Defaunation and biomass collapse of mammals in the largest Atlantic forest remnant
M. Galetti, C. R. Brocardo, R. A. Begotti, L. Hortenci, F. Rocha-Mendes, C. S. S. Bernardo, R. S. Bueno, R. Nobre, R. S. Bovendorp, R. M. Marques, F. Meirelles, S. K. Gobbo, G. Beca, G. Schmaedecke and T. Siqueira
Version of Record online: 16 OCT 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12311
The Brazilian Atlantic forest is considered a biodiversity hotspot and although highly fragmented, it still contains large forest patches that may be important for the conservation of mammals that require large areas. Here we estimated species richness, density and biomass of medium and large sized mammals along the largest remnant of the Atlantic rainforest in Brazil. We found that the density and biomass of mammals varied 16 and 70 fold among sites, respectively. Mammalian biomass declined by up to 98% in intensively hunted sites and was 53 fold lower than in other Neotropical non-fragmented forests. Therefore, we show that hunting is depleting the mammalian biomass in the largest Atlantic forest remnant. Photo: the muriqui (Brachyteles arachnoides) (Pedro Jordano).