Habitat Use by Sympatric Jaguars and Pumas Across a Gradient of Human Disturbance in Belize

Foster, Rebecca J. and Harmsen, Bart J. and Doncaster, C. Patrick (2010) Habitat Use by Sympatric Jaguars and Pumas Across a Gradient of Human Disturbance in Belize. BIOTROPICA.

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    Jaguars (Panthera onca) and pumas (Puma concolor) are sympatric across the entire jaguar range, where they coexist in increasingly fragmented landscapes under threat of persecution mainly in response to livestock predation. Pumas are known to inhabit a greater variety of natural habitats than jaguars, but little is known about the influence of anthropogenic factors on the coexistence of these two similar-sized cats. This study compares habitat use of jaguars and pumas in Belize, Central America, using 1380 jaguar and puma photo captures from 3 yr of camera trapping, comprising 64–74 individual jaguars and an unknown number of pumas. Jaguars and pumas did not differ in their use of a large block of relatively homogenous secondary rain forest. However, pumas were scarce outside this forest block, whereas jaguars were detected throughout the human-influenced landscape. Reasons for this discrepancy may include differential tolerance to human disturbance, and resource limitation for pumas outside the forest block. Intra-specific variation in jaguar activity in the form of sex-dependent habitat use was detected across the landscape. Male jaguars were detected at more locations than female jaguars and more frequently at each location, with a declining difference from a 50-fold greater detection in the protected forest, through forest buffer, savannah, pastures, to negligible difference in the disturbed forest.

    Item Type: Peer-reviewed Journal Article
    Related URLs:
      Unique ID or DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7429.2010.00641.x
      Publisher: The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation
      Subjects: (A) Biodiversity > (AG) Mammals > (AGB) Carnivores
      (Z) Other or Unspecified
      Publication Sources: (3) Other Source > (3C) Other Universities
      Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2013 11:31
      Last Modified: 19 Jun 2013 11:32
      URI: http://eprints.uberibz.org/id/eprint/1356

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