There is evidence that COVID-19, the disease caused by the betacoronavirus SARS-CoV-2, is sensitive to environmental conditions. However, such conditions often correlate with demographic and socioeconomic factors at larger spatial extents, which could confound this inference. We evaluated the effect of meteorological conditions (temperature, solar radiation, air humidity and precipitation) on 292 daily records of cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the 27 Brazilian capital cities during the 1st month of the outbreak, while controlling for an indicator of the number of tests, the number of arriving flights, population density, proportion of elderly people and average income. Apart from increasing with time, the number of confirmed cases was mainly related to the number of arriving flights and population density, increasing with both factors. However, after accounting for these effects, the disease was shown to be temperature sensitive: there were more cases in colder cities and days, and cases accumulated faster at lower temperatures. Our best estimate indicates that a 1 °C increase in temperature has been associated with a decrease in confirmed cases of 8%. The quality of the data and unknowns limit the analysis, but the study reveals an urgent need to understand more about the environmental sensitivity of the disease to predict demands on health services in different regions and seasons.
An updated and annotated checklist of mammals occurring in Brazil is presented. A total of 751 native species, distributed in 249 genera, families and 11 orders were recorded to the country. The Brazilian mammalian fauna shows an elevated rate of endemism (30%; 223 species). Among the species evaluated by IUCN (668 species; 90%), a total of 80 (10.6% of total mammalian fauna) are Threatened, 28 (3.9%) are considered as Near Threatened, two species (0.3%) are presumable Extinct, 96 (12.8%) are considered with Defi cient Data for conservation and 462 (61.6%) are considered as Least Concern. Fifteen new species were described since the last national compilation (published in 2017), which associated to new records to the country and synonimizations resulted in an increment of 30 species. Eight non-native species were introduced to the country, including the recently established Asiatic cervids Rusa unicolor (sambar) and Axis axis (chital). Seven native species (fi ve primates and two hystricomorph rodents) have been translocated from their areas of natural occurrence to other areas inside the country.
Xenarthrans—anteaters, sloths, and armadillos—have essential functions for ecosystem maintenance, such as insect control and nutrient cycling, playing key roles as ecosystem engineers. Because of habitat loss and fragmentation, hunting pressure, and conflicts with domestic dogs, these species have been threatened locally, regionally, or even across their full distribution ranges. The Neotropics harbor 21 species of armadillos, 10 anteaters, and 6 sloths. Our data set includes the families Chlamyphoridae (13), Dasypodidae (7), Myrmecophagidae (3), Bradypodidae (4), and Megalonychidae (2). We have no occurrence data on Dasypus pilosus (Dasypodidae). Regarding Cyclopedidae, until recently, only one species was recognized, but new genetic studies have revealed that the group is represented by seven species. In this data paper, we compiled a total of 42,528 records of 31 species, represented by occurrence and quantitative data, totaling 24,847 unique georeferenced records. The geographic range is from the southern United States, Mexico, and Caribbean countries at the northern portion of the Neotropics, to the austral distribution in Argentina, Paraguay, Chile, and Uruguay. Regarding anteaters, Myrmecophaga tridactyla has the most records (n = 5,941), and Cyclopes sp. have the fewest (n = 240). The armadillo species with the most data is Dasypus novemcinctus (n = 11,588), and the fewest data are recorded for Calyptophractus retusus (n = 33). With regard to sloth species, Bradypus variegatus has the most records (n = 962), and Bradypus pygmaeus has the fewest (n = 12). Our main objective with Neotropical Xenarthrans is to make occurrence and quantitative data available to facilitate more ecological research, particularly if we integrate the xenarthran data with other data sets of Neotropical Series that will become available very soon (i.e., Neotropical Carnivores, Neotropical Invasive Mammals, and Neotropical Hunters and Dogs). Therefore, studies on trophic cascades, hunting pressure, habitat loss, fragmentation effects, species invasion, and climate change effects will be possible with the Neotropical Xenarthrans data set. Please cite this data paper when using its data in publications. We also request that researchers and teachers inform us of how they are using these data.
Road-killed mammals, birds, and reptiles were collected weekly from highways in southern Brazil in 2002 and 2005. The objective was to assess variation in estimates of road-kill impacts on species richness produced by different sampling efforts, and to provide information to aid in the experimental design of future sampling. Richness observed in weekly samples was compared with sampling for different periods. In each period, the list of road-killed species was evaluated based on estimates the community structure derived from weekly samplings, and by the presence of the ten species most subject to road mortality, and also of threatened species. Weekly samples were sufficient only for reptiles and mammals, considered separately. Richness estimated from the biweekly samples was equal to that found in the weekly samples, and gave satisfactory results for sampling the most abundant and threatened species. The ten most affected species showed constant road-mortality rates, independent of sampling interval, and also maintained their dominance structure. Birds required greater sampling effort. When the composition of road-killed species varies seasonally, it is necessary to take biweekly samples for a minimum of one year. Weekly or more-frequent sampling for periods longer than two years is necessary to provide a reliable estimate of total species richness.
Wild pigs (Sus scrofa) have expanded their range in Brazil since late 1980s, with reports of damage becoming more frequent in recent years. In 2013, use of lethal methods for wild pig control was legalized by the federal environmental agency. However, several restrictions related to the purchase and transportation of guns and ammunition hamper the ability to evaluate the effectiveness of control measures. Nevertheless, many citizens engaged in wild pig control in Brazil do not officially report their control activities as required by the legislation. Our goal was to characterize the profile of wild pig controllers in Brazil to understand their methods and motivations, estimate the number of wild pigs killed per person per year, and evaluate current regulations regarding their applicability to the situations observed in the field. We formulated and distributed a structured questionnaire distributed in 2014 and 2015 to pig controllers (n ¼ 172), including both hunters and nonhunters. Respondents reported killing 2,389 wild pigs, and killing an average of 17.2 (SE ¼ 24.8) pigs/respondent/year, with male and female pigs killed in the same proportion. Forty percent of respondents were acting illegally. Hunters primarily controlled wild pigs to defend third-party properties. Volunteers provided most of the effort toward controlling wild pigs in Brazil and farmers suffered most of the impacts. Therefore, we believe that adjusting the approach to use of hunting after crop harvest, or implementing an integrated program of hunting and traps placed around crops, could be an important new management tool for reducing wild pig population and crop damage. Further, to enhance wild pig control in Brazil, we recommend incentivizing use of corral traps and cages because such techniques have the greatest effect on reducing wild pig population. Ó
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