Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

How much effort should be employed for surveying a low-diversity Amazonian mammal assemblage using line-transects?

Mourthé, Ítalo

Line-transect surveys are commonly used for sampling large mammals, but estimates of the effort needed to reliably surveying low-diversity assemblages of mammals are scarce. Using data from line-transects and species accumulation curves, I examined whether or not a sampling effort previously suggested to survey mammals elsewhere (ca. 85-100 km) would be satisfactory for surveying a low-diversity assemblage of large mammals in the Rio Negro basin in northern Amazonia. In total, 14 mammals were recorded after an accumulated effort of 690 km walked. The desired threshold of completeness was only achieved in one of six transects after an average effort of 115 km surveyed. Considering the entire landscape (all transects pooled), survey completeness was reached after a much higher effort. Moreover, the theoretical effort required to achieve completeness was estimated to be 150-360 km per transect, and 512 km for the landscape. Further studies are required to fully understand this issue, but meanwhile it is safest to assume that higher sampling efforts should be employed when surveying low-diversity assemblages through diurnal line-transects in northwestern Amazonia to get robust estimates of mammal richness.

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