Fernanda Michalski

Fernanda Michalski
Universidade Federal do Amapá · Postgraduate Program in Tropical Biodiversity

PhD
Currently studying the effects of hydroelectric dams on mid-sized and large bodied vertebrates in the Brazilian Amazon

About

128
Publications
30,574
Reads
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2,400
Citations
Introduction
My research focuses on understanding the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on Neotropical mid sized and large-bodied vertebrates. I am particularly interested in ecology and conservation of mammals, and in understanding human-wildlife conflicts in the Brazilian Amazon. While mammals are my preferred group, I also work with other vertebrates, and aspects of forest structure and floristic.
Additional affiliations
September 2010 - present
Universidade Federal do Amapá
Position
  • Federal University of Amapa
September 2010 - present
Universidade Federal do Amapá
Position
  • Lecturer
July 2009 - August 2010
São Paulo State University
Position
  • Universidade Estadual Paulista
Education
September 2002 - December 2006
University of East Anglia
Field of study
  • Environmental Sciences

Publications

Publications (128)
Article
Full-text available
We herein present the first annotated anuran checklist for the Brazilian state of Amapá, eastern Amazonia, based on a thorough literature review. We recorded the occurrence of 111 species belonging to 13 anuran families distributed across 48 localities throughout Amapá, within two biomes. Among these species, 62.5% occur exclusively in the Tropical...
Article
Full-text available
The Amazon forest has the highest biodiversity on Earth. However, information on Amazonian vertebrate diversity is still deficient and scattered across the published, peer-reviewed, and gray literature and in unpublished raw data. Camera traps are an effective non-invasive method of surveying vertebrates, applicable to different scales of time and...
Article
Full-text available
Background and Research Aims: Dams impact freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity. Freshwater turtles are at direct and indirect risk due to changes caused by damming including the loss of terrestrial and aquatic nesting habitats, changes to food availability and blocking movement. Effective management of these impacts requires robust evidence in or...
Article
Full-text available
The Amazon forest has the highest biodiversity on earth. However, information on Amazonian vertebrate diversity is still deficient and scattered across the published, peer‐reviewed and grey literature and in unpublished raw data. Camera traps are an effective non‐invasive method of surveying vertebrates, applicable to different scales of time and s...
Article
Full-text available
Background Crop farming contributes to one of the most extensive land use activities in the world, and cropland areas continue to rise. Many vertebrate species feed on crops, which has caused an increase in human-wildlife conflicts in croplands. Crop-feeding damages the economy of local communities and causes retaliation against the responsible ver...
Article
Hydropower dams are associated with adverse impacts on biodiversity, yet there remains a lack of robust scientific evidence documenting the magnitude of these impacts, particularly across highly biodiverse tropical waterways. Aquatic and semi‐aquatic vertebrates are disproportionately affected by human changes to aquatic environments and hydropower...
Article
Understanding the activity pattern of animals is important for both ecological knowledge and species conservation. Here we present a quantitative analysis of the activity pattern of the Boat-billed Heron (Cochlearius cochlearius) in the eastern Brazilian Amazon. Activity patterns were determined using images from 2,822 camera trap days distributed...
Article
Seasonal changes in runoff and inundation create river-habitats that are considered key to the diversity of Amazonian bird species. However, studies on avifauna in different riverine habitats remain scarce. We used camera traps to survey the avifauna in river-created habitats along 39 km of river in the eastern Brazilian Amazon. We examined the num...
Article
Full-text available
Background and Research Aims: Although hydropower provides energy to fuel economic development across Amazonia, strategies to minimize or mitigate impacts in highly biodiverse Amazonian environments remain unclear. The growing number of operational and planned hydroelectrics requires robust scientific evidence to evaluate impacts of these projects...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background and Research Aims Dams impact freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity. Freshwater turtles are at direct and indirect risk due to changes caused by damming including the loss of terrestrial and aquatic nesting habitats, changes to food availability and blocking movement. Effective management of these impacts requires robust evidence in ord...
Presentation
Full-text available
Community-based actions saved Yellow-spotted river turtle (Podocnemis unifilis) eggs submerged by unseasonal flooding and ensured the release of hatchlings. Hatchlings emerged from eggs that had remained underwater for up to two days. Recommendations: Hydropower operators should pro-actively adjust dam flow rates to avoid dry season flooding of tur...
Preprint
Full-text available
Construction of hydropower dams is associated with negative impacts on biodiversity, yet there remains a lack of robust scientific evidence documenting the magnitude of these impacts particularly across highly biodiverse tropical waterways. Hydropower expansion is an increasing threat to the Endangered yellow-spotted river turtle ( Podocnemis unifi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background and Research Aims: Although hydropower provides energy to fuel economic development across Amazonia, strategies to minimize or mitigate impacts in highly biodiverse Amazonian environments remain unclear. The growing number of operational and planned hydroelectrics requires robust scientific evidence to evaluate impacts of these projects...
Article
Full-text available
The role of fire in the management of degraded areas remains strongly debated. Here we experimentally compare removal and infestation of popcorn kernels (Zea mays L.-Poaceae) and açaí fruits (Euterpe oleracea Mart.-Arecaceae) in one burned and two unburned savanna habitats in the eastern Brazilian Amazon. In each habitat, a total of ten experimenta...
Article
Full-text available
Scent marking behavior in mammals is related with both inter and intra-specific communication. Several otter species are known to communicate via scent marking, but a couple scent marking has not been documented in the Neotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis). We obtained field observations of scent marking behavior in Neotropical Otters over two yea...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding people's attitudes towards wildlife species is key for developing and effectively implementing conservation initiatives. Although attitudes towards different wildlife classes have been examined separately within a variety of regions, there have been no comprehensive comparisons of attitudes towards wildlife between different tropical...
Article
Full-text available
Mammalian carnivores are considered a key group in maintaining ecological health and can indicate potential ecological integrity in landscapes where they occur. Carnivores also hold high conservation value and their habitat requirements can guide management and conservation plans. The order Carnivora has 84 species from 8 families in the Neotropica...
Article
Full-text available
The conservation and recovery of increasingly threatened tropical freshwater turtle populations depends on effective management plans and actions. Here we show that community-based actions saved Yellow-spotted river turtle (Podocnemis unifilis) eggs submerged by unseasonal flooding and ensured the release of hatchlings. We recovered 926 eggs and 65...
Article
Full-text available
Substrate type determines nesting success and fitness in turtles and is a critical consideration for nesting area protection and restoration. Here, we evaluated the effect of substrate on nest removal by humans in the eastern Brazilian Amazon. We analyzed substrate composition and fate of 216 P. unifilis nests along 88 km of rivers. River segment a...
Article
The Brazilian Amazon harbours 70 % of the world's tropical forests and is essential to the country's economy because it maintains biodiversity, sustains the livelihoods of the indigenous people and local communities, and provides ecosystem services such as water production, soil stabilization, flood prevention, and climate regulation. In the last t...
Article
To better understand the threats posed by human activities on cetaceans, we compiled published studies and determined where, how, and by whom the research on this subject has been conducted in Brazil. We also determined which cetacean species were mostly investigated in these studies. We gathered the available scientific literature published from 1...
Article
Nest-site selection exerts a fundamental maternal effect on offspring fitness in ovi-parous species. In many freshwater turtles, females do not care for their eggs after oviposition but rather rely on a nest's micro-environment to incubate developing embryos although linkages between oviposition choices and overall fitness remain poorly evaluated....
Poster
Full-text available
- There is little Brazilian literature on threats to cetacean; - Almost half of the publications have some international collaboration; - Half of the study areas are concentrated in only three of the 16 Brazilian states; - Depletion of fish stock, noise pollution and rubbish ingestion are themes that require further studies; - Threats to 20 spe...
Article
Full-text available
Sustainable use as a mechanism for the conservation and recovery of exploited wildlife populations remains intensely debated, including for freshwater turtles, a diverse and imperiled group of aquatic reptiles that are an important food source for many residents of tropical regions. Here we evaluated the geographical extent of recovery options for...
Article
Accurate identification of predator species is a critical requirement to investigate their diet using faecal samples. We used non-invasive sampling and two methods of predator identification to investigate the diets of sympatric carnivores in a highly deforested region of the Brazilian Amazon. Of 108 scats, 81 could be identified at the species lev...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Em 30 de Novembro de 2018 fomos avisados por nossa equipe que estava em campo que o nível dos rios Araguari e Falsino estava subindo rapidamente devido as chuvas. Em menos de 24 horas conseguimos organizar uma equipe de 6 pessoas entre pesquisadores e moradores locais e resgatamos entre os dias 01 e 02 de dezembro de 2018 um total de: Rio Araguari:...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Here we present a summary of results (2011-2018) and scientific evidence informing a proposal for immediate action to restore nesting beaches submerged by the Cachoeira Caldeirão dam. Aqui apresentamos um resumo de resultados (2011-2018) e evidencias cientificas informando uma proposta para ação imediata de restauração de praias submersas pela UHE...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In 2016, a total of 7 turtle nesting sites were submerged within the area of influence (within ten kilometers) of FLONA of Amapá after the installation of the Cachoeira Caldeirão dam. No total, em 2016, foram encontrados 7 sítios efetivos e potenciais de nidificação de tracajás (Podocnemis unifilis) submersos dentro da área de influencia (faixa de...
Preprint
Full-text available
Community-based management could ensure the rapid continental scale recovery of conservation dependent freshwater turtles. We evaluated management scenarios for the future continental-scale recovery of a conservation dependent freshwater turtle in 9 countries and 53 catchments along a cumulative river length that would stretch 5 times around the gl...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sustainable use as a mechanism for the conservation and recovery of exploited wildlife populations remains intensely debated, including for freshwater turtles, a diverse and imperilled group of aquatic reptiles that are an important food source for many residents of tropical regions. Here we evaluated the geographical extent of recovery options for...
Article
Full-text available
Law enforcement is widely regarded as a cornerstone to effective natural resource management. Practical guidelines for the optimal use of enforcement measures are lacking particularly in areas protected under sustainable and/or mixed use management regimes and where legal institution are weak. Focusing on the yellow-spotted river turtles (Podocnemi...
Data
Community management of nesting areas
Preprint
Full-text available
Law enforcement is widely regarded as a cornerstone to effective natural resource management. Practical guidelines for the optimal use of enforcement measures are lacking particularly in areas protected under sustainable and/or mixed use management regimes and where legal institution are weak. Focusing on the yellow-spotted river turtles (Podocnemi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Law enforcement is widely regarded as a cornerstone to effective natural resource management. Practical guidelines for the optimal use of enforcement measures are lacking particularly in areas protected under sustainable and/or mixed use management regimes and where legal institution are weak. Focusing on the yellow-spotted river turtles ( Podocnem...
Article
Aim Human‐driven impacts constantly threat amphibians, even in largely protected regions such as the Amazon. The Brazilian Amazon is home to a great diversity of amphibians, several of them currently threatened with extinction. We investigated how climate change, deforestation and establishment of hydroelectric dams could affect the geographic dist...
Article
Full-text available
The ability of giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) to swim has been documented in the literature, but observations in the wild are scarce. Here, we document an observation recorded on 26 Sep-tember 2017 when an adult M. tridactyla was seen crossing a 150 m wide river in the northeastern Amazon, Brazil. The individual successfully crossed the...
Article
Full-text available
The global expansion of energy demands combined with abundant rainfall, large water volumes and high flow in tropical rivers have led to an unprecedented expansion of dam constructions in the Amazon. This expansion generates an urgent need for refined approaches to river management; specifically a move away from decision-making governed by overly g...
Data
Coordinates of submerged nest-area center point Dataset used in Fig. 3.
Data
Photos characterizing Podocnemis unifilis nesting areas Representative examples showing (A–B): potential nesting areas with suitable habitat conditions for nesting, but no nests (i.e., locations that females could use for nesting but nests were not found); (C–D): actual nesting areas (i.e., locations where females actually nested), and (E–F): unsui...
Data
Nesting areas per km Dataset used in the GLM analysis and Fig. 2. Decimal points are separated by commas.
Article
Full-text available
Mammals play important ecological roles in tropical regions but are difficult to study due to discrete habits, low population densities, and large home ranges. Thus, the use of attractive substances has frequently been adopted to quantify the distribution and abundance of elusive mammals. However, the insight generated from studies using attractant...
Article
Full-text available
Background The Brazilian Amazon is the world’s largest rainforest regions and plays a key role in biodiversity conservation as well as climate adaptation and mitigation. The government has created a network of protected areas (PAs) to ensure long-term conservation of the region. However, despite the importance of and positive advances in the establ...
Data
Accessibility of the Brazilian Amazon federal protected areas Accessibility of PAs defined as the intersection between the total area of a PA with the area of a 10 km buffer adjacent to roads and rivers located within or outside PAs. (A) rivers and shoreline accessibility; (B) roads accessibility; and (C) overall and PAs accessibility.
Data
Mann-Whitney U test results between the number of illegal activities in terrestrial and coastal/marine Brazilian Amazon federal PAs Comparison between the number of illegal activities in the Brazilian Amazon federal PAs, and the PA location (coastal/marine, n = 13; or terrestrial, n = 105). The test was run separately for all illegal activities, hu...
Data
Population density of the Brazilian Amazon Population density map of the Amazon biome elaborated from the “Brazilian statistical grid” for visualization purposes.
Data
Amazon federal protected areas evaluated and explanatory variables Amazon federal PAs evaluated (n = 118), Brazilian classification, IUCN classification, age in 2015, total area (km2), total number of illegal activities recorded (2010–2015), population density in a 50 km buffer from the perimeter of each PA and accessibility of a protected area (ac...
Data
Categories and types of illegal activities Categorization of illegal activities considering the infraction framework, the number of occurrences of each type of infraction (according to Brazilian Federal Decree 6514 (2008)), and the main characteristics of illegal activities.
Data
Spearman correlation results of explanatory variables
Data
Illegal activities dataset Illegal activities dataset compiled and used in the study.
Article
TheGuiana Shield has large pristine tracts of tropical forestwith high biological diversity and is an area of endemism within the Amazon Basin. However, the conservation status of primates in eastern Amazonian Brazil is still poorly known. Here, we report information on relative abundance, group size, density estimates, plus the effects of environm...
Article
Full-text available
Although large-bodied tropical forest birds are impacted by both habitat loss and fragmentation, their patterns of habitat occupancy will also depend on the degree of forest habitat disturbance, which may interact synergistically or additively with fragmentation effects. Here, we examine the effects of forest patch and landscape metrics, and levels...
Article
Full-text available
Although large-bodied tropical forest birds are impacted by both habitat loss and fragmentation, their patterns of habitat occupancy will also depend on the degree of forest habitat disturbance, which may interact synergistically or additively with fragmentation effects. Here, we examine the effects of forest patch and landscape metrics, and levels...
Data
Line transect censuses raw data Coordinates, forest patch area, and records of field observations of six gamebird taxa within 21 forest patches and two ‘pseudo-controls’ surveyed across the landscape around Alta Floresta, Mato Grosso, Brazil.
Data
Land-use maps representing the evolution of the landscape structure over a 12-year period in the Alta Floresta region of southern Brazilian Amazonia from (A) 2004 to (B) 2016 Land-cover classes are represented by forest (green), non-forest (white) and water (blue). Total forest cover in this study region declined from 42% in 2004 to 35% in 2016. Th...
Data
Interview raw data Coordinates, forest patch area, distance from the Alta Floresta urban center, forest habitat quality, cost surface value, forest isolate age, burn severity, logging intensity and hunting pressure of six gamebird taxa within 129 forest patches and 15 ‘pseudo-controls’ surveyed with local interviews across the landscape around Alta...
Presentation
Full-text available
Presentation of project and findings to USAID/Brasil Encontro Anual dos Parceiros do Programa de Meio Ambiente, Brasilia
Poster
Full-text available
The global expansion of energy demands associated with abundant rainfall, large volumes and water flow in tropical rivers have led to an unprecedented expansion of dam constructions in the Amazon. However, despite this rapid expansion, knowledge about the ecological impacts of Amazon dams on freshwater species remains scarce. There is an urgent nee...