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Braz J Biol. 2010 Nov;70(4):987-94.

Domestic dogs in a fragmented landscape in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest: abundance, habitat use and caring by owners.

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Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, SP, Brazil.


This study aimed at estimating the population size and attitudes of residents towards caring for domestic dogs, through questionnaire surveys, as well as the frequency of these animals in different habitats (anthropic and forest patch), using scent stations. The study was conducted in a severely fragmented area of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. A large number of unrestricted dogs was recorded, averaging 6.2 ind/kmĀ². These dogs have owners and are regularly fed. Dog records decreased from the anthropogenic matrix to the forest patch edge, which suggests that dogs act as an edge effect on forest patches. Encounters between domestic dog and wild animals can still be frequent in severely fragmented landscapes, mainly at the forest edges. However the fact that most dogs have an owner and are more frequent in the anthropic habitat suggests that their putative effects are less severe than expected for a carnivore of such abundance, but the reinforcement of responsible ownership is needed to further ameliorate such effects.

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