Record Details

Pinho, Gabriela M.;Gonçalves da Silva, Anders;Hrbek, Tomas;Venticinque, Eduardo M;Farias, Izeni P
Kinship and social behavior of lowland tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) in a central Amazon landscape.
PLoS one
Journal Article
We tested the hypothesis that tapirs tolerate individuals from adjacent and overlapping home ranges if they are related. We obtained genetic data from fecal samples collected in the Balbina reservoir landscape, central Amazon. Samples were genotyped at 14 microsatellite loci, of which five produced high quality informative genotypes. Based on an analysis of 32 individuals, we inferred a single panmictic population with high levels of heterozygosity. Kinship analysis identified 10 pairs of full siblings or parent-offspring, 10 pairs of half siblings and 25 unrelated pairs. In 10 cases, the related individuals were situated on opposite margins of the reservoir, suggesting that tapirs are capable of crossing the main river, even after damming. The polygamous model was the most likely mating system for Tapirus terrestris. Moran's I index of allele sharing between pairs of individuals geographically close (<3 km) was similar to that observed between individual pairs at larger distances (>3 km). Confirming this result, the related individuals were not geographically closer than unrelated ones (W?=?188.5; p?=?0.339). Thus, we found no evidence of a preference for being close to relatives and observed a tendency for dispersal. The small importance of relatedness in determining spatial distribution of individuals is unusual in mammals, but not unheard of. Finally, non-invasive sampling allowed efficient access to the genetic data, despite the warm and humid climate of the Amazon, which accelerates DNA degradation.