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Mitigating Tropical Forest Fragmentation with Natural and Semi-Artificial Canopy Bridges

1
Center for Conservation and Sustainability, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park, Washington, DC 20013-7012, USA
2
Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina, Av. La Molina s/n Apartado 12-056, Peru
3
Walsh Perú S.A. Ingenieros y Científicos Consultores, Alexander Fleming 187 Urbanización Higuereta, Surco, Lima 33, Peru
4
Repsol Exploración Perú, Sucursal del Perú, Víctor Andrés Belaunde 147, vía Principal 103, Oficina 202 San Isidro, Lima 27, Peru
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2019, 11(4), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11040066
Received: 8 March 2019 / Revised: 19 April 2019 / Accepted: 19 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Linear Infrastructures on Wildlife)
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Abstract

Fragmentation caused by linear infrastructures is a threat to forest-dwelling wildlife globally. Loss of canopy connectivity is particularly problematic for highly arboreal species such as those of the Neotropics. We explored the use of both natural canopy bridges (NCBs) and a semi-artificial one over a natural gas pipeline right-of-way (RoW) in the Peruvian Amazon to provide more information on both a proven and a novel solution to the problem of fragmentation. We monitored seven NCBs over 14 months and found crossing rates higher than previously recorded (57.70 crossings/100 trap nights by 16 species). We also constructed a semi-artificial canopy bridge (SACB) out of a liana and found it to be used quickly (seven days after installation) and frequently (90.23 crossings/100 trap nights—nearly nightly) by five species (two procyonids, one didelphid, one primate, and one rodent). This information contributes to our knowledge of mitigation solutions for fragmentation. As linear infrastructure grows globally, more solutions must be developed and tested. View Full-Text
Keywords: linear infrastructure; natural gas pipeline; connectivity; camera trap; Peruvian Amazon linear infrastructure; natural gas pipeline; connectivity; camera trap; Peruvian Amazon
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Balbuena, D.; Alonso, A.; Panta, M.; Garcia, A.; Gregory, T. Mitigating Tropical Forest Fragmentation with Natural and Semi-Artificial Canopy Bridges. Diversity 2019, 11, 66.

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