Habitat associations of small mammals in southern Brazil and use of regurgitated pellets of birds of prey for inventorying a local fauna.

  • Scheibler D
  • Christoff A
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Abstract

We inventoried terrestrial small mammals in an agricultural area in southern Brazil by using trapping and prey consumed by Barn Owls (Tyto alba) and White-tailed Kites (Elanus leucurus). Small mammals were trapped in three habitat types: corn fields, uncultivated fields ("capoeiras"), and native forest fragments. A total of 1,975 small mammal specimens were trapped, another 2,062 identified from the diet of Barn Owls, and 2,066 from the diet of White-tailed Kites. Both trapping and prey in the predators' diet yielded 18 small mammal species: three marsupials (Didelphis albiventris, Gracilinanus agilis, and Monodelphis dimidiata) and 15 rodents (Akodon paranaensis, Bruceppatersonius iheringi, Calomys sp., Cavia aperea, Euryzygomatomys spinosus, Holochilus brasiliensis, Mus musculus, Necromys lasiurus, Nectomys squamipes, Oligoryzomys nigripes, Oryzomys angouya, Oxymycterus sp.1, Oxymycterus sp.2, Rattus norvegicus, and Rattus rattus (Linnaeus, 1758)). The greatest richness was found in the uncultivated habitat. We concluded that the three methods studied for inventorying small mammals (prey in the diet of Barn Owls, White-tailed Kites, and trapping) were complementary, since together, rather than separately, they produced a better picture of local richness.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Elanus leucurus
  • Tyto alba
  • agroecosystems
  • inventory
  • richness
  • small mammals
  • southern Brazil

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Authors

  • D. R. Scheibler

  • A. U. Christoff

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