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Species richness and ethnozoological annotations on mammals at the Boanamo indigenous community, Waorani territory, Orellana and Pastaza provinces, Ecuador

  • Diego G. Tirira ORCID logo EMAIL logo , Harold F. Greeney ORCID logo , Conan Omaca , Otobo Baihua and Ryan P. Killackey ORCID logo
From the journal Mammalia


We present the results of a rapid ecological assessment conducted in 2012 in the community of Boanamo, in the Waorani Ethnic Reserve and Yasuní National Park, Orellana and Pastaza provinces, Ecuadorian Amazon. The study included surveys and observations of mammals by different methodologies over a 16-day sampling period. The results show the presence of 89 species of mammals, but there are several other mammal species expected in the area, increasing the projected diversity to 119 species, a high diverse community when compared with similar locations. Statistical analyses show that Boanamo is an area of high species richness and heterogeneity, consistent with comparable surveys in other areas of primary lowland rainforest in Amazonia. In addition, we documented nine distinct ways and 130 different usages in which 43 species are utilized in Boanamo. To estimate the importance of mammal diversity, we used a Cultural Importance Index, which shows that the species with the highest value are Panthera onca and Nasua nasua. However, the most frequently hunted species were Tayassu pecari and Lagothrix lagothricha. Our final conclusion is the community of Boanamo is entirely dependent on the surrounding forest, and mammals are an important part of their culture and subsistence.

Corresponding author: Diego G. Tirira, Fundación Mamíferos y Conservación, Urb. Hacienda Capelo 165, Capelo, Rumiñahui, Ecuador, E-mail:

Appendix 1:

Species and use of mammals recorded in the indigenous community of Boanamo, Yasuní National Park and Waorani Ethnic Reserve, Ecuador.

No.Order, family and speciesType of recordNumber of records1AbundanceKind of useCIConservation categoryComments (S2 Text)Pictures (S3 Plates)
1Caluromys lanatusRW0R20.0DDLCYes
2Didelphis marsupialisDO1U1, 5, 7, 91.8LCLCYes
3Marmosa waterhouseiDO1U0.0LCNEYes
4Marmosops bishopiDO1U0.0NELCYes
5Philander andersoniDO2U0.0LCLCYesS3 Plate 1(a)
6Trichechus inunguisRW0K20.0CRVUYes
7Priodontes maximusTR1R21, 2, 42.5VUVUYes
8Dasypus novemcinctusTR5F1, 4, 52.0LCLCYes
9Bradypus variegatusDO1K1, 4, 81.3LCLCYes
10Choloepus didactylusRW0K1, 4, 7, 81.5LCLCYes
11Cyclopes idaDO1R210.3DDNEYes
12Myrmecophaga tridactylaDO, TR2U21, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 92.5VUVUYesS3 Plate 1(b)
13Tamandua tetradactylaRW0K1, 2, 91.0LCLCYes
14Cebuella pygmaeaDO, VO1R21, 5, 7, 82.0VUVUYes
15Leontocebus tripartitusDO2U1, 7, 82.3NTNTYes
16Cebus albifronsDO3U1, 5, 7, 82.0NTLCYesS3 Plate 1(c)
17Sapajus macrocephalusRW0R1, 70.5NTLCNo
18Saimiri cassiquiarensisDO, VO2F1, 71.5NTLCYesS3 Plate 1(d)
19Aotus vociferansVO1R1, 7, 81.8NTLCYes
20Plecturocebus discolorDO, VO4U1, 71.5NTLCYesS3 Plate 1(e)
21Pithecia napensisDO1R21, 7, 82.3NTLCYes
22Alouatta seniculusDO, CT, VO10F1, 4, 7, 82.8NTLCYesS3 Plate 2(a, b)
23Ateles belzebuthDO5U21, 5, 7, 82.5ENENYesS3 Plate 2(c)
24Lagothrix lagothrichaDO3U21, 5, 7, 82.5ENVUYesS3 Plate 2(d)
25Hadrosciurus spadiceusDO2U1, 81.0LCLCYes
26Microsciurus flaviventerDO3U210.3LCDDYesS3 Plate 2(e)
27Hylaeamys yunganusCaptured1R0.0LCLCYes
28Neacomys rosalindaeCaptured1R20.0LCNEYesS3 Plate 3(a)
29Oecomys bicolorCaptured1R0.0LCLCYesS3 Plate 3(b)
30Coendou prehensilisDO, CT2R1, 20.5DDLCYesS3 Plate 3(c)
31Hydrochoerus hydrochaerisDO, TR7F1, 2, 4, 6, 72.0DDLCYesS3 Plate 3(d–e)
32Dasyprocta fuliginosaDO, TR3U1, 7, 92.3LCLCYesS3 Plate 3(f)
33Myoprocta prattiDO, TR3U1, 5, 72.0LCLCYes
34Cuniculus pacaDO, TR2U1, 4, 7, 82.5NTLCYes
35Proechimys brevicaudaDO1R0.0LCLCNo
36Sylvilagus defilippiDO2U10.5LCNEYes
37Rhynchonycteris nasoDO, captured14F20.0LCLCYesS3 Plate 4(a, b)
38Saccopteryx bilineataCaptured1U20.0LCLCYesS3 Plate 4(c, d)
39Desmodus rotundusCaptured1U8, 91.0LCLCYesS3 Plate 5(a)
40Glossophaga soricinaCaptured2U0.0LCLCNoS3 Plate 5(b)
41Micronycteris megalotisCaptured1R20.0LCLCNoS3 Plate 5(c)
42Micronycteris minutaCaptured1R20.0LCLCNoS3 Plate 5(d)
43Chrotopterus auritusCaptured1R20.0NTLCNoS3 Plate 5(e)
44Gardnerycteris crenulatumCaptured2U0.0LCLCNoS3 Plate 5(f)
45Lophostoma carrikeriCaptured1R20.0DDLCNoS3 Plate 6(a)
46Macrophyllum macrophyllumCaptured1R20.0LCLCNoS3 Plate 6(b)
47Phylloderma stenopsCaptured1R20.0LCLCNoS3 Plate 6(c)
48Phyllostomus elongatusCaptured8F0.0LCLCNoS3 Plate 6(d)
49Phyllostomus hastatusCaptured1R0.0LCLCNoS3 Plate 6(e)
50Tonatia maresiCaptured1R20.0LCLCNoS3 Plate 6(f)
51Trachops cirrhosusDO, captured3U20.0LCLCYesS3 Plate 7(a)
52Vampyrum spectrumDO1R20.0VUNTNo
53Trinycteris niceforiCaptured1R20.0LCLCNoS3 Plate 7(b)
54Carollia brevicaudaCaptured17C0.0LCLCNoS3 Plate 7(c)
55Carollia castaneaCaptured11C0.0LCLCNoS3 Plate 7(d)
56Carollia perspicillataCaptured24C0.0LCLCNoS3 Plate 7(e)
57Rhinophylla fischeraeCaptured6F0.0LCLCNoS3 Plate 7(f)
58Rhinophylla pumilioCaptured17C0.0LCLCNoS3 Plate 8(a)
59Sturnira magnaCaptured1R0.0LCLCNoS3 Plate 8(b)
60Artibeus obscurusCaptured9F0.0LCLCNoS3 Plate 8(c)
61Artibeus planirostrisCaptured26C0.0LCLCYesS3 Plate 8(d)
62Artibeus anderseniCaptured2U0.0LCLCNoS3 Plate 8(e)
63Mesophylla macconnelliCaptured1R0.0LCLCYesS3 Plate 8(f)
64Platyrrhinus infuscusCaptured3U0.0LCLCNoS3 Plate 9(a)
65Vampyressa thyoneCaptured3U0.0LCLCYesS3 Plate 9(b–c)
66Vampyriscus bidensCaptured2U0.0LCLCNoS3 Plate 9(d)
67Noctilio albiventrisDO, captured3U20.0LCLCYesS3 Plate 10(a)
68Furipterus horrensCaptured1R20.0LCLCNoS3 Plate 10(b)
69Myotis albescensCaptured1R0.0LCLCNoS3 Plate 10(c)
70Myotis nigricansCaptured8F0.0LCLCYesS3 Plate 10(d)
71Myotis ripariusCaptured1R0.0LCLCYesS3 Plate 10(e)
72Herpailurus yagouaroundiRW0R60.3NTLCYes
73Leopardus pardalisCT, TR2U2, 4, 6, 7, 81.8NTLCYes
74Leopardus wiediiRW0K220.3VUNTYes
75Puma concolorRW0K2, 60.5VULCYes
76Panthera oncaTR1R22, 3, 6, 7, 8, 94.3ENNTYes
77Atelocynus microtisRW0K20.0NTNTNo
78Speothos venaticusRW0K20.0VUNTYes
79Nasua nasuaDO1R1, 2, 3, 7, 83.0LCLCYes
80Potos flavusDO, VO6F1, 7, 82.0LCLCYes
81Lontra longicaudisDO1R70.3VUNTYes
82Pteronura brasiliensisDO1K20.0CRENYes
83Eira barbaraRW0K1, 90.8LCLCYes
84Tapirus terrestrisCT, TR3U21, 2, 4, 7, 82.3ENVUYesS3 Plate 10(f)
85Pecari tajacuDO2U1, 2, 71.8NTLCYes
86Tayassu pecariDO2U21, 2, 7, 82.8ENVUYesS3 Plate 11(a–d)
87Mazama mureliaDO1R210.5NTNEYes
88Mazama zamoraDO, CT3U1, 6, 7, 82.0NTNEYesS3 Plate 11(e)
89Inia geoffrensisDO1U220.3ENENYes
  1. 1Groups of animals of a same species were recorded as a single individual.

  2. 2Indicator species of good environmental quality.

  3. Type of record: CT = Camera trap. DO = Direct observation. RW = Reported only by residents of the Waorani Community of Boanamo. TR = Tracks (footprints and other traces). VO = Vocalization record. Abundance: C = Common (species abundant and easy to find). F = Frequent (species found periodically even at low densities). U = Uncommon (species difficult to find). R = Rare (species very difficult to find). K = Unknown (species for which there is no information to determine their relative abundance). Kind of use or relation to Waorani: 1 = Food. 2 = Artisanal. 3 = Commercial. 4 = Material. 5 = Medicinal. 6 = Ornamental. 7 = Recreational (as a pet). 8 = Ritual and spiritual beliefs. 9 = Social conflict. CI = Conservation Importance Index. Conservation category (Red lists of Ecuador (Tirira, 2011), and IUCN (2020)): CR = Critically Endangered. DD = Data Deficient. EN = Endangered. LC = Least Concern. NE = Not Evaluated. NT = Near Threatened. VU = Vulnerable.


Our research was part of a larger biotic inventory created and funded by Pollywog Productions as part of the documentary feature film, Yasuni Man, and carried out in cooperation with the Waorani communities of Boanamo and Bameno, to whom we wish to express our gratitude, especially to Ñama Baihua and Omayuhue Huane Baihua. To Tomi Sugahara for her invaluable logistical support. We also want to thank Larry Evans, Domingo Gualinga, Diana Medina, Cecilia Puertas, and Morley Read as members of the research team. We are grateful to Ministry of Environment for supporting our requests for all permits (entry permit: 007-2012-FC-MAE-DPO-PNY, and research permit: 005-2012-IC-FAU-MAE-DPO-PNY). To Museum of Zoology QCAZ for allowing us to review the specimens for a correct identification. To Leo Zurita for creating the map of our study site included in Figure 1. We are grateful to Mandy Haywood and Melinda Hoffman for their helpful comments on the manuscript.

  1. Author contributions: DGT wrote the text, field data collection, analysis, and identification of specimens. HFG wrote the text and field data collection. RPK: funding project, field support, logistic organization, and field data collection. CO and OB contributed to field observations and logistical support for the survey.

  2. Research funding: Our research was part of a larger biotic inventory created and funded by Pollywog Productions as part of the documentary feature film Yasuni Man.

  3. Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding this article.


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Supplementary Material

Supplementary material to this article can be found online at

Received: 2019-11-27
Accepted: 2020-05-26
Published Online: 2020-08-10
Published in Print: 2020-11-26

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