Do protected areas in Panama support intact assemblages of ungulates?

Ninon F.V. Meyer, Ricardo Moreno, Edgar Sanches, Elliot Brown, P.A. Jansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Ungulates play an essential role in terrestrial ecosystems, but suffer from hunting and habitat degradation which often results in their
decline. Panama harbors five species of ungulate and is an important portion of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, but its forest
habitat and its fauna are currently threatened. Protected areas have been designated to preserve the biodiversity, but studies evaluating
their effectiveness in maintaining ungulates are lacking in Panama. In this study we used camera-trapping surveys to determine the
occurrence and abundance of the ungulate species in 13 protected areas across Panama. There were large differences in the ungulate
communities among the sites we surveyed. Some sites were impoverished with just one ungulate species recorded while just a single
site harbored all five species. The white-lipped peccary was the rarest species and the collared peccaries the most common, captured
in all the sites. Moreover, we found large variation in ungulate abundance across the sites. Our results indicate that few protected areas
in Panama effectively maintain the entire assemblage of ungulate species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-76
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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