What Ecological and Anthropogenic Factors Affect Group Size in White-lipped Peccaries (Tayassu pecari)?

Periodo de realización: 1900/01/01 al 2015/06/01

Tipo: Artículo científico

Lugar(es) de estudio: Campeche, Camp., México
Resumen: "Group living among ungulates has evolved mainly in species living in open habitats, such as grasslands and savannas, whereas in the forest, few ungulate species form groups and these tend to be small. Therefore, the white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari), a Neotropical ungulate listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN, represents an almost unique social occurrence as it lives in large and cohesive groups, yet it inhabits dense tropical forests. Large variations in group sizes have been observed throughout the species range, with reports of herds with less than 10 to around 300 individuals. We examined factors that might cause variation in group size in white-lipped peccary, including ecological and anthropogenic variables. We conducted an extensive literature review and used our original data to compile information on white-lipped peccary’s group size across its range. We built models to quantitate generalizations for group sizes distinguishing data from areas with high human influence, and areas that have not been significantly disturbed by humans for at least the last 20 years. We found that white-lipped peccary’s group size for all sites was most strongly predicted by a combination of the distances to the nearest human settlement and rainfall and its seasonality. Results from the undisturbed sites indicated that group size is positively influenced by rainfall. Our results contribute to understand why group size varies in different environments that are subjected to different ecological and human conditions. Information on these relationships is a key to advance our understanding of the socio-ecological strategies of animal species living in groups."

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