the environment can assist in the ecological balance of the location where they occur. The absence of scientific studies with most of these plants may hinder the development of conservation strategies for them if necessary. The techniques development to the study these species is expensive and companies and governments have no interest. In this work, we show that molecular tools developed to study species of economic importance are efficient to study native fruit species of Myrtaceae from Brazilian Atlantic Forest, and can be used to better understand these species. Still, using these tools we conclude that for the populations of Eugenia uniflora (surinam cherry) studied to date, no conservation effort is necessary.

Stakeholder linkage in conservation strategies: a qualitative tool for improving the management of a biosphere reserve in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Malena Oliva and Salvador Montiel
Management strategies for biosphere reserves need to acknowledge the interests and expectations of local stakeholders, particularly related to subsistence resources. We present a linkage matrix designed to act as a model for comparing official management actions in a reserve with the interests and expectations of local stakeholders in relation to their natural resources. As a case study, we considered the wildlife use for subsistence in the context of Los Petenes Biosphere Reserve, Mexico. For this reserve, the linkage matrix showed that its management program is highly inclusive of local stakeholders´ interests and expectations regarding wildlife. However, the implementation of specific actions poses the greatest challenge for the management of wildlife regionally. As such, our linkage matrix allows the inextricable relationship between a biosphere reserve and its local populations to be tackled directly, promoting adequate identification and involvement of actors in areas for conservation in Mesoamerica and worldwide.

Temporal variation in the diversity of Cantharidae (Coleoptera), in seven assemblages in tropical dry forest in Mexico
Cisteil Xinum Pérez Hernández and Santiago Zaragoza Caballero
The majority of insects in the Tropical Dry Forest (TDF) emerge as adults during the rainy season, when most food resources are available; it is not yet known how species are distributed over the year, or what is activating their emergence. We analyzed seasonality of soldier beetles (Cantharidae) from seven localities in the Mexican TDF, and its relationship with changes in precipitation and temperature, to discover what it is happening. We found that species are being replaced in time -just one species was dominant in a particular moment of the year-, and that the emergence and abundance are associated with the precipitation. Moreover, El Niño Southern Oscillation had influence on seasonality of soldier beetles. In highly seasonal ecosystems like TDF, the study of these changes in biological communities is particularly important to predict and to prevent effects of phenomena as El Niño on insect species and their interactions.

Avian distribution and life-history strategies in Amazonian terra-firme and floodplain forests
Sil Henricus Johannes van Lieshout, Christopher Alexander Kirkby and Henk Siepel
Deforestation is currently threatening tropical rainforests, in which birds function as top predators, pollinators and seed dispersers. Understanding distribution of birds among various habitats in rainforests can identify species prone to anthropogenic factors. Specific feeding guilds were more abundantly present in terra-firme forest or floodplain forest, where food availability was important in determining which guilds. By indicating the reproductive effort, the ability of birds to cope with deforestation can be distinguished from birds that cannot compensate for the high adult mortality anthropogenic factors bring. Species in terra-firme forests invested less in reproduction and more in survival so these species are susceptible to anthropogenic factors. When compared to temperate region birds, tropical birds have smaller clutches and a lower egg mass resulting in a lower reproductive effort making them extra prone to these environmental changes.

Habitat structure influences the diversity, richness and composition of bird assemblages in successional Atlantic rain forests
Grasiela Casas, Bianca Darski, Pedro M. A. Ferreira, Andreas Kindel and Sandra C. Müller
The Brazilian Atlantic rain forest is a highly fragmented formation with remnants in different regeneration stages. The structure of these forests varies according to regeneration stages, which influences local bird assemblages. Our results showed that bird species diversity (how equally distributed are the abundances of species), species composition (the identity of species) and guild composition (a group of species that exploit similar resources) were similar between areas with intermediated and high complexity of habitat structure. These findings suggest that Brazilian rain forest areas in intermediate regeneration stages (known as secondary forests) play an important role by providing shelter and resources for bird species. Although old-growth forests are very important areas for conservation, the protection status of secondary forests needs to be improved. This study provides insights into the potential of secondary subtropical rain forests as suitable habitats for bird assemblages and as important assets for conservation efforts.

Predicting and Preventing Elephant Poaching Incidents through Statistical Analysis, GIS-Based Risk Analysis, and Aerial Surveillance Flight Path Modeling
Authors: Michael J. Shaffer and Joseph A. Bishop
The illegal poaching of African elephants for their ivory is endangering the existence of the species. Protecting elephants can be a very challenging task for wildlife rangers considering the vast areas that elephants inhabit, which is often in remote locations. Using statistical analysis and Geographic Information Systems, this study investigated the locations of poaching incidents within the Kenyan Tsavo ecosystem to reveal patterns that could assist rangers in predicting high risk poaching areas. Our study found that poaching incidents were more likely to occur in close proximity to roads, water features, and on specific types of land cover. This study also provides a method for modeling the flight path and achievable surveillance area for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone, which has become a popular tool in the field of wildlife conservation. The flight path and surveillance area modeling can assist conservation managers in selecting a suitable UAV and camera for their specific protected area. Lastly, this study analyzes the time it would take to travel over the study area terrain based on roads, water features, and vegetation cover. This analysis could assist in determining the ideal locations of ranger stations to minimize ranger response times to high risk areas.

Forest cover and bird diversity: drivers of fruit consumption in forest interiors in the Brazilian Atlantic forest of southern Bahia, Brazil
Icaro Menezes, Eliana Cazetta, José Carlos Morante-Filho and Deborah Faria
Tropical deforestation has caused the biodiversity decline, with serious implications for ecosystem functioning in the remaining forest fragments. For instance, the decrease or complete demise of frugivorous birds can reduce fruit consumption, affecting seed dispersal and plant species maintenance within the forest fragments. Our study showed that the decreasing on forest amount in disturbed landscapes and the disappearance of frugivorous birds, lead to a reduction on fruit consumption in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. In the long term such change could impact plant establishment by reducing the amount of seeds removed and dispersed by birds. Our research shows the importance of maintaining the landscape scale in forests to ensure the continuity of ecological processes.

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