Check List 12(2): e19470, doi: 10.15560/12.2.1868
A camera trap assessment of terrestrial mammals in Machalilla National Park, western Ecuador
expand article infoLaura Cervera, Diego J. Lizcano§, Violeta Parés-Jiménez, Sueanny Espinoza, Diana Poaquiza, Enrique de la Montaña, Daniel M. Griffith
‡ Universidad Laica Eloy Alfaro de Manabí, Ecuador§ iversidad Laica Eloy Alfaro de Manabí,
Open Access
Understanding the abundance, geographicdistribution, and conservation status of terrestrial mam­mals is vital to promote effective wildlife management in protected areas. Located in the Tumbes-Chocó-Magdalena hotspot of western Ecuador, Machalilla National Park contains high levels of biodiversity and endemism but suffers from habitat loss and degradation. This study provides an updated inventory of medium-sized to large mammals in the park and assesses changes in species richness over the past 20 years. Surveying 70% of Machalilla’s 562-km2 terrestrial area with 60 camera trap points, we detected 18 species of mammals belonging to 13 families. Richness of terrestrial species has declined in recent decades, due to the disappearance of keystone species like Jaguar (Panthera onca), White-lipped Peccary (Tayassu pecari), and possibly the Sechuran Fox (Lycalopex sechurae). We recommend specific man­agement improvements to ensure conservation of the unique ecosystems and biodiversity of Machalilla, the only national park in Ecuador containing dry forest.
regional list; tropical dry forest; Tumbes-Choco-Magdalena; conservation; protected area; wildlife management