Record Details

Emmons, L. H.
Ecology of Proechimys (Rodentia, Echimydae) in southeastern Peru
Tropical Ecology
Journal Article
Parque Nacional del Manu Tambopata animals mammals rodents animal behavior Proechimys territorial behavior habitat use abundance Cocha Cashu intermediate spatial scales plant-animal interactions diet palms trees plants Madre de Dios Bibliography
Aspects of the ecology of Proechimys brevicauda, P. longicaudatus and P. hendeei in southeastern Peru were studied by means of trapping, radiotelemetry, censuses by transect and analysis of feces. These species are associated with mature forest with dense understory. The density of Proechimys varied over the range 0-4.2 individuals per hectare. The home range of Proechimys brevicauda and P. hendeei are completely superimposed on one another. The adjacent home ranges of five adult females of P. brevicauda were mutually exclusive; the home range of the males are superimposed on those of the females, but too few males were captured to determine their distribution relative to one another. The animals spend the day in thickets and do not burrow. Their diet includes palm nuts, mycorrhizal fungi and seeds of climbing plants with aerial distribution. It has been proposed that small home ranges and high population densities (and also the absence of species in marginal habitats) correlate with the concentration of food, mainly seeds and fungi. This investigation was carried out mainly in Manu National Park, in the vicinity of the Biological Station of Cocha Cashu (Proechimys hendeei and P. brevicauda), but it has been complemented with information from TRZ (Proechimys hendeei and P. longicaudatus): its results include information on habitats, densities and biomass, nocturnal movements, seasonal home ranges, situation of hiding places and alimentary habits. In spite of the fact that more information is required, especially from other localities, the hypothesis that explains the distribution of Proechimys as a function of ecological determinants (resource and habitat availability) seems justified so far.