Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Invasive Species and Pollinator Health » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #143365


item Keuroghlian, Alexine
item Longland, William - Bill
item Eaton, Donald

Submitted to: Journal of Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/25/2004
Publication Date: 12/15/2004
Citation: Keuroghlian, A., Eaton, D.P., Longland, W.S. 2004. Area use by white-lipped and collared peccaries (Tayassu pecari and T. Tajacu) in a tropical forest fragment. Biological Conservation. 120:411-425.

Interpretive Summary: We conducted a five-year study of daily and seasonal movement patterns of two species of peccaries, white-lipped and collared peccaries, living in a small Atlantic forest preserve in Brazil. Only 2% of the original Atlantic forest still exists, much of it as small, isolated fragments. The approximately 150 white-lipped peccaries within the preserve we studied were divided among 3 or 4 "subherds", which occasionally merged with one another, switched some members, or divided to create temporary groups. Collared peccaries occurred in a number of small herds (an average of 9 animals per herd) that occupied smaller territories and had more stable herd membership than white-lipped peccaries. Although the forest preserve is small for these animals, white-lipped peccaries used different areas of the preserve in different seasons with minimal seasonal overlap. Different subherds of white-lipped peccaries used the same general areas, but avoided using them simultaneously. Collared peccaries avoided areas being used by the considerably larger white-lipped peccaries. The study contributes both to our understanding of how to conserve peccaries, which are increasingly affected by habitat loss, and to conservation of Atlantic forest, since peccaries play important roles as dispersers of tree seeds in this environment.

Technical Abstract: We present results of a five year radio telemetry study on area use by white-lipped and collared peccaries inhabiting a 2178 ha fragment of semideciduous Atlantic forest, Brazil. Population densities of both species were similar to estimates from another fragment with 16 times the area. The population of 150 (± 52) white-lipped peccaries was divided among 3 to 4 subherds. We observed a high frequency of switching of individuals among subherds and documented periodic subherd fusion. Seven to 22 collared peccary herds (mean herd size = 9) persisted in the main forest fragment. Average home range size for white-lipped peccaries was 1871 ha. This was similar to estimates from continuous tropical forests. Despite area restrictions, white-lipped peccaries maintained distinct seasonal ranges with a minimum of overlap. Within seasons, subherds overlapped spatially, but were separated temporally. Average home range sizes of two radio-tracked collared peccary herds were 305 and 123 ha. Home range boundaries and seasonal ranges of the herds shifted minimally, and herd subgrouping was short-lived. Overlap with white-lipped peccaries differed for the two herds due to seasonal movements by the white-lipped herd. We discuss future research needs and management actions for conservation of these species in fragmented landscapes.