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Volume 81, Issue 2


A first view of the unseen: nests of an endangered Atlantic Forest rat species

Ricardo S. Bovendorp
  • Corresponding author
  • Biological Sciences Department, São Paulo University – ESALQ, Av. Pádua Dias, n°11, C.P. 09, Piracicaba, SP, 13418-900, Brazil
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/ Jessica A. Laskowski
  • Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Department, 110 Newins-Ziegler Hall, University of Florida – Gainesville, FL, 32611-0430, USA
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/ Alexandre R. Percequillo
  • Biological Sciences Department, São Paulo University – ESALQ, Av. Pádua Dias, n°11, C.P. 09, Piracicaba, SP, 13418-900, Brazil
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Published Online: 2016-05-26 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2015-0178


For the first time, we observed and photographed nests of the elusive and endangered Russet rice rat, Euryoryzomys russatus. Sensitive to deforestation, the Russet rice rat is restricted to areas of contiguous Atlantic Forest in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. All five nests that we found were located at the base of endangered tree species, suggesting that loss of nesting habitat in deforested areas might contribute to population declines. We also observed litter size, antagonistic behavior and behavior suggestive of monogamy, rare in small mammals. Our discoveries open new questions about Russet rice rat ecology; questions that will likely help us to better understand why they’re more sensitive to deforestation than other closely related species.

Keywords: deforestation; Euryoryzomys russatus; Morro Grande Reserve; nesting habitat


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About the article

Received: 2015-12-07

Accepted: 2016-04-19

Published Online: 2016-05-26

Published in Print: 2017-03-01

Funding Source: Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo

Award identifier / Grant number: 2008/55483-8

Award identifier / Grant number: 2009/16009-1

Financial support for this research was provided by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP process 2008/55483-8 and 2009/16009-1). We thank JR Nali (Saneamento Básico do Estado de São Paulo), R Pardini, T Püttker (Instituto de Biociências da Universidade de São Paulo) and AP Cruz-Neto (Universidade Estadual Paulista, Rio Claro) for the logistic field support. We are also indebted to W Boone and RA McCleery, and to the anonymous reviewers, for valuable comments and suggestions on earlier drafts.

Citation Information: Mammalia, Volume 81, Issue 2, Pages 203–206, ISSN (Online) 1864-1547, ISSN (Print) 0025-1461, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2015-0178.

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