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Density of Primates in Four Semi-deciduous Forest Fragments of São Paulo, Brazil

Research paper by Milene Moura Martins

Indexed on: 01 Sep '05Published on: 01 Sep '05Published in: Biodiversity and Conservation



Abstract

Populational parameters of primates in the remaining southeastern Brazilian Atlantic Forest have been estimated, but investigations are biased to coastal evergreen sites. In this study density of three primate species was assessed through line-transect surveys in four semi-deciduous forest fragments (240 to 1450 ha) in Fazenda Barreiro Rico, eastern range of central Plateau of São Paulo state, Brazil. A total of 274 km was surveyed from January to October 2000. I estimated densities via DISTANCE software. Two of the largest fragments contained five primate species while two of the smallest ones harboured, respectively, four and two species. Densities of Cebus apella (15.34–47.92 ind./km2), Alouatta guariba (8.32–34.61), and Brachyteles arachnoides (19.92–35.11) were considerable. Differently from C. apella and A. guariba, B. arachnoides presented a density higher than previously estimated for the largest patch. The hypothetical minimum total population of B. arachnoides (601) may be the largest in semi-deciduous sites. This reinforces the value of the area in terms of its relative contribution for conservation of this endangered species. The narrow spatial scale distribution of forest fragments at Barreiro Rico and its proximity to academic institutions make the site suitable for programs of forest connectivity, studies on conservation biology, and wildlife management endeavours.