Jaguars, pumas, their prey base, and cattle ranching: ecological interpretations of a management problem

Jaguars, pumas, their prey base, and cattle ranching: ecological interpretations of a management... Jaguar and puma depredation on livestock may be influenced by (1) innate and learned behavior; (2) health and status of individual cats; (3) division of space and resources among jaguar and puma; (4) cattle husbandry practices; and (5) abundance and distribution of natural prey. Our study in Los Llanos of Venezuela aimed to establish how all these elements related to cattle being lost to cat depredation. Prey distribution was influenced by forest composition, topographical characteristics, and degree of habitat interspersion. The biomass of natural prey in the study area was adequate to support the resident large cats without a subsidy of livestock. Selective rather than opportunistic hunting by the cats reinforced that conclusion. Puma were responsible for more attacks on livestock than jaguar, frequently in maternity pastures in upland areas of relatively low prey availability. Management recommendations are discussed that may be relevant to other savanna/forest mosaics of South America. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biological Conservation Elsevier

Jaguars, pumas, their prey base, and cattle ranching: ecological interpretations of a management problem

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd
ISSN
0006-3207
D.O.I.
10.1016/S0006-3207(02)00157-X
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Jaguar and puma depredation on livestock may be influenced by (1) innate and learned behavior; (2) health and status of individual cats; (3) division of space and resources among jaguar and puma; (4) cattle husbandry practices; and (5) abundance and distribution of natural prey. Our study in Los Llanos of Venezuela aimed to establish how all these elements related to cattle being lost to cat depredation. Prey distribution was influenced by forest composition, topographical characteristics, and degree of habitat interspersion. The biomass of natural prey in the study area was adequate to support the resident large cats without a subsidy of livestock. Selective rather than opportunistic hunting by the cats reinforced that conclusion. Puma were responsible for more attacks on livestock than jaguar, frequently in maternity pastures in upland areas of relatively low prey availability. Management recommendations are discussed that may be relevant to other savanna/forest mosaics of South America.

Journal

Biological ConservationElsevier

Published: Feb 1, 2003

References

  • Genomic ancestry of the American puma ( Puma concolor )
    Culver, M; Johnson, W.E; Pecon-Slattery, J; O'Brien, S.J
  • Dietary separation of sympatric carnivores identified by molecular analysis of scats
    Farrell, L; Roman, J; Sunquist, M.E
  • Intrinsic rate of natural increase in Neotropical forest mammals: relationship to phylogeny and diet
    Robinson, J.G; Redford, K.H
  • The food habits of sympatric jaguar and puma in the Paraguayan Chaco
    Taber, A.B; Novaro, A.J; Neris, N; Colman, F.H
  • A history of savanna vertebrates in the New World. Part II: South America and the great interchange
    Webb, S.D

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