Record Details

Sandoval-Seres, Elisa;Reyna, Rafael;Briceño-Mendes, Marcos;De La Cerda-Vega, Ruth
Pond use and relative abundance of Tapirus bairdii in the Calakmul region, Campeche, Mexico
Journal Article
camera-traps;latency;relative abundance;visit frequency;abundancia relativa;cámaras trampa;fuentes de agua;frecuencia de visita;latencia.
Water holes formed by precipitation in Calakmul region southern Mexico are of high importance for the conservation of many endangered species, such is the case of the Central American Tapir (Tapirus bairdii). These water holes locally named ``aguadas'' are the only source of water for wildlife in the dry season. The purpose of this study was to estimate the relative abundance and the use of these ``aguadas'' by Tapirus bairdii in two sites with different conditions: the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve (RBC) a protected area, and the ejido Nuevo Becal (NB) a perturbed site where hunting and other non-timber resources extraction take place. It is expected that in RBC the relative abundance of tapirs and the use of the water holes are higher than in NB. Camera traps were set in nine water holes in NB and nine in RBC in 2014. In addition, in RBC six water holes were monitored since December 2012 until 2013. The relative abundance was calculated as the number of independent photographs divided by the sampling effort per 1,000 traps / night. For the use of water holes analysis, the variables evaluated were: latency (the lapse of time for the tapirs to return to a water hole) and the visit frequency per month. We compare the use of the water holes between seasons and between sites. Relative abundance of tapirs in 2014 was of 37.0 and 6.2 registers/1,000 camera-traps in NB and RBC, respectively (sampling effort: 2,268 days per site). The water holes in NB were significantly more visited than the ones in the RBC (P < 0.05). The latency time was of 9.6 days in NB, and 10.8 days in RBC during the dry season, and 39.0 days in NB and 38.5 days in RBC during the wet season. The water holes were visited 1.8 times in NB and 0.3 times in RBC per month in the dry season, and 0.37 times in NB and 0.16 times in RBC in the rainy season. The fact of finding a higher abundance of tapirs in a place where antropogenic perturbation exists and with a higher abundance of water, indicated that water bodies are one of the most important attribute for the conservation of tapirs’ population in the region of Calakmul. Moreover, the high index of relative abundance found in an area where human perturbation exists, means that human activities in places where tapir is not hunted, does not have a significant detrimental effect in the tapir´s populations. Therefore, the ejido NB is highlighted as a priority area for the conservation of the Centroamerican tapir in Mexico.