Fairy armadillo, Count Branickii’s terrible mouse, among 116 mammals documented in Bolivia

Fairy armadillo, Count Branickii’s terrible mouse, among 116 mammals documented in Bolivia

The Count Branickii’s terrible mouse, the Chacoan fairy armadillo, and the more familiar jaguar are among 116 species of medium to large mammals whose distribution in Bolivia is documented in a new database put together by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

Count Branikii’s Terrible Mouse, also known as a pacarana, weighs up to 30 pounds. It is named after a Polish count who first described the species in the 1870s. Credit: Rene Wuest

A burrowing species that lives in very specific sandy habitats of the Chacoan tropical dry forests in the lowlands of southern Bolivia. Credit: Luis Acosta

The database, which has been assembled over the past five years using a range of sources, includes 31,380 distributional records for mammals from Bolivia’s diversity of habitats, which range from lowland rainforests to dry Altiplano.

“The database synthesizes what is known about the distribution of some of Bolivia’s most charismatic wildlife,” said the study’s lead author Robert Wallace in a statement. “In order to adequately plan and achieve the conservation of biodiversity, one of the first and most important steps is of course to know where different species occur. Very few countries in Latin America, if any, have been able to synthesize existing knowledge about mammal distributions in this way. This initiative demonstrates the collaborative spirit of conservation scientists working in Bolivia today.”

The database has been published as a DVD.

This article was written for Mongabay.com and re-posted on Focusing on Wildlife.

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