MUSEO ARGENTINO DE CIENCIAS NATURALES "BERNARDINO RIVADAVIA"
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Effects of livestock on the feeding and spatial ecology of Geoffroys cat
JAVIER PEREIRA; SUSAN WALKER; ANDRÉS NOVARO
JOURNAL OF ARID ENVIRONMENTS
ACADEMIC PRESS LTD-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Año: 2012 vol. 76 p. 36 - 36
We compared diet composition, prey selection, home-range size, daily movements, and habitat preference of Geoffroys cats (Leopardus geoffroyi) between cattle ranches and an adjacent national park in scrublands of Argentina. Although overall prey abundance was higher in the park than in the ranches, diet composition was similar between sites, and small rodents were the most common prey item found in Geoffroys cat feces in both sites. Geoffroys cats selectively preyed on sigmodontines in the ranches throughout the year and in the park during spring, when the abundance of this prey type was the lowest for this site. Mean daily movements of radio-collared Geoffroys cats in the park were significantly shorter than those of cats in the ranches. Differences in habitat use between sites reflected differences in the availability of different habitat types, and Geoffroys cats exhibited different patterns of habitat selection according to the site and the scale considered. Changes in home-range size and overlap were also apparent, but the small sample sizes and the short period during which individuals could be monitored may cloud the actual magnitude of these responses. Geoffroys cats exhibited behavioral plasticity, as the two subpopulations in close proximity had such contrasting trophic and spatial ecology.