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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter June 15, 2018

Effect of plantation clearcutting on carnivore presence in industrial forest landscapes in south-central Chile

Sandra P. Escudero-Páez, Esteban Botero-Delgadillo and Cristián F. Estades
From the journal Mammalia


Information on how wildlife is affected by pine plantation clearcutting is relevant for designing management strategies to promote biodiversity conservation in productive systems. By comparing the number of records of carnivores in a mosaic of pine plantations and native forest remnants before and after pine harvesting, we assessed the effect of plantation clearcutting on carnivore presence in ten sampling areas in Central Chile. We also included a number of covariates to account for their potential confounding effects, for example, the distance between each site and the nearesting human settlement and vegetation cover. A total of 10 species were observed, but no negative effect of clearcutting on carnivore presence was detected. Only the culpeo fox (Lycalopex culpaeus) responded positively to the harvesting of pine plantations. The threatened kodkod (Leopardus guigna) was absent in clearcut areas and the number of records increased in forests or plantations with a dense understorey. The domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) responded positively to human settlements and seems to prefer more open areas. The number of records for the Puma (Puma concolor) and the domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus) was too few, and hence, we could not make any inference regarding these two species. The other species recorded showed different responses to one or more of the included covariates. Although our results showed that the recording of some species could change in the short term after pine harvesting, future studies should assess the impact of clearcutting at a much higher scale, both in terms of space and time.


This study was funded by a Fondecyt grant, Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico, Funder Id: 10.13039/501100002850 (Grant No. 1120314) to C.E. Estades. We thank the forestry companies Arauco, Celco, Masisa and Mininco for allowing us to work on their lands. We thank all the staff of LEVS (Laboratorio de Ecología de Vida Silvestre) from the University of Chile for their help with the fieldwork.


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Received: 2017-05-26
Accepted: 2018-05-07
Published Online: 2018-06-15
Published in Print: 2019-02-25

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