Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Diversidad de mamíferos pequeños y densidades de población en Monteverde, Costa Rica: Un estudio de seguimiento de Rothman (1999)



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Publication Date

May 2008


Widespread deforestation and El Niño events may have an effect on Costa Rican’s climate, and overall, Monteverde’s climate is becoming drier and less predictable due to short-term global warming impacts. Due to widespread habitat fragmentation and hunting, the population of small and medium-sized mammals has decreased dramatically. This study investigates rodent species richness, abundance, and diversity in three life zones in Monteverde, Costa Rica, to determine whether they have changed since a similar study conducted in 1999. Small mammals were sampled in Tropical Lower Montane Wet Forest, Tropical Premontane Moist Forest, and Tropical Lower Montane Rain Forest in the Monteverde region, Costa Rica, during the end of the dry season in mid-April, early-May. Data were collected using thirty 26 x 10 x 12 cm Sherman Live Traps. In 15 nights of trapping (450 total traps), 47 individuals were captured (with a few recaptures). Overall, six species and two orders were represented: Murid and Heteromyid rodents included 33 P. nudipes, six S. teguina, four H. desmarestianas, one O. albigularis, and one R. rattus. Order Insectivora was represented by two soricid shrews, C. gracilis. The mid-elevation site (see comments about “mid-elevation below) had the lowest rodent abundance, and thus differing greatly from the results of Rothman’s study. Furthermore, P. nudipes was absent from this site. Changing climate conditions could be partially responsible for the missing P. nudipes and relatively low abundance in the Tropical Lower Montane Wet Forest life zone, but also chance could play a strong role, as could sampling methods.


La deforestación y los eventos del Niño pueden haber afectado el clima de Costa Rica, y en general provocando un clima más seco y menos predecible debido a los impactos del calentamiento global a corto plazo. Debido a la fragmentación del hábitat y la cacería, las poblaciones de mamíferos pequeños y medianos han disminuido dramáticamente. Este estudio investigó la diversidad, la riqueza de especies y la abundancia de roedores en tres zonas de vida en Monteverde, Costa Rica para determinar si han cambiado desde que se hizo un estudio similar en 1999.


Rodents, Climatic changes, Fragmented landscapes, CIEE Spring 2008

Palabras claves

Roedores, Cambios climáticos, Paisajes fragmentados, CIEE Primavera 2008


11 pages

Geographic Location

Monteverde (Puntarenas, Costa Rica)

Holding Location

Monteverde Institute


English; Spanish

Media Type



Digital Only





Small mammal diversity and population densities in Monteverde, Costa Rica: A follow- up study of Rothman (1999), May 2008



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