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Actualidades Biológicas

Print version ISSN 0304-3584


LOPEZ-RAMIREZ, Carlos; RESTREPO-QUIROZ, Tatiana  and  SOLARI, Sergio. Diversity and ecology of non-volant mammals associated to a cacao agro-productive system, Granja Yariguíes, Santander, Colombia. Actu Biol [online]. 2020, vol.42, n.112, e1. ISSN 0304-3584.

Agro-productive systems are considered a valid alternative to diminish biodiversity loss. In these systems, some mammals are classified as pests due to their negative effect on crops, which results in control measurements that alter the functions that these species carry out on these transformed ecosystems. During a study at the Yariguíes, Santander, experimental farm, which includes production plots (80% of the surface area) and tropical rainforest reserve areas (20%), we assessed the diversity of non-flying mammals, the possible damage they cause, and the ecological roles they play. We coursed through the cultivated and forest areas, setting automatic cameras and live traps, while searching for signs as tracks, burrows or feces. In addition, we detected and quantified the damage caused to the cacao crops by some rodent species; we detected 17 species from five orders representing 13 guilds; these guilds show the ecological roles fulfilled by the mammals and how these roles can benefit the crops. The red-tailed squirrel (Notosciurus granatensis) was the species that attacked the cacao pods the most, showing higher preference for ripe ones. Damage by rodents at plots had a low frequency (<5% on average), possibly because predatory species of the pods are being controlled by the carnivores still present in the forest reserve. While forest reserve areas could provide refuge and food resources to some species, productive plots could act as corridors, allowing a key equilibrium for these agro-productive systems.

Keywords : red-tailed squirrel; biodiversity; wild fauna; ecological roles; Theobroma cacao L.

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