MSc. Student, Universidad de Los Lagos, Chile
Location: Oserno province, southern Chile
Research: The Mouse Opossum (Dromiciops gliroides) in Fragmented Environments
Species/Topic: Dromiciops gliroides
Dromiciops gliroides is an endemic arboreal marsupial of the temperate Chilean forest, the only living representative of the Microbiotheria order. Although its population status remains unknown, it is currently classified as "Vulnerable" by the IUCN. I propose to study the three-dimensional habitat use and movement patterns of D. gliroides in continuous and fragmented forest habitats to examine how its space use patterns are affected by habitat fragmentation. Results will be used to build a habitat use model, and to develop a model-species based conservation strategy for the sustainable use of the forest. The research is driven by three working hypotheses: 1) D. gliroides shows a negative response to forest fragmentation, 2) D. gliroides uses a range of tree structures and the habitat in a three-dimensional way, and 3) D. gliroides shows a negative response to degraded forests and avoids the surrounding matrix of non-forested areas.
You can read more on Francisco Fontúrbel's research on the EDGE Community Site.