ESTIMATING PUMA DENSITIES FROM CAMERA TRAPPING ACROSS THREE STUDY SITES: BOLIVIA, ARGENTINA, AND BELIZE

Kelly, M. J. and Noss, Andrew J. and Bitetti, Mario S. DI and Maffei, L. and Arispe, Rosario L. and Paviolo, Agustin and Angelo, Carlos D. DE and DI Blanco, Yamil E (2008) ESTIMATING PUMA DENSITIES FROM CAMERA TRAPPING ACROSS THREE STUDY SITES: BOLIVIA, ARGENTINA, AND BELIZE. Journal of Mammalogy. pp. 408-418.

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    Abstract

    Estimates of abundance are extremely valuable for species conservation, yet determining abundance for elusive, wide-ranging, carnivores is difficult. We estimated density of pumas using remote cameras across study sites in Bolivia, Argentina, and Belize. We used obvious and subtle markings to identify individual pumas in photographs and conducted double-blind identifications to examine the degree of agreement among investigators. Average agreement on identification between pairs of investigators was nearly 80.0% and 3-way agreement was 72.9%. Identification of pumas as different individuals was uncommon (7.8% pairwise, 0.69% 3-way disagreement) with the remainder described as unidentifiable. Densities of pumas varied consistently from site to site regardless of investigator. Bolivian pumas moved the shortest distances between camera stations and Argentinean pumas the longest, but distances among cameras and area covered by surveys varied among sites. We applied a correction factor to the Bolivian data to account for the small area surveyed and found that, averaged across investigator, Bolivia had significantly more pumas per 100 km2 (mean 6 SD; 6.80 6 1.5) than Belize (3.42 6 1.3) or Argentina (0.67 6 0.2). Numbers of pumas in Argentina match those of low-density North American sites, and those for Belize are consistent with the Pantanal and high-density North American sites. Densities of pumas can be reliably estimated with remote cameras for these sites, and our work presents the 1st density estimates for Central America and for forested environments in South America.

    Item Type: Peer-reviewed Journal Article
    Related URLs:
      Publisher: American Society of Mammalogists
      Keywords: camera traps, density, individual identification, Neotropics, puma, Puma concolor
      Subjects: (A) Biodiversity > (AG) Mammals > (AGB) Carnivores
      (H) Protected Areas > (HC) Forest Reserve
      (Z) Other or Unspecified
      Publication Sources: (3) Other Source > (3C) Other Universities
      Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2015 12:04
      Last Modified: 21 Aug 2015 12:04
      URI: http://eprints.uberibz.org/id/eprint/1543

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