Moving far from water: unusual dispersal movement of the water opossum (Chironectes minimus: Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae) in central Brazil
AbstractAbstract: Unusual movements of an animal can potentially represent a dispersal event. A higher frequency of young males dispersing is a pattern observed for most part of polygynous or promiscuous mammals with these dispersion events occurring, mainly, before or at the beginning of the breeding season. The water opossum (Chironectes minimus), the only marsupial adapted for semi-aquatic life, occurs from Mexico to Argentina and it has been mostly described as a sensitive species to river and riparian vegetation degradation, occurring exclusively near water curses. Here we describe the first record of long-distance movement of a water opossum not associated with riverine vegetation through dry land. We captured a healthy adult male of C. minimus in July 2012 beside of a highway (DF-001) located 1,100 m from nearest gallery forest in the Federal District. The region is characterized by urban and suburban residential, small fragments of typical savanna and degraded gallery forests. Our unique record could be an event of dispersion through degraded dry lands as observed for other semi-aquatic mammals and also suggests that this species is more resistant to anthropogenic disturbances than previously described. Also, information about dispersal patterns of water opossum is scarce and may contributes to a deeper understanding of ecological requirements of this species.
How to Cite
Mendonça, A. F., & Vieira, E. M. (2022). Moving far from water: unusual dispersal movement of the water opossum (Chironectes minimus: Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae) in central Brazil. Biota Neotropica, 22(1). Retrieved from //www.biotaneotropica.org.br/BN/article/view/1882