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|Title:||Landscape Use And Co-occurrence Patterns Of Neotropical Spotted Cats|
Mariana B.; Nichols
James D.; Chiarello
Adriano G.; Ribeiro
Milton Cezar; Betz
Eleonore Z. F.
|Abstract:||Small felids influence ecosystem dynamics through prey and plant population changes. Although most of these species are threatened, they are accorded one of the lowest research efforts of all felids, and we lack basic information about them. Many felids occur in sympatry, where intraguild competition is frequent. Therefore, assessing the role of inter specific interactions along with the relative importance of landscape characteristics is necessary to understand how these species co-occur in space. Here, we selected three morphologically similar and closely related species of Small Neotropical cats to evaluate the roles of interspecific interactions, geomorphometry, environmental, and anthropogenic landscape characteristics on their habitat use. We collected data with camera trapping and scat sampling in a large protected Atlantic forest remnant (35,000 ha). Throughout occupancy modeling we investigated whether these species occur together more or less frequently than would be expected by chance, while dealing with imperfect detection and incorporating possible habitat preferences into the models. We used occupancy as a measure of their habitat use. Although intraguild competition can be an important determinant of carnivore assemblages, in our system, we did not find evidence that one species affects the habitat use of the other. Evidence suggested that proximity to the nature reserve (a more protected area) was a more important driver of Neotropical spotted cats' occurrence than interspecific interactions or geomorphometry and environmental landscape characteristics even though our entire study area is under some type of protection. This suggests that Small felids can be sensitive to the area protection status, emphasizing the importance of maintaining and creating reserves and other areas with elevated protection for the proper management and conservation of the group.|
|Editor:||Public Library Science|
|Citation:||Plos One. Public Library Science, v. 12, p. , 2017.|
|Appears in Collections:||Unicamp - Artigos e Outros Documentos|
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