Mammals of Paso Centurión, an area with relicts of Atlantic Forest in Uruguay

Abstract

Paso Centurión is one of the most diverse areas of Uruguay. It is legally protected at local and national level, however, there are different interests competing for its land use and management. With the aim to document the biodiversity of the area together with the local people, the NGO JULANA conducts a participatory monitoring process with camera traps since 2013. Here we present a list of 23 medium and large-size mammal species documented in the area and a standardised dataset of occurrence records. Top observations include the last Chrysocyon brachyurus seen in Uruguay, the first record of Herpailurus yagouaroundi in the country and the second report of Leopardus munoai in the area. We also highlight the frequent observation of numerous rare species such as Tamandua tetradactyla, Leopardus wiedii, Cabassous tatouay, Coendou spinosus and Cuniculus paca. Although the cameras were located within only few meters of distance from the houses of the local people, some of the rarest and most elusive species in the country were reported. This suggests a possible coexistence between people – their socio-economic practices – and nature in the area. Our work underlines the importance of the recent inclusion of Paso Centurión and Sierra de Ríos to the National System of Protected Areas under the proposed category of ‘Protected Landscape’. Collectively, in a context of global change and lack of biodiversity data on species distribution, we emphasise the value of these records for the knowledge of mammals in Uruguay and the need to extend and continue monitoring this area.

Publication
Neotropical Biology and Conservation
Date