Effects of oil palm and human presence on activity patterns of terrestrial mammals in the Colombian Llanos

Pardo, Lain E., Edwards, William, Campbell, Mason J., Gómez-Valencia, Bibiana, Clements, Gopalasamy Reuben, and Laurance, William F. (2021) Effects of oil palm and human presence on activity patterns of terrestrial mammals in the Colombian Llanos. Mammalian Biology, 101. pp. 775-789.

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The ability of animals to adjust their behaviour can influence how they respond to environmental changes and human presence. We quantified activity patterns of terrestrial mammals in oil palm plantations and native riparian forest in Colombia to determine if species exhibited behavioural changes depending on the type of habitat and the presence of humans. Despite the large sampling effort (12,403 camera-days), we were only able to examine the activity patterns of ten species in riparian forests and seven species in oil palm plantations, with four species (capybara, giant anteater, lesser anteater and common opossum) being represented by enough records (i.e. n > 20) in both oil palm and forest to allow robust comparisons. Only capybaras showed an apparent change in activity patterns between oil palm plantations and riparian forests, shifting from being crepuscular in forest to predominantly nocturnal inside oil palm plantations. Further, capybaras, giant anteaters and white-tailed deer appeared to modify their activities to avoid human presence inside oil palm plantations by increasing nocturnality (temporal overlap Δ ^ ranged from 0.13 to 0.36), whereas jaguarundi had high overlap with human activities [Δ ^ =0.85 (0.61–0.90)]. Species pair-wise analysis within oil palm revealed evidence for temporal segregation between species occupying the same trophic position (e.g. foxes and jaguarundi), whereas some predators and their prey (e.g. ocelots and armadillos) had high overlaps in temporal activity patterns as might be expected. Our findings shed light on the potential behavioural adaptation of mammals to anthropogenic landscapes, a feature not captured in traditional studies that focus on measures such as species richness or abundance.

Item ID: 70647
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1618-1476
Keywords: Agroecosystem, Anteaters, Circadian rhythms, Diel activity, Mesopredators, Temporal overlap
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Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2022 22:27
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