SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL INTERACTIONS OF SYMPATRIC JAGUARS(PANTHERA ONCA)AND PUMAS(PUMA CONCOLOR)IN A NEOTROPICAL FOREST

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Abstract

We used extensive camera-trap surveys to study interindividual interactions among individually recognizable jaguars (Panthera onca) and plain-colored pumas (Puma concolor). Timed location data from a network of 119 trap stations in the Cockscomb Basin of Belize provide the 1st evidence of interspecific avoidance calibrated against intraspecific interactions among jaguars. Camera trapping has advantages over radiotelemetry in its potential to provide data on the complete array of individuals within the study area. The 23 individually identified male jaguars showed high levels of overlap in ranges, with up to 5 different males captured at the same location in the same month. Low levels of avoidance between individuals and a high flux of individuals contributed to low consistency in home-range ownership over the long term (3 months to 2 years). Jaguars and pumas had similar nocturnal activity schedules. Both species used similar habitats within the Cockscomb Basin, indicated by a high correlation in capture rates per location between species. Apart from their overall spatial similarities, jaguars and pumas avoided using the same location at the same time. This interspecific segregation was detectable over and above the spatial and temporal segregation of individual jaguars.

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