Habitat use by sympatric Jaguars and Pumas across a gradient of human disturbance in Belize

Foster, Rebecca J., Harmsen, Bart J. and Doncaster, C. Patrick (2010) Habitat use by sympatric Jaguars and Pumas across a gradient of human disturbance in Belize. Biotropica, 42, (6), 724-731. (doi:10.1111/j.1744-7429.2010.00641.x).


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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: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1111/j.1744-7429.2010.00641.x

Keywords: activity, camera trap, carnivore, coexistence, felid, panthera onca, puma concolor
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Biological Sciences
ePrint ID: 169295
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
November 2010Published
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2010 15:24
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:31
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/169295

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