Date of Submission
Academic Programs and Concentrations
Biology; Environmental and Urban Studies
Project Advisor 1
Project Advisor 2
Clay licks, or salt licks or mineral licks are sites of exposed clay in the rainforest where mammals ingest soil (geophagy) in order to obtain salt and other essential minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium and so on, which are lacking in the vegetation. The minerals supplement the diets of the animals and help fight parasites and gastrointestinal problems. These sites promote biodiversity and the health of animal populations. My paper is a camera trap study, done from May 7th to June 17th of 2013, at a research station in an eco-tourism concession on the Las Piedras River, Peru, where there had been hunting and selective logging prior to 2002. The camera traps recorded visitation rates of species at a clay lick and were compared to a dataset from a study conducted in 2003 at the same lick to ascertain changes in abundance and diversity. The increase in the average number of visits per week for species was not large enough to confirm that abundance has increased and populations are recovering from hunting or logging activities, although there seems to be a general trend towards slowly increasing visitation rates for most species. Species diversity revealed by the camera traps is higher in 2013 as compared to 2003 with 8 new species caught feeding on clay.
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Varanashi, Gowri, "Clay Licks as a Keystone Resource and Their Potential in Conservation in the Las Piedras Watershed" (2014). Senior Projects Spring 2014. Paper 16.