Ecology and conservation of the jacutinga Pipile jacutinga in the Atlantic forest of Brazil

Ecology and conservation of the jacutinga Pipile jacutinga in the Atlantic forest of Brazil

PII: S0006-3207(97)00004-9 Biological Conservation 82 (1997) 31-39 © 1997 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd All rights reserved. Printed in Great Br...

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Biological Conservation 82 (1997) 31-39 © 1997 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd All rights reserved. Printed in Great Britain 0006-3207/97 $17.00 + 0.00




Mauro Galetti," Paulo Martuscelli, b Ffibio Olmos c & Alexandre Aleixo d a Wildlife

Research Group, Department of Anatomy, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3D Y, UK bCP194, Peru[be, Sdo Paulo, 11750-970, Sfo Paulo, Brazil ¢Se¢~o de Animais Silvestres, IF, CP 1322, 01509-970, Sdo Paulo, SP, Brazil dDepartamento de Zoologia, UNICAMP, CP 6109, 13083-970 Campinas, Sdo Paulo, Brazil

(Received 28 February 1996; revised version received 2 November 1996; accepted 8 November 1996)

from the Neotropics (Silva & Strahl, 1991; Thiollay, 1994). The black-fronted piping-guan or jacutinga Pipile jacutinga is a medium-sized (up to 1.5 kg) cracid known from the moist forests of coastal Brazil, the Atlantic forest, from southern Bahia to Rio Grande do Sul, and adjacent areas of Paraguay and Argentina (Delacour & Amadon, 1973; Sick, 1993). The species was extremely common in parts of its range until the 1940s and 1950s, when thousands could be killed over a short period (Sick, 1993). Today this species is considered as vulnerable and is listed in CITES Appendix I (Collar et al., 1994). The jacutinga's range is one of the areas in South America worst hit by deforestation, with only 5% (c. 60 000 km 2) of the forest remaining today, mainly in the states of S~.o Paulo, Parami and Santa Catarina (SOS Mata Atl~ntica & INPE, 1992). This region also holds 43% of the Brazilian human population and its fastestgrowing cities (Fonseca, 1985). Despite being one of the largest, most conspicuous and endangered birds of the Atlantic forest, scientific information on the jacutinga's ecology, vital to its conservation, is almost entirely lacking, what exists being mainly anecdotal (see Collar et al., 1992; Sick, 1993; Pacagnella et al., 1994). This paper describes the results of a 26-month study on the jacutinga's ecology and a six year survey of the extant populations from the Atlantic forest of S5o Paulo state.

Abstract The jacutinga Pipile jacutinga was formerly one o f the most abundant game bird cracids in the Atlantic forest of Brazil. Nowadays this species is vulnerable to extinction due to hunting and habitat loss. The ecology of the jacutinga was studied at Parque Estadual lntervales, Sdo Paulo, Brazil from October 1993 to December 1995 and in adjacent areas. Jacutingas were observed to feed mainly on the sugar-rich fruit o f 41 species. We recorded a low index of abundance for the jacutinga (0.018) or c.1.7 birds/km 2 at Intervales, one of the best protected areas within their range. Surveys carried out in the Atlantic forest of Sdo Paulo found jacutinga populations in 14 localities. Probably < 1500 birds survive in the best protected areas. The species' stronghold in southeastern Brazil is in the mountains of Serra de Paranapiacaba, an area protected by several parks suffering from hunting and palm heart harvesting and threatened by a hydroelectric project. © 1997 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd

Keywords: Atlantic forest, Brazil, Cracidae, diet, conservation, frugivory.

"We all know that no one turns down jacutinga with rice." - - Frederico Lane, hunter, 1928.

INTRODUCTION Cracids (guans, chachalacas and curassows) are medium-sized to large, predominantly arboreal, gallinaceous birds. The family has 50 species distributed in the Neotropical region and extreme south Nearctic (del Hoyo et al., 1994). Cracids are among the most important game birds in Latin America, but are extremely sensitive to habitat disturbance and overhunting (Silva & Strahl, 1991; Strahl & Grajal, 1991). This group also contributes to most of the avian biomass harvested by hunters

STUDY SITE Jacutingas were searched for in several localities in the Atlantic forest of S~o Paulo (Fig. I) during faunal surveys in existing and proposed state parks and reserves from 1989 to 1995. As the main aim in these surveys was simply to locate the birds, density estimates are available for only a few localities. An ecological study of jacutingas was carried out at the Parque Estadual Intervales, a 490km 2 reserve of Atlantic forest in the Paranapiacaba range of southern

Correspondence to: M. Galetti, Departmento de Botanica, C.P.199, UNESP, 13506-900 Rio Claro, S~o Paulo, Brazil 31

M. Galetti et al.


S~o Paulo, from October 1993 to December 1995. Jacutingas were studied in the Base do Saibadela (24°14'08"S, 48°04'42"W), Sete Barras, Sgo Paulo. Elevation varied from 70 to 300m above sea level. The annual rainfall in 1994 and 1995 was 4244mm and 3958 mm, respectively, (with a temperature maximum of 41-42°C and minimum of 3-1 I°C). The area is covered mainly by primary forest where the canopy can reach 35m. The most common plant families are Myrtaceae, Lauraceae and Rubiaceae (Almeida-Scabbia, 1996). The area is well protected from poachers and some threatened species such as the blue-bellied parrot Triclaria malachitacea and the muriqui Brachyteles arachnoides are relatively common (M. Galetti, unpublished data). There are c. 350 bird species in the reserve (see Aleixo & Galetti, in press), but only two cracid species, the jacutinga and the dusky-legged guan Penelope obscura. Palm heart (the edible apical meristem) harvesting of Euterpe edulis, whose fruits are considered the main staple food ofjacutingas (Collar et al., 1992), is not known to have taken place and the local density of E. edulis is about 500 palms/ha (Ribeiro et al., 1993; but see Galetti & Chivers, 1995).

1970). The point counts (IPA or 'stations d'6coute') were placed along eight trails of 1 km each. On each trail, five 'point counts' were spaced 200 m apart. At these points all birds heard or seen during a 20 min period were recorded. At least three trails (or 15 points), randomly chosen, were sampled each month. The index of point abundance (IPA) was calculated by dividing the number of contacts by the total number of points sampied. Transect counts were carried out from sunrise to 1100 h and any individual or flock ofjacutinga heard or seen was recorded as one contact. The other method used to estimate jacutinga density (D) was a modification of the variable-length transect of King (see Silva & Strahl, 1991):



where Z = the total number of individuals ofjacutingas observed on all transects, W -- the width of the transect and ~ L is the sum of the lengths of the transects. The trails were walked in the morning and, because the visibility of each area is different, the strip width was taken to be 10m on each side in Intervales (lowland primary forest), 20 m in Ilhabela (montane secondaryprimary forest) and 50m in Carlos Botelho (montane primary forest, valleys and foothill). Jacutingas are relatively tame and quiet cracids (unlike Penelope spp.) and it is assumed that the width established in each site is reliable for detecting most of the birds.


Jacutingas are difficult to follow in the field, because of the rugged topography, so their abundance was estimated based on unlimited distance point counts (Blondel et al.,




o . t . . , , . j .r

' "~""2"' "~'r" '

~-,- . - - - ° ,.-,,-.

\~.. .~"'"


S~o Paulo 12




t 0






49 °



I '

48 °


47 °

Fig. I. Localities in S~o Paulo state where Jacutinga still occurs: l, Ilha do Cardoso; 2, Canan6ia-Serra do Cadeado; 3, Jacupiranga; 4, Alto Ribeira; 5, Intervales; 6, Carlos Botelho; 7, Pilar do Sul; 8, Jurupar~; 9, Tapiral; 10, Jur6ia; 1l, Serra do Mar-Mongagub.; 12, Borac6ia; 13, Serra do Mar-Santa Virginia; 14, Ilhabela; 15, Serra do Mar-Ubatuba.

Conservation of the jacutinga The diet of cracids is usually assessed from stomach and gizzard contents (Th+ry et al., 1992; Caziani & Protomastro, 1994), but as jacutingas are highly threatened (Collar et al., 1992), diet was determined from feeding bouts in this study. Each bout is an observation o f a jacutinga or a flock eating in a fruiting tree and if the birds moved to another food source a new bout was recorded (Galetti, 1993). Chemical analyses of 15 species of fruit eaten by jacutingas (percentage of water, protein, lipids, and sugar) followed Bligh and Dyer (1959) and Horwitz (1975) and were carried out at the Faculdade de Engenharia de Alimentos, Universidade Estadual de Campinas. The availability of E. edulis fruit was based on the counting of fruits of 41 tagged trees in the lowland (Saibadela station) every month (M. Galetti, unpublished data). The palms were chosen from 201 random points along nine trails. At each point the four nearest trees within four marked quadrants were tagged (Almeida-Scabbia, 1996).

RESULTS Habitat Jacutingas were recorded in 14 localities in the coastal Atlantic forest of Silo Paulo (Fig. 1). This cracid was observed mainly on the slopes of the coastal mountains, being extremely rare in the lowland forests ('restingas') growing on sandy soils. Only twice were jacutingas observed at sea level. In Ilhabela State Park, jacutingas were observed in old (ca. 30 years) secondary forest dominated by deciduous legume trees Piptadenia gonoacantha while, in Jur6ia Ecological Station, this species was observed breeding in very young forest dominated by Cecropia spp., Rapanea spp., banana trees and vines. At Carlos Botelho State Park, a female with three chicks was seen in a monoculture of pine trees. Nevertheless, in all these instances there was mature forest surrounding the area. Abundance The point count method showed a low index of abundance of jacutingas at Intervales. O f 113 point counts, only two jacutinga contacts were recorded (IPA = 0.018). The index of point abundance for the dusky-legged guan was also low at 0.035. In 68 point counts carried out in a logged forest ca.l-5km from Intervales, only one jacutinga was recorded. The IPA o f the jacutinga in unlogged and logged forests were slightly different (0.018 and 0.015, respectively). The same pattern was obtained in transect contacts (0.036 contact/h of field work in unharvested against 0-017 contact/h in harvested). The density ofjacutingas was measured in Intervales, Ilhabela, Carlos Botelho and Ilha do Cardoso state parks. At Intervales (Saibadela base), 236km were walked from October 1993 to December 1995 and eight


birds were recorded (density 1.7 individuals/km2). The density of jacutingas in the lowlands was slightly less than in the highlands of Intervales Park (2-1 individuals/ km 2) (Mafiosa et al., 1995). At Ilhabela, 215km were walked from 1992 to 1994 and only eight birds were recorded (0.93 individuals/km2); at Carlos Botelho 151 km were walked and 48 birds were observed (3.17 individuals/km2). At Ilha do Cardoso, during a fiveyear study, only two jacutinga groups were observed (seven and four birds). Although no census was carried out in the park, the density of jacutingas there is likely to be 0.11 individuals/km 2, based on the island's area.

Diet Jacutingas were observed eating 41 fruit species, 23 species at Intervales and another 18 in other areas (Table 1). Some fruit species, such as Virola gardneri and Cryptocarya moschata, occur mainly in prima;y unlogged areas, while others are typical of disturbed forests (Cecropia glaziovii and Cytharexyllum myrianthum). Fruits eaten by this cracid ranged from tiny drupes (e.g. 0.4 mm diameter) to large arilate ones (e.g. Virola gardneri, 25 ram). Chemical analyses of the fruits sampled indicate that most fruit species eaten by jacutingas are poor in lipids (10.7% of the feeding bouts are on fruits with more than 50% of lipid), except the two Virola species and Cupania oblongifolia. Most of the diet was on fruit species rich in carbohydrates (89-3% of feeding bouts are on fruits with ~>50% carbohydrates, Table 2). There was no correlation between the diet of the jacutinga and the main chemical components of the fruits (protein, r = - 0 . 0 4 , p = 0-88; carbohydrates, r = 0.47, p = 0-11), but it was marginally significant to low-lipid fruits ( r = - 0 . 5 3 , p = 0-07). Most species eaten by jacutingas have large fruit crops predictably distributed in time. Fruit selection is similar to that made by some primates (Garber, 1993) with regular travel routes which are checked for the availability of fruiting trees. Two adult jacutingas were observed for 10 consecutive days in April 1994 feeding on four fruiting trees of Cordia sylvestris, Ceeropia glaziovii, Chrysophyllum flexuosum and Meliosma sinuata. They then moved only 50 m and remained another four days in another clump of Cordia fruits. Apparently the same individuals used the same fruiting trees in March 1995 during one week. Four jacutingas stayed for three consecutive days feeding on an Ocotea catharinensis tree at Carlos Botelho. These observations suggest that jacutingas 'know' specifically in space and time the ripening of their fruit sources. Movements Jacutingas are considered the only cracid that makes 'true' migrations following the ripeness of Euterpe fruits (Collar et al., 1992; del H o y o et aL, 1994). However at Intervales, no correlation was found between the jacutinga contacts and number of ripe Euterpe fruits

M . Galetti e t a l .


Table 1. Fruit species consumed by jacutingas Pipile jacutinga in southeastern Brazil Part eaten: Ar, aril; Pu, pulp. Site: IB, Ilhabela State Park; FI, Fazenda Carlos Botelho State Park; PT, Petar State Park.




reserve; IC, Ilha do Cardoso


State Park;

Part eaten


feeding bouts a





















Pu Pu Pu Pu




% diet a


Xylopia brasiliensis Anarcadiaeeae

Tapirira guianensis Boraginaceae

Cordia sylvestris



Protium widgrenii*



Capsicodedron dinizii



Mar-Apr Dec-Jan Feb Feb

4 ----

14-28 ----










Pu Pu Pu Pu Pu


Apr-May Sep Aug May-Apr Oct

2 ---1

7.14 ---3.57
















Pu Pu


Jan Apr

2 --

7-14 --

Pu Pu Pu Pu Pu


Nov Jan Dec-Jan Oct Apr



Ar Ar


Nov Aug

Pu Pu


Oct-Dec Dec


FI, C B , I C



























3- 5 7

Ar Ar Ar


Nov Nov Feb

-1 1

-3-57 3.57





10-7 l


Cecropia glaziovii Cecropia pachystachia Coussapoa microcarpa* Pouroma guianensis* Clusiaceae

Rheedia gardneriana Euphorbiaceae

Hyeronima alchorneoides* taaraceae

Cryptocarya moschata Endlisheria paniculata Ocotea catharinensis Persea atba Nectandra megapotamica Malpighiaceae

Byrsonima ligustrifolia Melastomataceae

Miconia cabucu Meliaceae

Guarea macrophylla Moraceae

Ficus enormis Sorocea bonplandii* Myrtaceae

Campomanesia xanthocarpa Eugenia brasiliensis Eugenia involucrata Eugenia sp. Myrcia. sp. Myristiceae

Virola gardneri Virola oleifera

I 1

3.57 3-57


Rapanea umbellata Rapaneaferruginea*




Euterpe edulis Phytolacaceae

Phytolacca dioica Podocarpaceae

Podocarpus sellowii




Quiina glazioi




Chomelia catharinae




Meliosma sinuata Sapotaceae

Chrysophyllum ftexuosum Sapindaceae

Allophylus edulis Cupania oblongata Matayba oleaginoides Verbenaceae

Cytharexyllum myrianthum

*Recorded by local people at Fazenda Intervales. a B a s e d o n 28 f e e d i n g b o u t s a t F a z e n d a I n t e r v a l e s .

Conservation of the jacutinga (Spearman rank correlation, ~ = 0.25, p = 0.40; Fig. 2). The occurrence o f jacutingas showed a bimodal distribution disappearing during the winter when Euterpe fruiting was at a peak (Fig. 2), exactly the opposite o f what was expected. At the other sites, the records ofjacutingas and palm fruits follow the same pattern as at Intervales. At Carlos Botelho State Park, jacutingas were detected only at 100 m asl while palm fruits were ripe at 800 m. The same has also been observed at Ilha do Cardoso. Newly hatched chicks were observed at the same time both at high elevations (ca. 800 m) and in the lowlands, suggesting that jacutingas are resident in the same area throughout the year, although a displacement of part o f the population remains a possibility. Moreover, jacutingas were detected in Ilhabela State Park, an island where Euterpe palms do not exist naturally.


Reproduction and group size Flight displays or 'wing-drumming' (indicating reproductive season, Sick, 1993) have been observed in August, September and N o v e m b e r (Intervales), October (Ilha do Cardoso and Intervales) and December (Santa Virginia, Intervales and Ilhabela), while chicks have been found only in December (three records each from Jur6ia, Carlos Botelho and Ilha do Cardoso). This period coincides with the main reproductive season of birds in southeastern Brazil (Davis, 1945). Clutch sizes varied from two to four chicks. A nest with an adult incubating and three eggs was observed on 24 October 1994 at Ilhabela. It was located 1.7m high on a branched shrub in stunted forest growing on a ridge 500m asl. Flock size ranged from two to 11 birds (mean = 3-19, SD = 1-85; n = 37 flocks), but solitary individuals are quite common.

Table 2. Chemical composition of fruits (dry wt) eaten by the jacutinga Plant species

Water (%)

Capsicodendron dinisii Cecropia pachystachia Chrysophyllumflexuosum Cytharexyllum myrianthum Cordia sylvestris Cryptocarya moschata Cupania oblongifolia Euterpe edulis Ficus enormis Phytolacca dioica Protium widgrenii Quiina glaziovii Sorocea bonplandii Virola gardneri Virola oleifera

Lipids (%)

75-16 83-19 83.27 81.4 81.03 84-89 55.97 69-22 79-52 66.87 58.38 87-03 77.08 72.29 62.68

Proteins (%)

15.54 4.46 3-53 6.34 1.58 4-17 62-59 19.66 5.42 5-89 2.65 8.02 5.02 88-78 61.84

Carbohydrates (%)

9-3 11-67 9-62 6.83 7.75 8-01 11.04 7.5 3.47 15-76 6.63 2-93 10-25 4-87 4.61

70.33 77.62 82. i 3 82.74 83.87 84-05 24.62 69.88 79-59 71.05 88.08 69-47 81-11 5.3 32.13

kj/g 4-76 2.79 3.33 3.23 3-02 2-57 13.01 6.26 3-26 5.77 6.86 1.96 3.94 9.74 10.99



~o 0"2 1



.~ ~0






..%. o


,.0 2000




J FMAMJ 1994


o'ry season

J FMAMJ 1995



Month Fig. 2. Number of contacts/h of field work ofjacutinga (lines) and number of ripe Euterpe edulis fruits/ha (bars) in the lowland of Parque Estadual Intervales, Sgo Paulo, Brazil.


M. Galetti et al.


The genus Pipile is usually associated with riverine forests (Silva & Strahl, 1991; del Hoyo et al., 1994) and Pipile jacutinga has been seen frequently along rivers in Misiones, Argentina (Chebez, 1994; Benstead & Hearn, 1994). The optimum habitat (i.e. where most records were made) was the broken terrain of steep hills alternating with deep valleys where the forest is structurally a mosaic of habitats. As large frugivores, jacutingas wander over wide areas while searching for fruits and may be recorded in second-growth vegetation especially when trees such as Cecropia spp. display ripe fruits. It seems that in very seasonal habitats (such as semi-deciduous forests in Brazil or south Atlantic forest in Paraguay and Argentina) they forage along riverine vegetation looking for fruits and molluscs (Benstead & Hearn, 1994), while in extremely wet areas that have constant fruit availability (coastal Atlantic forest) they can be observed far from rivers or creeks. Abundance The abundance and density of cracids in tropical forests are rarely documented (Stralh & Silva, 1991; Thiollay, 1994), but in general this group is not abundant. Terborgh et al. (1990) found densities for Trinidad piping-guan Pipile pipile and Spix's guan Penelope jacquacu of about five and two birds/km 2, respectively, in the unhunted Manu National Park, Peru. Thiollay (1994) found six Marail guan Penelope marail per km 2 in French Guyana. Silva and Strahl (1991) compared the density of 14 species of cracids in Venezuela and observed that Pipile pipile is among the rarest cracids in Venezuela (c. 1 individual/km2). The densities of jacutinga in the areas studied varied from 0-11 individual/kma to 3-17 individuals/km2. The best protected reserves (Intervales and Carlos Botelho) have the higher densities of jacutingas while in the two islands (Ilhabela and Ilha do Cardoso) the density is low, indicative of overhunting. Silva and Strahl (1991) also found that the density of cracids decline drastically in hunted areas in Venezuela. Diet The diet of cracids is poorly documented. Schubart et al. (1965) recorded jacutingas eating Psidium, Euterpe edulis, Geonoma, Eugenia and Byrsonima. Teixeira and Antas (1981) observed them eating Siparuna, Myrceugenia, Erythroxyllum, Croton and Byrsonima. Pacagnella et al. (1994) listed only Eugenia sp. (60% of feeding observations; n = 23 bouts), Euterpe edulis (17%) and Psychotria sp. (13%) as species consumed by jacutingas during an 11-month study at Carlos Botelho Park. The diet of jacutingas at Intervales showed a generalist pattern, consuming mainly sugar-rich fruits. A phenological study of the area showed that lipid-poor

fruits are much more common, both numerically and temporally, than lipid-rich fruits (Galetti, 1996), therefore jacutingas are feeding on what clumped resource is available at any time. In fact, Myrtaceae and Rubiaceae, both bearing water- and sugar-rich fruit, are dominant in the Atlantic forest both in number of species and individuals (Silva & Leit~o-Filho, 1982). On the other hand, lipid-rich fruit borne by a smaller number of species (usually Myristicaceae and Meliaceae) are found over shorter periods of time, but become an important food resource when available. The exception is Euterpe edulis which is one of the most calorific in the whole plant community and bears rich fruit (mainly carbohydrates) over five months (Galetti, 1996). Cracids play an important role as seed dispersers (Th~ry et al., 1992; Gonzales-Garcia, 1994; Peres & van Roosmalen, 1996). Jacutingas are clearly seed dispersers of Cordia sylvestris and Meliosma sinuata, as seeds found in their faeces germinated (M. Galetti, unpublished data). The effectiveness (sensu Shupp, 1993) is dependent on the species consumed. Jacutingas remain long periods (up to 10 days) in large fruiting trees and most seeds are defecated below the parent plant. There are few year-round studies on the diet of cracids in the wild, and the importance of fruits varies for each genus. It seems that small cracids (Ortalis) are more folivorous than large species (Penelope, Pipile and Oreophasis). The genus Crax is considered mainly a seed eater (Erard et al., 1991), and it has been suggested that it disperses some hard seeds in Amazonian forests (Peres & van Roosmalen, 1996). Invertebrates have been recorded in crop contents (Erard et al., 1991; Th6ry et al., 1992; Cazianai & Protomastro, 1994) but the proportion is very small compared to fruits. Movements

Sick (1993) suggests that the species makes altitudinal migrations following the ripening of the palm fruits, which occurs earlier in the lowlands (M. Galetti & R. Laps, unpublished data). Jacutingas were absent in the winter in the lowlands of Intervales, suggesting altitudinal migration, but it is noteworthly that resident (breeding) birds occur in all altitudinal sites sampled. To determine the area necessary to protect the populations, it is paramount to know whether the disappearance of jacutingas over winter is due to long altitudinal migration or if they tildeply use large home ranges (see Powell & Bjork, 1995). Because of the drastic reduction in their numbers, the massive migrations of jacutingas reported by early naturalists (see Sick, 1993) are no longer seen. Status and distribution

Unlike Penelope spp., jacutingas do not persist in forest fragments < 15 km 2 (Johns, 1991; pers. obs.). Wege and Long (1995) listed 17 localities in Brazil, four in Argentina and eight in Paraguay where jacutingas were observed, but most are old historical records.

Conservation of the jacutinga Most of the localities where the species is presently known to occur are in the existing parks and reserves in S~o Paulo state. This is a direct consequence of the state harbouring the largest surviving remnant of the Atlantic forest and protecting it in a network o f parks and reserves. A m a x i m u m of 154 jacutingas (some observations m a y be of the same individuals) were recorded in 14 localities, all of them in the coastal mountain chain of the Serra do Mar. The stronghold of the species is a forest tract with about 1587 k m 2 comprised of Jurria Ecological Station, Carlos Botelho, and Intervales State Parks, all run by the state government (Table 3). Jacutingas are extinct in semi-deciduous forest in the interior of Silo Paulo mainly due to hunting, forest fragmentation and destruction of riverine forests that were considered refuges during critical food periods (Willis, 1979; J. C. R. Magalh~es, pers. comm.). Because the Atlantic forest is in fact an altitudinal mosaic of different habitats and hunting is still widespread, it is extremely difficult to estimate the size of the jacutinga population in these 14 areas. Based on the density at Intervales, Carlos Botelho, Ilhabela and Ilha do Cardoso, it is suggested that a m a x i m u m of 2200 birds live in these four areas. However, both island populations are prone to extinction. N o jacutingas were observed at Ilha do Cardoso in 1994-1995 and it is likely that this population is extinct. Also it is possible that the Ilhabela population will be extinct in less than


10 years since heavy hunting still persists. In April 1996, a group of eight jacutingas were shot in this area, and m a n y more are likely to be hunted since the park does not offer any protection. The only well protected parks in the entire stronghold of the jacutingas are Intervales and Carlos Botelho (both with a population estimate of 1892 birds). However, after our census, the state government dismissed several rangers in Intervales park and, not by coincidence, the study group at Saibadela was killed at the edge of the reserve. It is possible that ca. 1000-1500 birds still remain in these two areas. Population surveys in other state parks indicate they are too small to maintain a viable population (except Jurria Ecological Station). Threats and conservation

Today, the main threats to the jacutinga are hunting and habitat loss. Hunting is widespread and still occurs in all visited reserves which, as a rule, are severely understaffed and poorly equipped. Jacutingas are a m o n g the first game species to disappear from hunted areas due to the ease with which they are shot. Interviews with Indians in Ilha do Cardoso showed that they prefer to hunt jacutingas, guans Penelope spp., white-lipped peccaries Tayassu pecari and howler monkeys Alouatta fusca, in that order. Therefore, it is no coincidence that the best jacutinga populations occur in reserves where poachers and palm heart robbers are rare and where no traditional people have lived for the last 50 years.

Table 3. Localities where jacutingas have been observed since 1978 in southeastern Brazil

Site Rio de Janeiro State Desengano Itatiaia Serra dos Org~os Serra da Bocaina S~o Paulo State Ilha do Cardoso Jacupiranga Alto do Ribeira Intervales Carlos Botelho Jurria Caraguatatuba Mongagu~i Boracria Santa Virginia Ilhabela Ubatuba Ariri b Pilar do Sul b Paran~ State Guaragueqaba e Iguazfi Total protected area:

Area (kin 2)


Density or maximum number of birds observed

224 300 110 1200

Hunting Fire, hunting Fire, hunting Heavy hunting, logging and palm harvesting

Recorded by Vaz (unpubl. data) Last seen in 1978 Last seen in 1980 Rare or extinct

165 1100 377 410 377 800 137 300 164 38 270 137 2028 200

Hunting, palm harvesting Dams, hunting, palm harvesting Palm harvesting Occasional palm harvesting~ Palm harvesting, occasional hunting Palm harvesting, hunting Hunting Hunting Hunting Palm harvesting Hunting Hunting, palm harvesting Hunting, palm harvesting, logging, squatters Hunting, palm harvesting, logging

0.11 individual/km 2 (11 birds seen) 5 birds Unknown 1-7 individuals/km 2 (56 birds seen c) 3.17 individuals/km 2 (48 birds seen) 13 birds Unknown 2 birds killed in 1995 1 bird a One bird heard in 1993 0.93 individual km 2 5 birds 5 birds 1 bird

2915 1700

Palm harvesting Hunting

Unknown Last seen in 1980

12-952 km 2

aln June 1995 illegal palm harvesting started occurring throughout the park. bproposed parks. qncluding unpublished data of M. A. Pizo and R. Laps in the highlands of the park. aObserved by D. Stotz. eMost of the park is mangrove vegetation where jacutingas do not occur.

Minimum population: 154


M . Galetti et al.

Several plant species used by jacutingas are valuable timber trees (mostly Lauraceae) or have other economic value (palm heart). The harvesting of those resources both by commercial enterprises and the 'traditional' communities pose an ever-growing threat to what is left of the Atlantic forest. In fact, several projects aimed at the sustainable use of these resources, mainly palm hearts, have been implemented without studying the impact on large frugivore communities and their role in seed dispersal. In the Serra do Mar (particularly in Serra de Paranapiacaba) habitat loss and hunting have been alarmingly high since the early 1930s (Luederwaldt, 1929; Lane, 1990), and these threats are still present despite the official protection of the Atlantic forest. One of the worst threats is a proposal to build a series of four dams in the Rio Ribeira do Iguape, the heart of the j acutinga's stronghold, which will flood extensive areas of mature forest and displace about 3000 people (Galetti & Chivers, 1995). There are large tracts of forest in the jacutinga stronghold that could be transformed into reserves, such as Fazenda Aliperti (c. 350 km 2) and a pool of eight private properties in Pilar do Sul (c. 200 km2). Such a step, already proposed to the state government, would be very important for the conservation of jacutinga and several endangered birds, such as the blue-bellied parrot Triclaria malachitacea, the vinaceous amazon A m a z o n a vinacea, and cinnamon-vented piha Lipaugus lanioides (Collar et al., 1994). Besides transforming these areas into reserves, however, it is urgent to secure the protection of already established reserves. Some important forest tracts, which were visited briefly, deserve further studies in order to evaluate the current status of the jacutinga, such as Guaraquegaba, Jurria, Jacupiranga and Alto Ribeira, where important populations may still occur. Also, it is important to evaluate the densities of the populations in Santa Catarina, Paraguay and Argentina. The current conservation policy in Brazil and many Latin America countries is the implementation of sustainable management o f the natural resources by local people, but the impact of so-called 'sustainable management' on the Atlantic forest fauna and flora is severe. In S~.o Paulo, areas that have been subject to 'management' plans aimed at exploiting wood and palm hearts are now completely altered both in structure and composition, and show a depleted fauna, especially of large frugivorous birds and mammals (F. Olmos & P. Martuscelli, unpublished data). Thus, game species such as jacutinga and muriquis are particularly prone to extinction if the implementation of such 'sustainable management' continues.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We are grateful to Fundagfio Florestal and Instituto Florestal do Estado de Silo Paulo for allowing our visit

to their reserves and for logistical support. To R. Almeida-Scabbia and P. Morellato for plant identification, V. Zipparo, M. Paschoal, J. Vieira and Mr Lauro for field assistance, D. J. Chivers, M. Rodrigues, M. M. Morales, A. D. Cuar6n, N. Collar and one anonymous referee for comments on the manuscript. Financial support was provided by the Wildlife Conservation Society, World Wildlife Fund, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (through Fundag~o O Boticfirio de Proteg~o a Natureza), US Fish and Wildlife Service (through ICBP- PACS), and FMB. Mr B. Vieira and F. Pires facilitated our work in Carlos Botelho and Jurria. The Departamento de Bot~nica at UNESP-Rio Claro through Dr L. P. C. Morellato gave permission to use their facilities. M. Galetti received a fellowship from the Brazilian Science Council (CNPq) and A. Aleixo from FAPESP. This paper is dedicated to the memory of the botanist Herm6genes de Freitas Leitao-Filho, who contributed to plant identifications.


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