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Title: Camera trapping Cerrado mammals : assessing protected area effectiveness, influence of anthropogenic pressure and the occupancy-abundance relationship
Author: Braga Ferreira, Guilherme
ISNI:       0000 0004 8500 4982
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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Protected areas (PAs) are a cornerstone of conservation policy and have been established worldwide in order to mitigate the current environmental crisis. Although PAs are usually effective at avoiding habitat conversion, their effectiveness at safeguarding local biodiversity is less clear. Furthermore, a substantial number of PAs face threats related to anthropogenic pressures that can erode the biodiversity they aim to protect. In this thesis, I use camera trap data from a mosaic of protected areas in the Brazilian Cerrado to investigate PA effectiveness and the influence of human disturbance on mammal species. Additionally, I assess the relationship between occupancy and density estimates to improve the understanding of camera trap-derived metrics in wildlife research. Overall, I surveyed 517 camera trap sites distributed across seven PAs under two contrasting types of management, totaling more than 25,000 survey days. My results revealed that PA type has a strong effect on the mammal community studied, with much higher species richness and occupancy probability in strict than in multiple-use PAs, particularly for larger and threatened mammals. I also found that succession stage of the savanna vegetation (old growth vs secondary) in a strict PA did not have a negative impact on species occupancy, and that secondary savannas supported a diverse mammal community. Despite the strong effect of PA type on the spatial distribution of mammals, I found little evidence that anthropogenic pressure influenced species' activity patterns, with few species shifting to being more nocturnal in multiple-use PAs or closer to households. Finally, my results indicated that occupancy and density estimates obtained from camera trap data tend to have a species-specific positive relationship and that under certain circumstances camera trap-derived occupancy can reflect variation in species' abundance across the landscape.
Supervisor: Carbone, C. ; Rowcliffe, M. ; Newbold, T. ; Collen, B. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available