Data on the local abundance and residence status are presented for two of the most important game species of terrestrial vertebrates in neotropical forests, the white-lipped peccary, Tayassu pecari and collared peccary Tayassu tajacu. These data are based on a long-term series (1987-1994) of line-transect censuses conducted at forest sites in central-western and eastern Brazilian Amazonia using transects of 4-5 km at each site. Surveys were conducted in four unhunted sites and 19 sites subject to varying degrees of hunting. Censused sites consisted of different types of unflooded (terra firme) and flooded (varzea) forest, giving a combined census and distance of 2368 km. Evidence of the larger-bodied white-lipped peccary was detected at only 13 of the 23 sites surveyed, even though these forests had not been subject to habitat disturbance. Collared peccaries, on the other hand, persisted even in the most heavily hunted sites, though the numbers recorded were inversely related to hunting intensity. The large herds of white-lipped peccaries appear to be rare and move widely even in remote terra firme forests, even those which have been entirely spared of hunting, perhaps because of density of key resource patches. In contrast, the ubiquitous collared peccaries live in small herds and appear to be year-round residents in presumably much smaller home ranges at both hunted and unhunted sites. The implications of peccary residency status and herd size are discussed in the context of differential susceptibility to hunting.
- Amazonian forests
- game hunting