The Impact of Hurricane Otto on Baird’s Tapir Movement in Nicaragua’s Indio Maíz Biological Reserve

  • Christopher A. JordanEmail author
  • Brendan Hoover
  • Armando J. Dans
  • Cody Schank
  • Jennifer A. Miller


Future climate change scenarios suggest that hurricanes could become stronger and more frequent across the Caribbean over the current century. While there are many studies on the impact of hurricanes on forest regeneration, there are limited studies on the effects of hurricanes on the recovery of neotropical fauna communities, and the impact of hurricanes on the spatial behavior and movement of large mammals is essentially unknown. In this chapter we investigate the movement of two adult Baird’s tapirs that were equipped with GPS collars before and after 2016’s Hurricane Otto in Nicaragua’s Indio Maíz Biological Reserve. The collar data revealed that tapir’s habitat use, home range size, and movement patterns were significantly altered by the damage to the primary forest caused by the hurricane. Post-hurricane, both home ranges decreased significantly, movement velocity decreased for both individuals, and both tapirs restricted their movements to habitat that allowed them to move more efficiently around their home ranges. While food is likely to be abundant post-hurricane in the rapidly regenerating forest, both tapirs appeared to limit their use of available habitat to maximize the efficiency of their movements, which may reduce carrying capacity in the short term for the species and limit potential for population growth.


Kernel density estimation Time local convex hall Tapirus bairdii Hurricane Otto 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher A. Jordan
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Brendan Hoover
    • 3
  • Armando J. Dans
    • 1
  • Cody Schank
    • 3
  • Jennifer A. Miller
    • 3
  1. 1.Global Wildlife ConservationAustinUSA
  2. 2.PantheraNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Geography and The EnvironmentThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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