This material has been published in the Journal of Mammalogy (2009, 90: 612-620), the only definitive repository of the content that has been certified and accepted after peer review. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by the publishers.


Spatial and temporal interactions of two sympatric cats in a neotropical forest: the jaguar (Panthera onca) and the puma (Puma concolor)

Bart J. Harmsen, Rebecca J. Foster, Scott C. Silver, Linde E. T. Ostro, and C. Patrick Doncaster

We use extensive camera trap surveys to study inter-individual interactions amongst the individually recognizable jaguar (Panthera onca) and the plain colored puma (Puma concolor). Timed location data from a network of 119 trap stations in the Cockscomb Basin of Belize provide the first evidence of inter-specific avoidance calibrated against intra-specific interactions amongst jaguars. Camera trapping has advantages over radio-telemetry in its potential to provide data on the complete array of actors within the study area. The 23 individually identified male jaguars showed high levels of overlap in ranges, with up to five different males captured at the same location in the same month. Low levels of avoidance between individuals and a high flux of individuals contributed to low consistency in home range ownership over the long-term (3 months to 2 years). Jaguars and pumas had similar nocturnal activity schedules. Both species used similar habitats within the Cockscomb Basin, indicated by a high correlation in capture rates per location between species. Apart from their overall spatial similarities, jaguars and pumas avoided using the same location at the same time. This inter-specific segregation was detectable over and above the spatial and temporal segregation of individual jaguars.

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