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Population size, sex ratio and landscape occupancy of a population of Red-billed Curassow (Crax blumenbachii SPIX, 1825) reintroduced in a private reserve in Southeastern Brazil

Grant number: 14/17752-8
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): November 24, 2014
Effective date (End): March 23, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal Investigator:Adriano Garcia Chiarello
Grantee:Joana Carvalhaes Borba de Araujo
Supervisor abroad: Steven R. Beissinger
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:13/08009-7 - Population size, sex ratio and landscape occupancy of a population of red-billed curassow (Crax blumenbachii Spix, 1825) reintroduced in the RPPN Fazenda Macedônia, Ipaba, MG, BP.MS

Abstract

Threats like habitat loss, fragmentation and hunting pressure are driving vulnerable populations to extinction. Attempts to recover endangered species might include reintroduction programs, especially when remaining populations are geographically isolated. After the reintroduction, it is very important to monitor the population; however, relatively little is published about this, which might be related to sampling problems inherent to rare or elusive animals. Due to its high levels of biodiversity, Brazil has a large share of responsibility in birds' conservation, which highlights the urgency to improve our ability of researching species of this group, particularly the rarest ones. The red-billed curassow (Crax blumenbachii) figures out as an interesting model to investigate reintroduction issues. This endemic and endangered cracid was first reintroduced in 1990 in Ipaba, MG. More than 20 years later, little is known about the reintroduced population and the same might be said about the entire species. The current project was proposed to fill this gap, having as its main objective assessing the status of this reintroduced population. However, due to local rarity of the subject species, it has been difficult to obtain a large number of records. To deal with this challenge, the student is asking for an internship with Dr. Beissinger, from University of California, who has experience in modeling rare populations through alternative approaches. The use of more flexible approaches might allow us to respond some important questions about red-billed curassow's biology and population status. The analyses we intend to run include estimating the population size, density and sex ratio and investigating the curassow's landscape occupation and habitat requirements. Other analyses might be also incorporated to the project if proved viable. If approved, this internship will represent for the student the opportunity to interact with some of the most qualified conservationists in the world, improving the quality of this project as well as providing her with an excellent professional experience and networking. (AU)