Evaluation of ecological restoration through mammal monitoring in a lava field of Mexico City

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Argüelles-Castañeda Alejandra1,2, Cano-Santana Zenón

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The Pedregal de San Ángel Ecological Reserve (REPSA) has been affected by substrate destruction, introduction of invasive plant species, the presence of domestic rodents and feral fauna. Several patches have been subjected to rescue of basaltic substrate and mechanical subtraction of exotic plants, like Eucalyptus spp. To evaluate the degree of recovery, we compare mammalian communities associated to sites subjected to 11-13 years of ecological restoration and conserved areas. Sherman traps were placed during the dry and rainy seasons. Density of cottontail rabbits was determined through the density of their fecal pellets; other mammals were registered through excreta and sightings. In the sites under restoration, six species of native mammals were recorded: Peromyscus gratus, P. melanophrys, Otospermophilus variegatus, Didelphis virginiana, Bassariscus astutus and Sylvilagus floridanus; and three exotic mammals: gray squirrels, cats and dogs. All sites were shelter for native mammals. Peromyscus gratus was recorded in all sites, and they depend on the lava-field ecosystem but, as a generalist mouse, it is a useful indicator at the first stages of restoration. Exotic rodents were no longer found in the sites subjected to restoration, and their absence could be a good restoration progress indicator because their populations have decreased without direct control. It was found that the basaltic substrate addition strategy to improve plant community might affect the P. gratus and S. floridanus activity. Considering mammals since planning is important, because focusing on the plant community strategies might not generate a suitable habitat for mammals.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program