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Comparative diet of the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) in two protected areas in São Paulo state

Grant number: 14/19133-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2015
Effective date (End): December 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Applied Zoology
Principal researcher:Rita de Cassia Bianchi
Grantee:Guilherme Malheiros Gião Filho
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias (FCAV). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Jaboticabal. Jaboticabal , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) is the largest South American canid (25 kg) and features large home range, which makes the process of habitat loss and fragmentation, one of the biggest threats to this species. Most of his diet is based on fruits and small vertebrates, especially rodents. It is considered an opportunistic species, feeding on the most abundant items. Consumption of fruit crops and domestic animals which can lead to conflicts between the maned wolf and the inhabitants of rural areas may increase deaths from persecution. The aim of the study is to evaluate and to compare the main items consumed by maned wolf in Furnas do Bom Jesus State Park, city of Pedregulho and in Ecological Station of Jatai, in Luiz Antonio, both in São Paulo State. To assess the diet of this species, the scats will be collected in areas and will be identified as the maned wolf by associated footprints and/ or by hair of predator commonly found in scats due to the behavior of self-cleaning. In the laboratory the scats will be kept in an incubator for at least 24 hours with an average temperature of 60 ° C. After being dried, the scats will be washed in a fine mesh sieve and dried again, items will be retained for later identification. Items such as teeth, hair, nails, scales, and other vertebrae bone fragments are separated and identified. Items such as hair, scales, teeth and vertebrae are compared to reference material. The identification of ingested fruits occur by comparison with botanical material collected in the study area. We expect that the diet of the maned wolf is richer and with more consumption of vertebrates in the area of larger size and in smaller area, higher consumption of fruits and invertebrates, as well as eventual use of domestic animals. The results can guide management actions and conservation of this species in these areas and will be an important tool for environmental education.

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