Resource Details

Effects of fragmentation of the Atlantic forest on mammal communities in south-eastern Brazil

Literature: Journal Articles

Chiarello, A.G., 1999. "Effects of fragmentation of the Atlantic forest on mammal communities in south-eastern Brazil." Biological Conservation, vol. 89, pp. 71-82.

Contact Info

Corresponding Author: Adriano G. Chiarello



  • Museu de Biologia Prof. Mello Leitao, Santa Teresa, ES, 29650-000, Brazil
  • Wildlife Research Group, Department of Anatomy, University of Cambridge, UK


Biological Conservation

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Species Info

Mammalian Species:

  • Dasyprocta leporine
  • Bradypus torquatus 
  • Agouti paca
  • Pecari tajacu 
  • Tayassu pecari
  • Mazama spp.


  • The author presents a detailed analysis of the community of large and medium-sized mammals present in six remnants of the low Atlantic forest in Brazil. The six remnants had varying sizes: small (200 ha), medium (2,000 ha) and large (20,000 ha).
  • The objectives of the study were to (1) identify the mammal species richness and the relative abundance of individuals surviving in each reserve, and (2) to analyze changes in the structure of the mammal community contrasting the relative abundances of orders and dietary categories between reserves of differing sizes.
  • For the methods, the reserves were censused for mammals from October 1994 to April 1996 by using line-transects samplings of 1500-2000 m of length and 1.5 m wide, during day and night.
  • The relevant abundance of species in the six fragments was compared. The results were that number of mammal species recorded was strongly related to the forest area, with larger reserves having the richest and more structurally complex community. Small reserves lacked predators and were dominated by herbivores. They also had a stronger presence of secondary vegetation and lianas. Meanwhile, larger reserves had a predominance of frugivores.
  • All reserves were found to have varying levels of poaching, with disastrous consequence for isolated forest fragments of smaller size.

Geographical Region

  • Coastal Atlantic South America
  • Ecosystems

  • Tropical Wet Forest
  • Country

  • Brazil
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