Biological Invasions

, Volume 19, Issue 7, pp 2101–2123 | Cite as

Alien terrestrial mammals in Brazil: current status and management

  • Clarissa Alves da Rosa
  • Nelson Henrique de Almeida Curi
  • Fernando Puertas
  • Marcelo Passamani
Original Paper


The invasion of alien species is an important cause of biodiversity loss worldwide, and many mammals are considered successful invaders outside their former range, with recognized detrimental effects to native ecosystems. Our aim was to review the current literature on alien mammals that have established feral populations in Brazil and to systematize the existing knowledge. Furthermore, we evaluated the current distributions of all invasion mammals and discuss different management actions, including eradication techniques for island populations. We found 17 species of alien mammals living in the wild in Brazil. Based on the current literature and databases regarding invasive species, Lepus europaeus and Sus scrofa had the largest distributions in the Brazilian territory and seem to continue expanding their geographic distributions. Feral dogs and cats were the main alien predators threatening wildlife conservation, especially in protected areas. Further, we call attention to the invasion of Bubalus bubalis, a large species that currently thrives in isolated populations but seems to be quickly expanding its distribution. In conclusion, alien mammals are widespread in Southern and Southeastern Brazil, but at least four ungulate species (Indian sambar, horse, goat, and axis deer) still have small and isolated populations. Finally, future efforts need to evaluate the impacts of alien mammals in Brazil and techniques for their control.


Biological invasions Exotic species Introduced mammals Protected areas Traits of invasiveness 



We would like to thank CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior), CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico) and FAPEMIG (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais) for financial support. We thank R. Zenni for the review of the last version of this manuscript and two anonymous referees and the editor for comments and criticisms that greatly helped improve the manuscript.

Supplementary material

10530_2017_1423_MOESM1_ESM.docx (52 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 52 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clarissa Alves da Rosa
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nelson Henrique de Almeida Curi
    • 1
    • 3
  • Fernando Puertas
    • 1
  • Marcelo Passamani
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratório de Ecologia e Conservação de Mamíferos, Setor de Ecologia, Departamento de BiologiaUniversidade Federal de LavrasLavrasBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto Alto MontanaItamonteBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento de Medicina VeterináriaCentro Universitário de LavrasLavrasBrazil

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