Brown-headed Spider Monkey (Ateles fusciceps)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 0905336
The National Natural Park Munchique, one of the government protected areas in the Tropical Andes (hotspot), it is a Colombian center of endemism and diversity that is threatened by the conversion of forests into crops and hunting pressure. The main purpose of this study was to conduct a participatory monitoring of large and medium-sized mammals with the inhabitants of the “Cóndor” sector in NNP Munchique. It was complemented by the addition of the spectacled bear camera trapping for the sector “Romelia”. Between October 2009 and April 2010 monitoring was carried out by line transects, selected and walked along with local residents and park rangers of the sector. Simultaneously there were talks on conservation in homes and in community activities in the area. Journeys were conducted in areas of native forest and disturbed areas, to establish habitat use and effects of deforestation. In addition, camera traps were used to identify the species in transects.
In general, the monitoring species showed a preferred use to native and secondary forest, and rejection to disturbed areas. Of the species recorded, the “guagua” Cuniculus paca was detected in all transects and the most abundant, with a preferred use to native forest, followed by deer Mazama spp.; whereas in disturbed areas the “chucha” Didelphis marsupialis was the most abundant. The primates were the least abundant with the ocelot Leopardus pardalis and the “zaino” Pecari tajacu. Additionally, four individuals of spectacled bears Tremarctos ornatus were identified in the sampled area. Also, it inferred and observed a possible occupation and distribution of the individuals throughout the axis of the western mountain range in the sampling area. In terms of abundance, the community of mammals in the area presents the fundamental organization described for tropical forests in several layers, with a higher biomass of herbivores followed by the lower biomass of carnivores. The results of this study provides the first population data for species of large and medium sized mammals for the National Natural Park Munchique and thus constitute the baseline for comparison for future monitoring.
Furthermore it was found that the expansion of the agricultural frontier is the most negative impact on the park as opposed to the hunt, which is not as continuous as before. Regarding this subject, we achieved with the hunters to make rotations of hunt places and also not to hunt everything that appears in their way. Also a first agreement was achieved in order that in future monitoring, local people will be accompanying park rangers in this activity. In the same way, the inclusion of local people not only as collaborators but as performers, the sharing and displaying of collected data attracted the families to the research task for conservation. This together with the realization of other activities outside the project improved the relationship and the park administration image among the villagers. In this study we also found that people are motivated even more when they are invited to participate directly in projects like the one conducted in the protected area. Although with this project there was support to the families present in the sample area, it was not made as a compensation for their support at work, but as an own initiative to improve their quality of life even in medium terms.
Project 0905336 location - Colombia, South America