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Feeding Ecology of Wild Brown-Nosed Coatis and Garbage Exploration: A Study in Two Ecological Parks

By D. H. Rodrigues, E. Calixto, C. S. Cesario, R. B. Repoles, W. de Paula Lopes, V. S. Oliveira, A. Brinati, N. S. Hemetrio, I. O. Silva, V. Boere

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Wild animals that feed on garbage waste are a problem in ecological parks as it can substantially alter their food ecology. Wild coatis that occupy human recreation areas in parks are often observed feeding on garbage, but the ecological consequences are scarcely known. Forty-four fecal samples from females and 12 from males of wild coatis living in two ecological parks (Parque Municipal das Mangabeiras (PMM) and Parque Nacional do Caparaó (PNC)) were analyzed. Multivariate statistics were applied to evaluate the interaction between four variables (fecal volume, composition, place and sex of coatis). A significant interaction between the parks and sexes with regard to volume and food category was not found. Ungrouped analysis allowed for the identification of a decreasing gradient in volume from PNC males, followed by PNC females, PMM males, and PMM females. We did not find differences between categories of food between males and females from PNC and PMM, except for invertebrates. Females from PNC consumed more invertebrates than males and females of PMM, but we did not find differences from PNC males. The coatis of both parks primarily consume invertebrates and vegetables, but garbage residues were found in their feces. Garbage fragments, such as paper, glass, metal, plastic and rope, cause a risk to the health, compromising the conservation efforts of wild coatis. Actions are needed to prevent the access of coatis to dumps in both parks.

Date 2021
Publication Title Animals (Basel)
Volume 11
Issue 8
ISBN/ISSN 2076-2615 (Print)2076-2615
DOI 10.3390/ani11082412
Author Address Programa de Pós-graduação em Biologia Animal, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa 36570-900, MG, Brazil.Programa de Pós-graduação em Entomologia, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo 05508-220, SP, Brazil.Instituto Chico Mendes de Biodiversidade, PNC, Alto Caparaó 36834-000, MG, Brazil.Ciências Biológicas, Universidade do Estado de Minas Gerais, Caratinga 35309-899, MG, Brazil.Fundação de Parques Municipais e Zoobotânica de Belo Horizonte, Belo Horizonte 31210-090, MG, Brazil.Instituto de Humanidades, Artes e Ciências, Universidade Federal do Sul da Bahia, BR 415, Sn, Itabuna 45660-000, BA, Brazil.
Additional Language English
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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Human-animal interactions
  2. Mammals
  3. open access
  4. parks
  5. Tourism and travel
  1. open access