Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: New York
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

New York Project

Tayra occupancy and carnivore co-occurrence dynamics in the Ecuadorian Andes

August 2016 - September 2018


Participating Agencies

  • Cooperative Research Units Program

The Chocó-Andean region of Ecuador lies at the convergence of two of the world’s top 25 biodiversity hotspots and is home to more endemic species than any other hotspot on Earth. Unfortunately, half of this region has been deforested and the expansion of agriculture, development, and recently granted mining concessions threatens remaining forest. As part of an overarching project to design a socio-ecological corridor between two ecological reserves using the Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus) as an umbrella species, two large-scale camera trapping surveys were implemented across 850 km² of forest in the region northwest of Quito, Ecuador. As a subset of the corridor design project, this specific study has two aims: 1) To evaluate how land use and land cover influence occupancy of tayra (Eira barbara), a generalist species throughout Latin America, and 2) to describe the spatial co-occurrence patterns between the Andean bear and other native and nonnative fauna including puma (Puma concolor) and domestic/feral dogs (Canis familiaris). This study will increase the understanding of how wildlife species are using the landscape and will contribute to conservation planning efforts in this region.