|Town/Region||Lagunas del Rosario de Huanacache|
|Continent||Central and Latin America|
|Date||23 Jul 2018|
Habitat fragmentation, caused by geological processes or human activity could create small, isolated patches, disrupting and causing local extinctions. Facing with this fact, is necessary inferring which factors affect small mammals dynamics and their ecosystem. The Red Viscacha Rat (RVR) is an octodontid rodent, endemic to the arid lands of central western Argentina.
Several ecological and biogeographic traits such as, narrow geographic range, patchy distribution, habitat specialization (associated to “salars” or salt flats) and low population density increase its vulnerability. In previous studies, genetic distinctiveness has been detected along the distribution of the RVR, suggesting important implications on the management of these populations. Despite this, there are questions that remained unanswered: How often do individuals change their burrows? How are their daily movements? What is the spatial arrangement and average distance among burrowing systems at different scales? However, the understanding of these questions is necessary for further conservation guidelines of the RVR. The contribution of the research will be:
a) to obtain and quantify fundamental information about the role played by habitat heterogeneity on the spatial ecology, population structure and dispersal dynamics of desert specialist rodents
b) to provide stronger ecological basis for the development of guidelines oriented towards the management of isolated populations.
After obtaining first data, a high resolution map for detecting landscape units and suitable areas for the RVR will be designed. This map will be powerful tool for detecting core areas with priority management. Moreover, these bases will serve as guidelines to promote conservation plan. The monitoring of local trends (home range) and long distance interactions (dispersal) representing part of necessary toolkit for in-situ management of potential populations with higher genetic distinctiveness.
For further information contact: