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Spatial and temporal interactions of free-ranging pacas (Cuniculus paca)

Spatial and temporal interactions of free-ranging pacas (Cuniculus paca)
Spatial and temporal interactions of free-ranging pacas (Cuniculus paca)

Although the paca is the most frequently hunted game species throughout the Neotropics, its behavioral and ecological requirements remain poorly understood. Here, we describe ranging behavior, spatio-temporal intraspecific interactions, and cavity use within a mosaic landscape in Central Belize, based on radio-tracking of four males and two females. This study is the first to investigate social interactions and spatial structure within a paca population in unprotected marginal habitat. We detected extensive home range overlap between males and between sexes. Male-male overlap was less extensive within core areas, while female core ranges were almost entirely occupied by one or more males. On average, pacas used at least six cavities within their home range. The majority of cavities were in the core areas and we did not detect simultaneous co-habitation of the same location. On average, females occupied cavities that were closer together, and closer to water bodies, than those of males. Overall, our study suggests a general tolerance during nocturnal foraging activities, but exclusive use of core areas and associated cavities. The larger ranges of males than females and the extensive overlap between conspecifics suggest a polygamous or promiscuous mating system in this landscape.

Cuniculus paca, Intraspecific interaction, Marginal habitat, Mating systems, Neotropics
2199-2401
161-172
Harmsen, Bart J.
c84e0703-d49d-4b09-980a-423b09fd5536
Wooldridge, Rebecca L.
19a74955-0b88-417e-a69b-3d25a50d8bdd
Gutierrez, Said M.
5c3760e4-f831-4ebc-9f87-cc9ad72e626f
Doncaster, C. Patrick
0eff2f42-fa0a-4e35-b6ac-475ad3482047
Foster, Rebecca J.
c811528a-908b-4629-a32f-c605855b060f
Harmsen, Bart J.
c84e0703-d49d-4b09-980a-423b09fd5536
Wooldridge, Rebecca L.
19a74955-0b88-417e-a69b-3d25a50d8bdd
Gutierrez, Said M.
5c3760e4-f831-4ebc-9f87-cc9ad72e626f
Doncaster, C. Patrick
0eff2f42-fa0a-4e35-b6ac-475ad3482047
Foster, Rebecca J.
c811528a-908b-4629-a32f-c605855b060f

Harmsen, Bart J., Wooldridge, Rebecca L., Gutierrez, Said M., Doncaster, C. Patrick and Foster, Rebecca J. (2018) Spatial and temporal interactions of free-ranging pacas (Cuniculus paca). Mammal Research, 63 (2), 161-172. (doi:10.1007/s13364-017-0350-0).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Although the paca is the most frequently hunted game species throughout the Neotropics, its behavioral and ecological requirements remain poorly understood. Here, we describe ranging behavior, spatio-temporal intraspecific interactions, and cavity use within a mosaic landscape in Central Belize, based on radio-tracking of four males and two females. This study is the first to investigate social interactions and spatial structure within a paca population in unprotected marginal habitat. We detected extensive home range overlap between males and between sexes. Male-male overlap was less extensive within core areas, while female core ranges were almost entirely occupied by one or more males. On average, pacas used at least six cavities within their home range. The majority of cavities were in the core areas and we did not detect simultaneous co-habitation of the same location. On average, females occupied cavities that were closer together, and closer to water bodies, than those of males. Overall, our study suggests a general tolerance during nocturnal foraging activities, but exclusive use of core areas and associated cavities. The larger ranges of males than females and the extensive overlap between conspecifics suggest a polygamous or promiscuous mating system in this landscape.

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10.1007%2Fs13364-017-0350-0 - Version of Record
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Accepted/In Press date: 22 December 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 19 January 2018
Published date: 1 April 2018
Keywords: Cuniculus paca, Intraspecific interaction, Marginal habitat, Mating systems, Neotropics

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 419135
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/419135
ISSN: 2199-2401
PURE UUID: cd1dfaff-896e-4317-97e5-8bdb5df3d716
ORCID for C. Patrick Doncaster: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9406-0693

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 06 Apr 2018 16:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 02:37

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Contributors

Author: Bart J. Harmsen
Author: Rebecca L. Wooldridge
Author: Said M. Gutierrez
Author: Rebecca J. Foster

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