Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

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Missing for the last twenty years: the case of the southernmost populations of the Tropical Mockingbird Mimus gilvus (Passeriformes: Mimidae)

Zanon, Mariana SVale, Mariana MAlves, Maria Alice S

The Tropical Mockingbird Mimus gilvus (Vieillot, 1808) is a widespread species in the Neotropics, but its southernmost populations in Brazil are ecologically (and possibly taxonomically) distinct, occurring only along the coast in restinga vegetation. Once considered the most common bird in restinga, it is becoming increasingly rare, likely due to habitat loss and illegal capture of nestlings. We conducted field surveys to provide an up-to-date distribution of the Tropical Mockingbird in the southernmost portion of the species' range, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, supplying an estimate of its current regional population size and conservation status. We surveyed 21 restinga remnants in Rio de Janeiro, covering all major restinga areas in the state. For sites where the species' presence was confirmed through transect line surveys, we estimated the local population size. The species was found at only four sites. The mean local population density was 52 individuals per km-2. The estimated current and historical Extent of Occurrence (EOO) were 256 km2 and 653 km2, respectively. Combining the population size and EOO results, we estimated that the population of the state of Rio de Janeiro currently ranges from 2,662 to 13,312 individuals, corresponding to an estimated reduction of 61% to 92% in population size in the last 20 years. The species, therefore, can be considered "Endangered" in the state of Rio de Janeiro. We recommend that a taxonomic study of the southernmost populations is carried out in order to clarify whether they represent a different, likely threatened species. We also recommend that the environmental regulations that protect restingas are used towards the protection of these populations.(AU)

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