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Boletín Científico. Centro de Museos. Museo de Historia Natural

Print version ISSN 0123-3068

Abstract

MENDOZA, Laura  and  SANCHEZ, Francisco. MAMMALS OF THE HACIENDA LAS MERCEDES, RURAL AREA IN THE NORTH OF BOGOTÁ, COLOMBIA. Bol. Cient. Mus. Hist. Nat. Univ. Caldas [online]. 2014, vol.18, n.2, pp.157-171. ISSN 0123-3068.

Natural ecosystems of Bogotá Savannah have undergone considerable changes due to the transformation of forest and wetlands into the concrete jungle where Colombia's biggest human settlement is located today. Despite this, Bogotá still preserves wildlife but very little is known about them, limiting the ability to plan their management and conservation. Therefore, the composition of mammals in the Hacienda Las Mercedes, which is part of the recently created Thomas van der Hammen's Bogotá Northern border forest reserve, was examined. The Hacienda is devoted mainly to livestock and agriculture, but also has the last remnant of fluvio-lacustrine Andean forest plains of Bogotá as well as different areas planted with exotic species. Mammals were captured with Sherman, Duke, and Tomahawk traps in the fluvio-lacustrine Andean forest remnant (area ∼13 ha) and in an Eucalyptus plantation (area ∼1.37 ha). Four species of native mammals were found: the white-eared opossum, Didelphis pernigra; the Guinea pig, Cavia aperea; the rice mouse Oligoryzmys sp.; the weasel, Mustela frenata; and an exotic species, the house mouse, Mus musculus. Despite the proximity of the Hacienda to the city and the heavy modifications to the natural landscape, the Hacienda still preserves wild mammals that take advantage of both native and exotic forests. These wild mammals are an example of animals tolerant to rural activities, and it is suggested that both natural and human-made environments must be considered for the conservation of mammals in Bogotá.

Keywords : Andes; Andean forest; rural ecosystems; inventory; Eucalyptus plantations.

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