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Survival of protected white-lipped peccaries in Costa Rica

Abstract
The conservation of remnant populations of white-lipped peccaries (Tayassu pecari) in Central America depends on understanding their demography, but few quantitative data exist. We report survival and cause-specific mortality of 25 female and 11 male radio-marked adult (>1.0 year old) white-lipped peccaries monitored during February 1995 - February 2001 in Corcovado National Park, their largest stronghold in Costa Rica. Annual survival was lower for female (0.78; 95% CI = 0.68-0.88) than for male (0.94; 95% CI = 0.86-1.00) peccaries. Both sexes were poached and died in accidents but only females were killed by predators or died of unknown causes (but not poaching). In comparison with the demography of collared peccaries (Tayassu tajacu), the population of white-lipped peccaries in Corcovado National Park may be maintaining itself. Still, protected areas may need to be expanded and (or) more forcefully monitored to sustain white-lipped peccaries throughout their range if additional use by humans is likely to occur, especially given stochastic population processes and human population increases.
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2002-01-01
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