Caught in the act! Using camera trapping to investigate the link between tropical forest degradation and biodiversity in the Belize Maya Forest

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2023-04-27

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Abstract

Tropical forests retain an abundance of the world’s species yet are acutely threatened by habitat loss and overharvesting. Habitat loss is largely driven by widespread deforestation and potentially forest degradation – a decrease in forest quality primarily caused by logging. Some evidence suggests that degradation drives biodiversity loss, while other studies argue that managed forests can preserve species. Belize, a country in the Neotropics, retains 60% of its forest cover but is predicted to lose most of it in the next decade. One proposed method for sustainable forest management is reduced impact logging (RIL). We modeled species occupancy of terrestrial wildlife across RIL and unlogged sites within the Belize Maya Forest and evaluated the effect of anthropogenic and environmental covariates. We provide evidence that managed forests can preserve biodiversity and that the effect of occupancy covariates varies by species.

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Boos, Elise, and Kelly Bruno (2023). Caught in the act! Using camera trapping to investigate the link between tropical forest degradation and biodiversity in the Belize Maya Forest. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/27148.


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