Roadkills of Lowland Tapir Tapirus terrestris (Mammalia: Perissodactyla: Tapiridae) in one of its last refuges in the Atlantic Forest

Main Article Content

Lucas Damásio
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5597-1902
Ana Carolina Srbek-Araujo
Danielle de Oliveira Moreira
Athelson Stefanon Bittencourt
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1378-2577
Marcos Vinicius Freitas Silva
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7941-2504
Helena Godoy Bergallo
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9771-965X
Renata Valls
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6397-4940
Vitor Roberto Schettino
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1583-2240
Tomas Lima Rocha
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0251-0843
Aureo Banhos dos Santos
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1513-5816
Lucas Mendes Barreto
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3317-7702
Luis Francisco Oliveira Pereira Gonzaga
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2281-1114
Natália Carneiro Ardente
Ilka Westermeyer
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8021-0558
Leonardo Merçon
Marcelo Renan de Deus Santos
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5542-2644
Andressa Gatti
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9653-0580

Abstract

Highways limit the movement and dispersion of wild animals and contribute to their loss due to roadkills, leading to the isolation and decline of populations, increasing the risk of local extinction. The Lowland Tapir Tapirus terrestris is the largest neotropical herbivore-frugivore, and despite its wide distribution in South America it is threatened with extinction. In this study we report six roadkill events of tapirs between 2014 and 2019 in a section of a federal highway crossing the mosaic of Atlantic Forest reserves called Sooretama, one of the last tapir refuges in southeastern Brazil. The traffic in this area is heavy with inadequate speed control, while exotic fruit trees growing along the highway attract wild animals. Water drainage tunnels serve as passageways for some species, including tapirs. However, the tunnels located under the highway are not continuously maintained, reducing its effectiveness. The loss of at least one tapir per year can have serious long-term consequences for one of the last viable lowland tapir populations in the entire Atlantic Forest. Emergency measures are required to avoid vehicle-tapir collisions.

Article Details

How to Cite
[1]
Damásio, L., Srbek-Araujo, A.C., de Oliveira Moreira, D., Stefanon Bittencourt, A., Freitas Silva, M.V., Godoy Bergallo, H., Valls, R., Schettino, V.R., Lima Rocha, T., Banhos dos Santos, A., Mendes Barreto, L., Oliveira Pereira Gonzaga, L.F., Carneiro Ardente, N., Westermeyer, I., Merçon, L., Renan de Deus Santos, M. and Gatti, A. 2021. Roadkills of Lowland Tapir Tapirus terrestris (Mammalia: Perissodactyla: Tapiridae) in one of its last refuges in the Atlantic Forest. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 13, 13 (Nov. 2021), 19921–19929. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.6901.13.13.19921-19929.
Section
Communications

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