DE ANGELO Carlos Daniel
Occurrence of top carnivores in relation to land protection status, human settlements and rock outcrops in the high mountains of central Argentina
PIA, MÓNICA V.; RENISON, D.; MANGEAUD, A.; DE ANGELO, CARLOS; HARO, J. G.
JOURNAL OF ARID ENVIRONMENTS
ACADEMIC PRESS LTD-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Año: 2013 vol. 91 p. 31 - 31
We evaluated puma (Puma concolor) and culpeo fox (Pseudalopex culpaeus smithersi) occurrence in relation to a national park where livestock was reduced and hunting banned, and in relation to human presence and landscape features. In the high mountains of central Argentina puma signs were about 3.5 times less frequent than culpeo signs. Puma and culpeo signs were 33 and 19 times, respectively, more abundant within than outside the park. Puma signs increased with distance to settlements within the park but no trend was detected outside the park where signs were scarce. Culpeos were abundant all throughout the park with no relation with distance to settlements while outside the park signs increased with distance from settlements. Rock outcrops had a positive effect on pumas, which used this habitat frequently, and negative effect on culpeos, whose presence decreased slightly at sites with the highest proportion of rock outcrops inside the park and sharply at sites with presence of rock outcrops outside the park. We conclude that top carnivores were positively affected by the park creation and encourage the creation of more protected areas with connectivity in the region to better assure the long-term conservation of top predators.