Habitat Selection of Lontra Longicaudis (Carnivora, Mustelidae) Under the Influence of the Hydroelectric Dam of Peñas Blancas River and Its Tributaries, Alajuela, Costa Rica

  • Jonathan Navarro-Picado Escuela de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Nacional Heredia, Costa Rica
  • Manuel Spínola-Parallada Instituto Internacional en Conservación y Manejo de Vida Silvestre, Universidad Nacional Heredia, Costa Rica
  • Alexander Madrigal-Mora Centro de Servicio Ambiente y Cuenca Centro de Generación Toro Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad Heredia, Costa Rica
  • Alicia Fonseca-Sánchez Escuela de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Nacional Heredia, Costa Rica
Keywords: Biology, habitat, ecological research, animal ecology, conservation of wild fauna and flora.

Abstract

The changes produced by human activities on aquatic ecosystems reconfigure and reduce available habitats. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess habitat selection of the Neotropical otter (Lontra longicaudis) in areas of influence of the hydroelectric dam of Peñas Blancas river and some of its tributaries in order to recommend actions for otter conservation. The Peñas Blancas River and three of its tributaries were sampled for signs of otters and for measuring seven environmental variables to determine the probability of occurrence and detectability. In addition, the use of prey was determined by the neotropical otter. Environmental variables showed that the river width and the forest proportion were the most influential variables on the occurrence of the species. The flow compensation of Peñas Blancas river showed the highest probability of occurrence. Related to the diet of the otter, fish were the most frequent category of prey in recent years. The data obtained showed the influence of physical conditions of the river on the occurrence of the otter and the importance of fish as a food component.

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Published
2017-01-30
How to Cite
Navarro-Picado, J., Spínola-Parallada, M., Madrigal-Mora, A., & Fonseca-Sánchez, A. (2017). Habitat Selection of Lontra Longicaudis (Carnivora, Mustelidae) Under the Influence of the Hydroelectric Dam of Peñas Blancas River and Its Tributaries, Alajuela, Costa Rica. Uniciencia, 31(1), 73-84. https://doi.org/10.15359/ru.31-1.8
Section
Original scientific papers (evaluated by academic peers)

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