Movements of White-Lipped Peccary in French Guiana

  • Cécile Richard-Hansen
  • Rachel Berzins
  • Matthis Petit
  • Ondine Rux
  • Bertrand Goguillon
  • Luc Clément


Understanding spatial behavior of animal species in their environment is crucial for better management of natural ecosystems. For the last decades, many wildlife species were fitted with various types of visual or electronic tags allowing biologists to have some insights of where they spend their lives. White-lipped peccaries are a key species in Neotropical forests, considered as ecosystem engineers playing crucial roles at local and landscape scales. However, tracking this vulnerable species in continuous tropical rainforest remains challenging, due to biological, environmental, and technical constraints. We fitted 15 animals from 2 different groups with GPS collars and monitored their movements in 2 study sites of French Guiana. The global home ranges of the groups appeared stable during the 4 years of the study. Home range sizes were estimated for the whole groups and longest individual monitoring (8 and 6 months, respectively) to be between 55 and 73 km2 (100% minimum convex polygon). Autocorrelated kernel density estimator (AKDE) gave more rigorous estimates of 34 and 49 km2 for each group, respectively, (AKDE 95%). Mean daily movements ranged 2–4 km per day. No long-distance moves were observed; however, some directional larger-scale movements occurred, alternating with smaller-scale activity periods. Open habitats (wet and dry savannas) were clearly avoided, and small strips of coastal forest were actively used. No clear seasonal pattern can be detected in use of space. This study is a first important step in conserving and managing this vulnerable species in French Guiana. We showed that healthy populations of white-lipped peccaries can exist near human activity, providing appropriate hunting and habitat management. Particularly, conserving habitat connectivity and forest corridors, which proved to be key elements for white-lipped peccaries’ movements, is crucial.


White-lipped peccary Tayassu pecari Home range Habitat use French Guiana GPS tracking 



This study was funded by European funds BEST and by Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES). We thank the Réserve naturelle nationale du Mont Grand Matoury – co-managed by la Mairie de Matoury and l’Office National des Forêts – for collaboration and authorization to capture and work within this protected site and the Centre Spatial Guyanais for collaboration, access to the protected site, and technical assistance. We gratefully acknowledge the Zoo de Guyane and “SOS Faune Sauvage” for veterinary assistance in anesthetic procedures and animal welfare, and particularly Olivier Bongard for his enthusiast, friendly, and competent help in the mud and the night. Many thanks to all people who helped in the field work, especially Laetitia Proux, Gaëlle Jaouen and Thomas Denis, and to Elisabeth Berzins for language editing.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cécile Richard-Hansen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rachel Berzins
    • 1
  • Matthis Petit
    • 1
  • Ondine Rux
    • 1
  • Bertrand Goguillon
    • 3
  • Luc Clément
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.ONCFS – Campus agronomiqueKourouFrance
  2. 2.UMR EcofoG – Campus agronomiqueKourouFrance
  3. 3.Parc amazonien de GuyaneRemire-MontjolyFrance

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