Galo Zapata-Ríos

Galo Zapata-Ríos
Wildlife Conservation Society | WCS · Latin America and Caribbean Program (Ecuador)

MSc, PhD
Science director, Wildlife Conservation Society - Ecuador

About

107
Publications
88,901
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
947
Citations
Citations since 2016
65 Research Items
659 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
Introduction
I am the science director for Wildlife Conservation Society's Ecuador Program. I joined WCS in 2001, and in different capacities have been involved in several research and conservation initiatives. I have a BSc in Biological Sciences from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, a MSc in Environmental Studies from Ohio University, and a PhD in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Florida.
Additional affiliations
August 2014 - present
Wildlife Conservation Society
Position
  • Managing Director
Education
August 2007 - December 2014
University of Florida
Field of study
  • Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
August 1999 - July 2001
Ohio University
Field of study
  • Environmental Studies
August 1989 - March 1997
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador
Field of study
  • Biological Sciences

Publications

Publications (107)
Article
Full-text available
Many vertebrate species undergo population fluctuations that may be random or regularly cyclic in nature. Vertebrate population cycles in northern latitudes are driven by both endogenous and exogenous factors. Suggested causes of mysterious disappearances documented for populations of the Neotropical, herd-forming, white-lipped peccary ( Tayassu pe...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Tehuacan Cuicatlan Biosphere Reserve (TCBR), encompasses several human settlements, in addition to a garbage dump that serves as the main subsidy to maintain populations of free-ranging dogs (FRD) and feral dogs (FD), Canis lupus familiaris. Little is known about the best monitoring methods to estimate population indicators of FRD. Four monitor...
Book
Full-text available
El estudio de animales silvestres debería seguir lineamientos éticos y técnicos que sean aprobados por especialistas para garantizar el uso de buenas prácticas, el bienestar de los animales silvestres y la seguridad de los investigadores. Como iniciativa de la Asociación Ecuatoriana de Mastozoología (AEM) y su Comité de Bioética, desarrollamos los...
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...
Chapter
Full-text available
This Report provides a comprehensive, objective, open, transparent, systematic, and rigorous scientific assessment of the state of the Amazon’s ecosystems, current trends, and their implications for the long-term well-being of the region, as well as opportunities and policy relevant options for conservation and sustainable development.
Chapter
This Report provides a comprehensive, objective, open, transparent, systematic, and rigorous scientific assessment of the state of the Amazon’s ecosystems, current trends, and their implications for the long-term well-being of the region, as well as opportunities and policy relevant options for conservation and sustainable development.
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...
Book
Full-text available
The Science Panel for the Amazon (SPA) is an unprecedented initiative convened under the auspices of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). The SPA is composed of over 200 preeminent scientists and researchers from the eight Amazonian countries, French Guiana, and global partners. These experts came together to debate,...
Chapter
Full-text available
Amazonian lowland tropical rainforests cover ~5.79 million km2. Based on geology, the Amazon lowland forest area can be divided into six regions. The Guiana Shield and Brazilian Shield (in the southern Ama- zon) are on very old, nutrient-poor soils, while the Western Amazonian regions (northern and southern) and the regions along the Amazon River a...
Chapter
Full-text available
Scientists have not been able to estimate, to the nearest order of magnitude, the number of species in the Amazon. Although the Amazon includes one of the largest forests in the world, it is also one of the least known biologically. Documenting its biodiversity is challenging because of its immense size, heterogeneity, and limited access. Based on...
Article
Full-text available
The Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus) is a culturally iconic wildlife symbol for the South American Andes, but is naturally found at very low population densities, and is increasingly threatened. Using the Range Wide Priority Setting methodology, we (a group of 38 Andean Condor experts) updated the Andean Condor historical range (3,230,061 km2), syste...
Article
Full-text available
In Latin America, the jaguar Panthera onca is one of the most persecuted and hunted carnivores as a result of its depredation of livestock. In north-west Ecuador jaguar populations are highly threatened, and the largest known population (20–30 individuals) is in El Pambilar Wildlife Refuge, a wet tropical forest surrounded by degraded forests and a...
Preprint
Full-text available
The drivers of periodic population cycling by some animal species in northern systems remain unresolved ¹ . Mysterious disappearances of populations of the Neotropical, herdforming white-lipped peccary ( Tayassu pecari , henceforth “WLP”) have been anecdotally documented and explained as local events resulting from migratory movements or overhuntin...
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...
Book
Full-text available
***SPANISH VERSION AVAILABLE*** The Range-Wide Priority Setting Exercise aimed to assess the distribution and conservation status of the Andean condor, and consolidate all available information on the species, currently dispersed and scattered from all different sources, to be translated into a conservation strategy, including the participative def...
Chapter
Full-text available
Tradicionalmente, la caracterización de los patrones de cacería, y el diseño de estrategias de manejo de fauna silvestre, se han centrado en las actividades realizadas por los hombres. Sin embargo, en algunos grupos étnicos (e.g., los Shuar), las mujeres y los niños también realizan actividades de cacería. La importancia relativa de estas actividad...
Book
Full-text available
Manual para elaborar un mapa de intensidad y extensión de actividades humanas...
Book
Full-text available
Como implementar muestreos con transectos lineales...
Article
Context. Estimating population abundance can be plagued by the violation of methodological assumptions which can be overcome with standardized protocols. The Black Caiman (BC) is considered a conservation dependent species, and previous abundance estimates are surrounded by uncertainty and flaws in the survey (e.g. different survey design and effor...
Article
Full-text available
The persistent high deforestation rate and fragmentation of the Amazon forests are the main threats to their biodiversity. To anticipate and mitigate these threats, it is important to understand and predict how species respond to the rapidly changing landscape. The short-eared dog Atelocynus microtis is the only Amazon-endemic canid and one of the...
Article
Full-text available
El proyecto “Desarrollo de Enfoques de Manejo de Paisajes en el Sistema Nacional de Áreas Protegidas del Ecuador para Mejorar la Conservación de la Vida Silvestre en Peligro de Extinción Mundial” se ejecutó en el marco de una programación operativa establecida entre el Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo (PNUD) como agencia implement...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated short-eared dog habitat associations on two spatial scales. First, we used the largest record database ever compiled for short-eared dogs in combination with species distribution models to map species habitat suitability, estimate its distribution range and predict shifts in species distribution in response to predicted deforestatio...
Experiment Findings
Full-text available
El proyecto “Desarrollo de Enfoques de Manejo de Paisajes en el Sistema Nacional de Áreas Protegidas del Ecuador para Mejorar la Conservación de la Vida Silvestre en Peligro de Extinción Mundial” se ejecutó en el marco de una programación operativa establecida entre el Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo (PNUD) como agencia implement...
Article
Full-text available
The Andean Ibis (Theristicus branickii) is discontinuously distributed in western South America from Ecuador to northern Chile. In Ecuador, it inhabits high elevations (>3,700 m) where it is classified as critically endangered because of its low population number caused by hunting and habitat loss. However, the population size of Andean Ibis in Ecu...
Article
Full-text available
The Amazonian manatee Trichechus inunguis has been categorized as Vulnerable by the IUCN. There have been few studies on the species in its natural habitats due to its elusive nature and the low visibility of its aquatic habitats. Understanding the conservation status of Amazonian manatees, as well as any changes in their population trends and dire...
Chapter
Full-text available
In Ecuador, there are 12 recognized species and 16 taxa of neotropical ungulates. The tapirs (Tapiridae) include two species: Tapirus pinchaque and T. terrestris, present in highlands and humid tropical and subtropical forest in the Amazon, respectively; traditionally, a third species of tapir was added to the Ecuadorian fauna, Tapirus bairdii; how...
Article
Subsistence hunting has been a vital activity for local people across Neotropical rain forests (NRF). While providing a reliable source of protein, subsistence hunting also reflected the strong relationships that connected local people with the species and ecosystems in which they inhabited. However, the social and ecological context in which subsi...
Article
Full-text available
Effective conservation strategies need to be created based on accurate and updated data on the distribution and conservation status of the species of concern. Not surprisingly, the most diverse countries which are currently facing the greater threats, tend to be those with the greatest lack of information. This is the case for Ecuador, where defore...
Article
Full-text available
What do pets and wild animals have in common? Some pets - like dogs, for instance - can easily turn back into wild animals when abandoned or let loose. This is especially true for places where people lack resources or education to properly take care of their pets. Right now, we have over 1 billion feral (wild) dogs roaming our planet, often in pack...
Article
Full-text available
Between August 2015 and June 2016, we radio-tracked 15 juvenile individuals in a 60 km section of the Napo River. We recorded 59 locations from 15 individuals, and the tracking period ranged from 1 to 157 days. We were able to track captive-reared turtles from two to six months, whereas wild-caught turtles were tracked from two to three months. Mea...
Article
Full-text available
The yellow-spotted river turtle (Podocnemis unifilis) plays ecological roles in the Amazonian aquatic ecosystem and has cultural and economic significance for indigenous peoples. Because spatial ecology and movement data are nonexistent for this species, we radio tracked 63 individuals in the Napo River between August 2015 and February 2017. Mean l...
Article
Full-text available
Although the Andes have long been occupied by people, habitat loss, fragmentation through deforestation, and other human activities such as introduction of invasive species have increased drastically during the past century. The Ecuadorian Andes are considered a biodiversity hotspot. However, the fauna and threats to the region are poorly studied,...
Data
Number of independent detections, relative abundance index (RAI, number of independent detections/100 trap-nights) and mean latency to initial detection (LTD, trap-nights) of six species of native carnivores of the Ecuadorian Andes. (XLSX)
Data
Parameter estimates and standard error of the two-species occupancy model for domestic dogs and native carnivores. (XLSX)
Data
Correlation coefficients among the variables measured for occupancy models of Andean carnivores and domestic dogs. (XLS)
Article
Full-text available
The 2015 assessment of the conservation status of the Neotropical primates reported that 91 species and subspecies (42.5%) are threatened. This highlights the need to establish priority actions to mitigate the threats caused by human activities and promote the conservation of their populations and habitats. Ecuador is fifth-ranking of the Neotropic...
Article
Full-text available
Llanganates National Park (LNP) was created in the Andes of Ecuador with the goal of protecting the biodiverse biota of the Napo and Pastaza river watersheds. Data on richness and abundance of the mammal community in this park are scarce. From February to August 2016 we installed 58 camera-trap stations along an altitudinal gradient ranging from 20...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
El oso andino (Tremarctos ornatus) es considerado en el Ecuador una especie en peligro de extinción debido al pequeño tamaño poblacional. Su distribución geográfica ha sido cuantificada parcialmente y se desconocen tanto la efectividad de las áreas protegidas en la protección del hábitat como el impacto del cambio climático. Utilizamos modelos de n...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Given current human population growth, protected areas are unlikely to save more than a fraction of biodiversity because they are too small, isolated and undergoing anthropogenic change. In the short term, wildlife persistence in the Amazon–Andes interface will depend on the conservation of human dominated lands. Improved knowledge about wildlife p...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Yellow-spotted River Turtle (Podocnemis unifilis) plays key ecological roles in the Amazonian aquatic ecosystem, and has cultural and economic significance for indigenous peoples. The conservation of this species is threatened by water pollution, subsistence hunting, and wildlife trafficking, and as a result populations have been reduced signif...
Article
Full-text available
The Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus) in Ecuador is classified as Critically Endangered. Before 2015, standardized and systematic estimates of geographic distribution, population size and structure were not available for this species, hampering the assessment of its current status and hindering the design and implementation of effective conservation a...
Data
Organizations and volunteers that provided field assistance during the National Census of Andean Condors in Ecuador on September 29th and 30th, 2015. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
For the first time in Ecuador, a defecation rate is calculated from three captured páramo rabbit Sylvilagus brasiliensis andinus individuals. Combining this defecation rate, the pellet count method, and Novaro et al.’s (1992) hare density equation, páramo rabbit densities were calculated in four páramo localities with different vegetation structure...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus) in Ecuador is classified as Critically Endangered (CR). Before 2015, standardized and systematic estimates of population size and structure were not available hampering the assessment of the current status and hindering the design and implementation of effective conservation actions. In this context, the Andean Co...