DE ANGELO Carlos Daniel
Protection affects puma abundance and activity patterns in the Atlantic Forest
PAVIOLO, AGUSTÍN; DI BLANCO, YAMIL; DE ANGELO, CARLOS; DI BITETTI, MARIO
JOURNAL OF MAMMALOGY
ALLIANCE COMMUNICATIONS GROUP DIVISION ALLEN PRESS
Año: 2009 vol. 90 p. 926 - 926
Knowing the factors that may affect the abundance and activity patterns of pumas(Puma concolor) in South American forests may help manage and preserve theirpopulations. Using camera-traps, we conducted 4 surveys in 3 areas with differentlevels of protection against poaching and logging within the biggest continuousfragment of the Upper Parana Atlantic Forest known as the Green Corridor. We usedphotographs to identify different individuals and the time of the record to describe theactivity pattern. Using capture-mark-recapture population models, we estimated thedensity of pumas for each area. The core area of Iguazú National Park, with lowpoaching pressure and no logging for more than 60 years, had the highest density ofpumas (between 1.55 and 2.89 ind/100km2). Yabotí Biosphere Reserve, an area with thehighest poaching and logging pressure, showed the lowest density (between 0.3 and0.74 ind/100km2). The areas with intermediate level of poaching and logging pressurehad densities between 0.66 and 2.19 ind/100km2. Puma activity peaked during the firsthours of the morning in the most protected area, but became more crepuscular andnocturnal in areas with less protection. The lower abundance of pumas in the moredegraded areas may be related to lower prey abundance. Also, the change in pumaactivity patterns among areas with different poaching pressures may be a directresponse to poaching or to changes in the availability and activity patterns of primaryprey. We estimated the population size to be between 150 and 400 adult pumas in theGreen Corridor and neighboring areas. According to our results, conservation effortsshould focus on decreasing poaching and logging pressures within protected areas inorder to benefit the population of pumas and other endangered species in the AtlanticForest.