Record Details

Naughton-Treves, L.;Mena, J. L.;Treves, A.;Alvarez, N.;Radeloff, V. C.
Wildlife survival beyond park boundaries: the impact of slash-and-burn agriculture and hunting on mammals in Tambopata, Peru
Conservation Biology
Journal Article
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Finding a balance between strict protection and multiple use requires data on wildlife survival in human-managed ecosystems. We examined the habitat use and species composition of mammals >2 kg in size inhabiting an agroforest ecosystem neighboring a park in the Peruvian Amazon. First, we recorded wildlife presence in fields, fallows, and forests within one settlement over a 9-month period. Then we monitored wildlife presence over 21 months in 42 fields across a 65-km transect, including remote and highly disturbed sites. We tested for correlations between the size and number of mammal species visiting fields and human activities measured at different scales. Hunting intensity more powerfully predicted the average biomass and species diversity observed infields than did vegetation disturbance. The number of commercial hunters in the surrounding community had a stronger impact than did the individual field owner's hunting intensity. Large-bodied species appeared only in remote farms neighboring uninhabited areas in the reserve, indicating that undisturbed forests act as sources for wildlife dispersing into agricultural regions. Farmers in these remote areas experience greater crop and livestock losses to wildlife, but by hunting large game they are able to offset losses with bushmeat gains. In more disturbed areas, crop losses exceeded bushmeat gains, although both occurred at negligible levels. Our case study suggests that large herbivores, large carnivores, and most primates are unlikely to persist in multiple-use zones in Amazonian forests unless hunting is effectively restricted. Even highly disturbed agroforests are not empty of wildlife, however, but are inhabited by a suite of adaptable, fast-reproducing species able to withstand human activity (e.g., brown agoutis [Dasyprocta variegata], armadillos [Dasypus novemcinetus], and red brocket deer [Mazama gauazoubira]). These "weedy" species may not be of immediate concern to conservation biologists, and they will not attract tourists. But they have both economic and ecological value and deserve to be taken into account in management decisions.
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