NOVARO andres Jose
Evaluation of a fecal-pellet index of abundance for mountain vizcachas (Lagidium viscacia) in Patagonia.
WALKER, R.S.; V. PANCOTTO; J. SCHACHTER-BROIDE; G. ACKERMANN; NOVARO, A.J.
UNIDAD DE ZOOLOGÍA Y ECOLOGÍA ANIMAL, INSTITUTO ARGENTINO DE INVESTIGACIÓN DE LAS ZONAS ARIDAS, CRICYT, CONICET
Año: 2000 vol. 7 p. 89 - 94
We present an index of abundance based on fecal-pellet counts for mountain vizcachas (Lagidium viscacia) in the Patagonian steppe. We use regression to calibrate the index to size of populations of mountain vizcachas estimated by captures and intensive observations at seven sites. By obtaining index values on two different occasions and comparing the regressions for these two occasions, we determine that this is a valid constantproportion index under the conditions of our study. The use of this index should be limited to populations of mountain vizcachas inhabiting low, vertical cliffs. Its use outside the study area requires the assumption that local conditions do not affect the relationship between the number of piles of pellets and the number of mountain vizcachas which we found in our study area. We advise that a validation study be done locally wherever the index is to be used. If this is not possible, the index should be used to compare relative rather than absolute abundance, and results should be interpreted with caution.