The Not So Common Opossum – Population Density Estimates from an Agroecosystem in Bolivia

SCIENCE FOR SUSTAINABILITY

Didelphis marsupialis, the common opossum, is a nocturnal mammal that can be found from northeastern Argentina to Mexico and the Lesser Antilles. The omnivore thrives well near human settlements and agroecosystems where food resources are abundant. Although population density is one of the most important ecological parameters to understand ecosystems and apply management strategies, there are neither recently published density estimations of D. marsupialis in Bolivia nor in agroecosystems in general. In a recent study, Benavides et al. (2020) present the first density estimate of the common opossum in an agroforest in the Bolivian Amazonian region.

The common opossum. (R. Álvarez Mora)  

Agroecosystems in the lowland tropics are highly diverse, varying from monocultures to diversified agroforests. The study community in Remolinos in eastern Bolivia encompasses about 2000 ha of mountainous terrain exhibiting a mixture of undisturbed vegetation and secondary forest patches. Most of the community’s lands are covered…

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