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Actualidades Biológicas

Print version ISSN 0304-3584


VILLADA, Tomás  and  SOTO-CALDERON, Iván Darío. Mammal diversity in an urban forest remnant located in the city of Medellín, (Antioquia, Colombia). Actu Biol [online]. 2020, vol.42, n.113, e3.  Epub May 10, 2021. ISSN 0304-3584.

The great diversity of species in urban centers in Colombia contrasts with the rapid and intense degradation of the habitats where this diversity occurs. Given the importance of these environments for urban biological conservation and the increasing pressure on them, we studied the composition of the mammal community in the basin of La Gómez creek, located in the densely populated city of Medellin, and provided recommendations for its conservation. This basin stands out for the presence of the white-footed tamarin (Saguinus leucopus), one of the few urban primates in Colombia. We identified four species of bats, a squirrel, an opossum, a weasel, and the white-footed tamarin. Particularly striking is the great abundance of opossums, possibly associated with high availability of food resources. This contrasts with a poor diversity of native rodents, perhaps as a result of predation by the many domestic cats in this area. These species have generalist diets, take advantage of anthropogenic food resources or have high dispersal capacity, properties that can facilitate their adaptation to geographically isolated habitats in urban forest patches. All these species have important ecological roles such as pollination, population control of arthropods and vertebrates, and dispersal of plant species. We suggest to 1) improve waste disposal and composting techniques to avoid conflicts with possums, 2) carry out population control of feral cats and raise awareness about the responsible possession of cats and other pets, 3) sow native plant species that support local wildlife, and 4) undertake cleaning campaigns on the creek and responsible disposal of household waste.

Keywords : Conservation; Chiroptera; marsupial; primates; Rodentia; urban fauna.

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