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Habitat use by the jararaca (Bothrops jararaca) and related insular species (B. alcatraz and B. insularis)

Grant number: 18/07507-7
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: October 01, 2018 - September 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal researcher:Otavio Augusto Vuolo Marques
Grantee:Otavio Augusto Vuolo Marques
Home Institution: Instituto Butantan. Secretaria da Saúde (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The Neotropical region contains a high diversity of environments with varying degrees of conservation. The distribution of many snakes may be associated with a particular environment. In Brazil, the geographic mapping of species has been used to infer the habitat of several reptiles, which has been of extreme importance to define the conservation status of many snakes. However, to accurately determinate the habitat, and the exact places used by the snakes, it is important to obtain information directly from the field. The present project aims to characterize the habitat use of Bothrops jararaca and the threatened island related species B. alcatraz and B. insularis, using radio-tracking and thread-bobbins tracking device. These techniques will allow recognizing the home range and the use of habitats and microhabitats by these species. The monitoring will be performed along one year, making it possible to verify the influence of the seasonality, and of the consequent fluctuation of both the biotic and the abiotic factors, upon this aspect of the natural history. This data will allow the identification of the requirements of each of these species in terms of habitat. In addition, experiments using snake replicas made of plasticine will be performed, in order to evaluate possible relationships between habitat use and the predation pressure on each species. In parallel, a new population census will be carried out for B. insularis, since the latter was conducted 10 years ago, and a first census will also be done for B. alcatraz. Thus, the present project aims to generate robust data on habitat use, which make important subsidies to understand the ecology of these species and design conservation strategies that may be adopted in the future. (AU)

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