Article

Coexistence and habitat use of the South American coati and the mountain coati along an elevational gradient

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

The South American coati Nasua nasua is a relatively common species throughout the Neotropical region. Despite this, ecological information on the species, including its biological interactions and habitat use, is scarce, especially for the Andes. In some regions, Nasua nasua is sympatric with other closely related species of the Procyonidae family, including the mountain coati Nasuella olivacea. Here, we assess the influence of environmental and anthropogenic factors on the occupancy of these two species and the spatial and temporal bases of their co-occurrence along an elevational gradient. Camera trapping (with 85 camera-trap stations) was conducted during the dry season of 2016 along elevations from 1600 to 3600 m above sea level (m. a. s. l.) in northern Peru. We observed a total of 244 detections for Nasua nasua and 17 for Nasuella olivacea over 9457 cumulative camera-days. Occupancy modelling (Royle-Nichols model) showed that Nasua nasua occupancy was significantly and negatively related to elevation but positively related to forest cover. In contrast, Nasuella olivacea occupancy was significantly and positively related to elevation. In addition, Nasuella olivacea was detected in only 5 of the 45 total sites occupied by Nasua nasua; therefore, spatial overlap was low. Consequently, co-occurrence modelling based on a Bayesian approach showed no evidence of avoidance between the two coati species. Additionally, activity patterns suggest low levels of temporal overlap; however, we consider this a preliminary finding due to the limited number of detections for Nasuella olivacea. Our results not only increase the understanding of the ecology of both Nasua nasua and Nasuella olivacea but also provide information towards their conservation in this part of their distribution range.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Regarding diurnal prey, our results for mountain coatis differed from reported populations in the Central and Eastern Andes (Ramírez-Mejia andSánchez, 2016, Cáceres-Martínez et al., 2016) of Colombia, and the Tabaconas Namballe reserve in Peru (Mena and Yagui, 2019) where they are primarily nocturnal. This could be attributed to a behavioral strategy to avoid potential intraguild predation by pumas (Castillo et al., 2020), and feral dogs (Mena and Yagui, 2019). ...
... Regarding diurnal prey, our results for mountain coatis differed from reported populations in the Central and Eastern Andes (Ramírez-Mejia andSánchez, 2016, Cáceres-Martínez et al., 2016) of Colombia, and the Tabaconas Namballe reserve in Peru (Mena and Yagui, 2019) where they are primarily nocturnal. This could be attributed to a behavioral strategy to avoid potential intraguild predation by pumas (Castillo et al., 2020), and feral dogs (Mena and Yagui, 2019). Evidence from the Central Andes of Ecuador (Zapata- Ríos and Branch, 2016) suggests that the presence of feral dogs around the protected areas can deplete mountain coati abundance. ...
... Evidence from the Central Andes of Ecuador (Zapata- Ríos and Branch, 2016) suggests that the presence of feral dogs around the protected areas can deplete mountain coati abundance. Yet given the low number of dogs (n < 5 observed during our survey, we opted to exclude them from our inferences to avoid skewed comparisons (Mena and Yagui, 2019). When compared with other procyonids, coatis have an extra cone-class on their retinas, which confers them dichromatic colour vision (Jacobs and Deegan, 1992). ...
Article
Full-text available
Patrón de actividad diaria del puma (Puma concolor) y sus posibles presas en un bosque nublado tropical de Colombia Los ecosistemas de los Andes del Norte afrontan una pérdida de hábitat sin precedentes. Los pumas son el predador superior de la región y ejercen funciones ecológicas claves como el control poblacional y la facilitación de recursos. No obstante, se conoce poco sobre el nicho temporal de la especie y sus efectos en la conducta de sus presas. Nuestra hipótesis es que existe una relación entre los patrones de actividad del puma y de sus presas en un bosque nublado de los Andes centrales de Colombia. Instalamos 61 cámaras trampa para estimar el grado de solapamiento entre las curvas de actividad diaria de los pumas y las de siete presas potenciales utilizando funciones condicionales de densidad de kernel. El puma, el armadillo, la paca de montaña y la zarigüeya de orejas blancas fueron principalmente nocturnos, con escasa actividad crepuscular y un alto solapamiento temporal. El agutí centroamericano, el coatí de montaña, el venado soche rojo y la pava caucana mostraron una actividad predominantemente diurna y una división temporal con el puma. Como predadores oportunistas, los pumas son capaces de optimizar la eficiencia de la alimentación al cazar presas nocturnas y crepusculares. La conservación de este predador superior dependerá en gran medida del manejo sostenible de sus presas autóctonas.
... Various authors have studied this Coati in Colombia and Ecuador (Balaguera-Reina et al. 2009, Helgen et al. 2009, and its distribution has been predicted to extend to northern Peru (Balaguera-Reina et al. 2009;Cossíos et al. 2012;Helgen et al. 2009;Pacheco et al. 2011). Evidence of live specimens have only been documented in the far north of the country (Mena & Yagui 2019). The only evidence of Western Mountain Coatis in Southern Peru is from two museum specimens from the regions of Cusco and Apurímac (Pacheco et al. 2007). ...
... Helgen et al. (2009) used geographic range modelling to predict the occurrence of N. olivacea in the northern Andes in Peru. This was confirmed by the presence of live specimens reported in the northern region of the department of Cajamarca (Mena & Yagui 2019). However, museum specimens collected in the departments of Cusco and Apurimac (Pacheco et al. 2007), suggest the possibility that they occur much further south. ...
... This area is important for biodiversity conservation and protects some endangered large mammal species such as the "spectacled bear" Tremarctos ornatus and the "mountain tapir" Tapirus pinchaque (Mena & Velazco 2010, Cavalier et al. 2011. Although many studies have been carried out in this area (e.g., Rodríguez G 1995, Mena & Velazco 2010, Mena & Yagui 2019, Mena & Pacheco 2020, the diversity of small mammals is still poorly known. Hopefully, T. antoniobracki sp. ...
Article
Full-text available
We describe a new species of the cricetid rodent Thomasomys (Sigmodontinae) of the "aureus" group based on four specimens collected from Carmen de la Frontera, Piura Department, Peru. This new species has a very long and white tail, very long mystacial vibrissae that extend posteriorly beyond the pinnae, and a distinctive cranial and dental morphology that differ from any other known species of Thomasomys. It is also one of the largest species of Thomasomys, exceeded in size only by T. apeco. A phylogenetic analysis using sequences of Cytb recovered this species within a non-monophyletic "aureus" group with a genetic distance between 5.47% (with T. auricularis) to 10.17% (with Thomasomys sp. 1). In addition to this finding, the phylogenetic position of T. apeco, T. praetor, and T. pyrrhonotus are presented for the first time, prompting a discussion on the nature of the "aureus" group
... The specimens of Sylvilagus collected in this study (MHN-UCa-M 1936-1941, match the characters of S. salentus and may help to clarify basic aspects of the genus taxonomy which has been studied recently for the Central Cordillera of Colombia (see Diersing and Wilson 2017;Ruedas et al. 2019). The presence of two coati species is also interesting due to that sympatry only recently being reported in Colombia (González-Maya et al. 2015), and Peru (Mena and Yagui 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
The Coffee Region of Colombia is one of the most representative areas of the country due to its cultural appeal. 200 of the 528 mammal species in the country occur in this region. Pre-existing knowledge about the group in this region has been obtained through indirect and direct sampling methods. We present new records of mammals of the “Reserva Forestal Protectora Bosques de la Central Hidroeléctrica de Caldas (CHEC)”, located in the Coffee Region, based on vouchered citizen science records. To accomplish this, we held training workshops on the relevance of information provided by non-invasive vouchers for mammal collections that include bone remains, hairs, skin and other signs that can be found incidentally in the field by park rangers and other staff of the Reserve. In addition, we included photographic and video records of mammals taken by park rangers before and after the training workshops. We added vouchers obtained by the park rangers to the biological collection of the Natural History Museum of the Universidad de Caldas (MHN-UCa). Using this method, we obtained records of 34 mammalian species belonging to 20 families and 11 orders. We highlight the obtention of museum preserved vouchers of the Northern Naked-tailed Armadillo, Cabassous centralis (Miller 1899), and the Cauca Slender Opossum, Marmosops caucae (Thomas 1900), that had limited samples in national collections or had not been previously collected in the study area. With this work, a contribution network with the CHEC reserve staff was established, promoting the inclusion of these agents in the development of scientific research, and showing the relevance of collaborative science in assisting with filling information gaps about medium and large mammals.
... The specimens of Sylvilagus collected in this study (MHN-UCa-M 1936-1941, match the characters of S. salentus and may help to clarify basic aspects of the genus taxonomy which has been studied recently for the Central Cordillera of Colombia (see Diersing and Wilson 2017;Ruedas et al. 2019). The presence of two coati species is also interesting due to that sympatry only recently being reported in Colombia (González-Maya et al. 2015), and Peru (Mena and Yagui 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
The Coffee Region of Colombia is one of the most representative areas of the country due to its cultural appeal. 200 of the 528 mammal species in the country occur in this region. Pre-existing knowledge about the group in this region has been obtained through indirect and direct sampling methods. We present new records of mammals of the "Reserva Forestal Protectora Bosques de la Central Hidroeléc-trica de Caldas (CHEC)", located in the Coffee Region, based on vouchered citizen science records. To accomplish this, we held training workshops on the relevance of information provided by non-invasive vouchers for mammal collections that include bone remains, hairs, skin and other signs that can be found incidentally in the field by park rangers and other staff of the Reserve. In addition, we included photographic and video records of mammals taken by park rangers before and after the training workshops. We added vouchers obtained by the park rangers to the biological collection of the Natural History Museum of the Universidad de Caldas (MHN-UCa). Using this method, we obtained records of 34 mammalian species belonging to 20 families and 11 orders. We highlight the obtention of museum preserved vouchers of the Northern Naked-tailed Armadillo, Cabassous centralis (Miller 1899), and the Cauca Slender Opossum, Marmosops caucae (Thomas 1900), that had limited samples in national collections or had not been previously collected in the study area. With this work, a contribution network with the CHEC reserve staff was established, promoting the inclusion of these agents in the development of scientific research, and showing the relevance of collaborative science in assisting with filling information gaps about medium and large mammals.
... For example, two species of coati differentiated in activity times at sympatric elevation sites, which facilitated their coexistence along an Andean elevational gradient (Mena & Yagui, 2019). Nevertheless, the geographic abundance patterns of congeners should, to some extent, be a spatial reflection of competition. ...
Article
Full-text available
Whether species are most abundant at their geographic range centre and increasingly rare towards range limits (the abundance‐centre hypothesis, ACH) has weak empirical support in birds along elevational gradients. This may be due to empirical limitations—most studies do not capture the multi‐faceted nature of elevational gradients or species interactions. We examine the ACH and an alternative that the abundance maximum of elevational sympatric congeners will occur at different elevations along a gradient (the congeneric‐competition hypothesis, CCH). Twelve elevational gradients in Central and Southwest China. Five small mammal species, including three congeneric species. The ACH was tested by fitting abundance patterns to Huisman‐Olff‐Fresco (HOF) models and measuring the relative elevational distance between a species' abundance‐weighted range centre (RCAbu) and its elevational range centre. The CCH was tested by calculating the elevational overlap value of each congeneric pair and the relative elevational distance (RCAbuDiff) between the RCAbus of congeners. Abundances of each species showed diverse patterns along different gradients. For all species, a unimodal symmetric pattern appeared at most once among the studied gradients and found in only four (8.7%) of the total cases. Most (90.9%) of the Apodemus congeneric pairs had a high elevational overlap (above 75%). For each of the three congeneric pairs, 40.0% to 50.0% of the cases showed RCAbuDiff values > 0.25, suggesting that the congeners’ RCAbus were separated by at least one elevational climate zone. Species' elevational abundance patterns may vary among different elevational gradients in the same geographic region. The elevational abundance patterns of five mammalian species were rarely consistent with the ACH after the spatial variability of the patterns was considered. The abundance patterns of congeneric species showed moderate support for the CCH.
... In addition, certain carnivorous species, such as Nasua sp. and larger mustelids, tend to be active during at least part of the day (e.g. Crego et al., 2018;Solina et al., 2018;Mena and Yagui, 2019), which can be a reaction to competition with native and exotic species (Crego et al., 2018;Farris et al., 2015), or simply based on their foraging strategies and visual acuity (e.g. colored fruits and seeds) (Chausseil, 1992). ...
Article
Activity patterns and habitat use are important for understanding the natural history of a species and its ecology. Some species of carnivore are abundant, but little studied, such as the tayra (Eira barbara). In this context, the activity patterns and environmental factors that influence tayra frequency of occurrence in high montane tropical rainforests in the Atlantic Rainforest biome were evaluated. A total of 32 points distributed in the Itatiaia National Park and the Alto Montana Natural Heritage Reserve were investigated for three years, in a gradient ranging from 800 to 2200 m elevation. Tayra frequency of occurrence was evaluated using camera traps and environmental variables were obtained. Photo time data indicate that tayra are predominantly diurnal and their frequency of occurrence is higher at lower elevations and in areas more distant from human habitation. Although this species occurs at all elevation, the tayra may prefer lower elevation habitats, due to the higher productivity of these areas compared to higher elevational environments. The results reported herein contribute to a better knowledge of the species and may aid in planning models and conservation actions for ecological function and tropical biodiversity maintenance.
... The buffer zone of the sanctuary is characterized by a lower montane humid pluviseasonal forest of the Yungas, a seasonal evergreen, diverse and multi-stratified forest distributed from 1200 to 2100 m of elevation, mainly as forest relicts, with agricultural and cattle ranching lands dominating the area. The average annual temperature in the study area ranges from 11.2 to 24.6 °C, while the average rainfall varies from 1490 to 1770 mm (Mena and Yagui 2019), with the wet season usually occurring from November to March and the dry season from April to October. ...
Article
Full-text available
The mountain tapir (Tapirus pinchaque), the smallest of the three American tapirs, is the least studied species of the family Tapiridae and is classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Globally Threatened Species. It plays a critical role in the functioning of ecosystems throughout the northern Andes as a seed predator and disperser of a wide diversity of plant species. Despite the ecological importance and conservation status of this species, information about its population ecology and habitat use are limited. Here, we assessed the influence of environmental (i.e., elevation, slope, NDVI) and anthropogenic disturbance, i.e., distance to roads (there is evidence that roads influence the detectability of tapirs, because it can act as barriers) on the occupancy of mountain tapirs. We conducted a camera trapping survey (115 camera-trap stations) during the dry season of 2016 along elevations from 1600 to 3600 m above sea level (m. a. s. l.) at the Tabaconas Namballe National Sanctuary (TNNS) in northern Peru. We detected the mountain tapir 128 times at 48 sites over 11,753 cumulative camera-days. The occupancy of the species was 0.48 and ranged from 0.36 to 0.61, and detectability was 0.12 ranged from 0.09 to 0.15. Occupancy was significantly and positively correlated with distance to roads and negatively with slope of terrain, and detectability was correlated with distance to water sources. We also found that mountain tapirs display predominantly nocturnal habits. Our results provide evidence that mountain tapir habitat use is probably affected by distance to roads. Mountain tapirs are currently sheltered within protected areas; however, increased land-use changes throughout their southern geographical range (especially outside protected areas) challenge their conservation, highlighting the urgent need for practical and effective actions that will ensure their long-term viability, such as conservation corridors among protected areas to ensure connectivity of tapir populations.
Article
Full-text available
This work summarizes recent knowledge regarding the diversity and distribution of 11 Orders of mammals from Peru. Species information is presented for the country, ecoregions and, for the first time, by individual departments. Furthermore, we identified endemic species for the country and provided elevation ranges per species. To compile our information, we conducted an exhaustive review of the scientific literature and specimens in scientific collections, consulting with specialists when needed to verify records. We report 191 species belonging to the orders Didelphimorphia (46 spp.), Paucituberculata (2), Sirenia (1), Cingulata (5), Pilosa (8), Primates (42), Lagomorpha (2), Eulipotyphla (3), Carnivora (33), Perissodactyla (2), and Artiodactyla (47, including 32 cetaceans); 22 of these are endemic to Peru. Due to their high diversity and number of taxonomic changes, the Orders Chiroptera and Rodentia will be treated separately in future articles. The species records presented here, together with previous reports of bats (189 spp.) and rodents (189 spp.) yield a current total 569 species of mammals for Peru. Finally, we provide taxonomic notes for species that exhibit differences with respect to the previously published list of Peruvian mammals. We hope that this first list of mammals by department encourages further studies of Peruvian mammalian diversity at the regional level. Palabras clave: Mastofauna peruana; lista anotada; departamentos; endemismo; conservación.
Article
Full-text available
This work summarizes recent knowledge regarding the diversity and distribution of 11 Orders of mammals from Peru. Species information is presented for the cou-ntry, ecoregions and, for the first time, by individual departments. Furthermore, we identified endemic species for the country and provided elevation ranges per species. To compile our information, we conducted an exhaustive review of the scientific literature and specimens in scientific collections, consulting with specia-lists when needed to verify records. We report 191 species belonging to the orders Didelphimorphia (46 spp.), Paucituberculata (2), Sirenia (1), Cingulata (5), Pilosa (8), Primates (42), Lagomorpha (2), Eulipotyphla (3), Carnivora (33), Perissodactyla (2), and Artiodactyla (47, including 32 cetaceans); 22 of these are endemic to Peru. Due to their high diversity and number of taxonomic changes, the Orders Chiroptera and Rodentia will be treated separately in future articles. The species records presented here, together with previous reports of bats (189 spp.) and rodents (189 spp.) yield a current total 569 species of mammals for Peru. Finally, we provide taxonomic notes for species that exhibit differences with respect to the previously published list of Peruvian mammals. We hope that this first list of mammals by department encourages further studies of Peruvian mammalian diversity at the regional level.
Article
Full-text available
Across the Mediterranean, conservation programmes often operate concomitantly with hunting interests within game-lands. Carnivore guilds lie at the interface between contrasting management goals, being simultaneously fundamental components of ecosystems and targets of predator control to reduce predation on game species. Here, we evaluate the composition and spatial structure of a mesocarnivore community in a protected area of Southeast Portugal, with high economic investment in conservation and significant hunting activity. Between June and August 2015, we deployed 77 camera-traps across a ~80 km² area. We report on interspecific disparities in mesocarnivore occupancy and associated environmental determinants. Contrasting occupancy states suggest an unbalanced community, biased towards the widespread occurrence of the red fox Vulpes vulpes () compared to other species (stone marten Martes foina, European badger Meles meles, Egyptian mongoose Herpestes ichneumon, common genet Genetta genetta, and Eurasian otter Lutra lutra) exhibiting spatially-restricted occupancy patterns (). The feral cat Felis silvestris catus was the exception () and, together with the stone marten, exhibited a positive association with human settlements. These findings are consistent with theoretical predictions on how mesocarnivore communities are shaped by the effects of non-selective predator control, paradoxically favouring species with higher population growth rates and dispersal abilities, such as the red fox. Our results reinforce the need to understand the role of predator control as a community structuring agent with potential unintended effects, while exposing issues hindering such attempts, namely non-selective illegal killing or biased/concealed information on legal control measures.
Article
Full-text available
Management activities such as law enforcement and community outreach are thought to affect conservation outcomes in protected areas, but their importance relative to intrinsic environmental characteristics of the parks and extrinsic human pressures surrounding the parks have not been explored. Furthermore, it is not clear which is more related to conservation outcomes – the management itself or local people's perceptions of the management. Here we measured how objective (park staff‐reported) and subjective (local villager‐reported) levels of community outreach and law enforcement related to mammal abundance and diversity in six protected areas in Xishuangbanna, southwest China, a biodiversity hotspot with high hunting and land conversion pressures. Local people's perception of law enforcement was positively related to the local abundance of two large, hunted species, wild boar (Sus scrofa; β = 15.22) and muntjac (Muntiacus vaginalis; β = 14.82), but not related to the abundance of smaller mammals or to objective levels of enforcement. The subjective frequency of outreach by park staff to local communities (β = 3.42), and park size (β = 3.28), were significantly related to mammal species richness while elevation, human population density, and subjective frequency of law enforcement were not. We cannot conclude that community outreach and law enforcement are directly causing increased mammal abundance and diversity. Nevertheless, the patterns that we detect are some of the first empirical evidence consistent with the idea that biodiversity in protected areas can be more strongly related to local perceptions of park management than to either intrinsic (e.g. elevation, park size) or extrinsic (e.g. human population density) environmental factors. Article impact statement: Law enforcement and community outreach may benefit mammal assemblage and conservation of large hunted species. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
Article
Full-text available
Co-occurrence between mesopredators can be achieved by differentiation of prey, temporal activity, and spatial habitat use. The study of mesopredator interactions is a growing area of research in tropical forests and shedding new light on inter-guild competition between threatened vertebrate species that were previously little understood. Here, we investigate sympatry between the Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi) and Asiatic golden cat (Pardofelis temminckii) living in the Sumatran rainforests of Indonesia. We investigate: i) spatial overlap of predator-prey species using a combination of single-species occupancy modelling and Bayesian two-species modelling, while controlling for the possible influence of several confounding landscape variables; and, ii) temporal overlap between mesopredators and their shared prey through calculating their kernel density estimate associations. From four study areas, representing lowland, hill, sub-montane and montane forest, 28,404 camera trap nights were sampled. Clouded leopard and golden cat were respectively detected in 24.3% and 22.6% of the 292 sampling sites (camera stations) and co-occurred in 29.6% of the sites where they were detected. Golden cat occupancy was highest in the study area where clouded leopard occupancy was lowest and conversely lowest in the study area where clouded leopard occupancy was highest. However, our fine-scale (camera trap site) analyses found no evidence of avoidance between these two felid species. While both mesopredators exhibited highest spatial overlap with the larger-bodied prey species, temporal niche separation was also found. Clouded leopard was more nocturnal and, consequently, had higher temporal overlap with the more nocturnal prey species, such as porcupine and mouse deer, whereas the more diurnal golden cat had higher overlap with the strictly diurnal great argus pheasant. The Bayesian two species occupancy modelling approach applied in our study fills several important knowledge gaps of Sumatra’s lesser known mesopredators and provides a replicable methodology for studying interspecific competition for other small-medium sized carnivore species in the tropics.
Article
Full-text available
Aim Owing to the broad use of camera traps, integration and standardization among camera trap studies has become key to maximizing their utility for local and global biodiversity conservation. Our goal was to introduce the use of a hierarchical modelling framework in the context of coordinated biodiversity monitoring to compare species richness and occupancy by integrating camera trap data from multiple study areas. Location Southwest China. Methods We used hierarchical occupancy models to integrate camera trap data for elusive mammal and pheasant communities from three study areas representing different habitat types: alpine and subalpine zones, dry‐hot valleys and subtropical montane forests. We evaluate the responses of species occurrence to human influence and habitat parameters based on a Bayesian approach. Results We captured photographs of 23 mammal and 7 pheasant species over 10,095 trap nights. The model revealed that the alpine and subalpine zones supported the highest species richness of the target communities among the three habitat types. Surprisingly, dry‐hot valleys supported similar levels of species richness to subtropical montane forest. Species richness showed a similar bell‐shaped relationship with elevation, with the richness curve peaking at intermediate elevations at about 3500 m above sea level (asl). Posterior distributions for community‐level hyper‐parameters indicated the consistent and negative effects of human disturbance on species occupancy. The community model also revealed a strong quadratic relationship between elevation and occupancy, with the highest occupancy occurring at about 3700 m asl. Main conclusion Using hierarchical occupancy models for integrating camera trap data from multiple study areas, we show that alpine/subalpine zone and dry‐hot valleys have the highest richness and should be given more priority for conservation of biodiversity in southwest China. We recommend broader application of the hierarchical occupancy modelling approach to camera trap data to obtain more comprehensive insights relevant to regional biodiversity conservation.
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the factors that influence the presence and distribution of carnivores in human-dominated agricultural landscapes is one of the main challenges for biodiversity conservation, especially in landscapes where setting aside large protected areas is not feasible. Habitat use models of carnivore communities in rubber plantations are lacking despite the critical roles carnivores play in structuring ecosystems and the increasing expansion of rubber plantations. We investigated the habitat use of a mammalian carnivore community within a 4,200-ha rubber plantation/forest landscape in Bahia, Brazil. We placed two different brands of camera traps in a 90-site grid. We used a multispecies occupancy model to determine the probabilities of habitat use by each species and the effect of different brands of camera traps on their detection probabilities. Species showed significant differences in habitat use with domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) and crab-eating foxes (Cerdocyon thous) having higher probabilities of using rubber groves and coatis (Nasua nasua) having a higher probability of using forest. The moderate level of captures and low detection probabilities (≤ 0.1) of tayras (Eira barbara) and wildcats (Leopardus spp.) precluded a precise estimation of habitat use probabilities using the multispecies occupancy model. The different brands of camera traps had a significant effect on the detection probability of all species. Given that the carnivore community has persisted in this 70-year-old landscape, the results show the potential of rubber/forest landscapes to provide for the long-term conservation of carnivore communities in the Atlantic forest, especially in mosaics with 30–40% forest cover and guard patrolling systems. The results also provide insights for mitigating the impact of rubber production on biodiversity.
Article
Full-text available
Camera traps and radiotags commonly are used to estimate animal activity curves. However, little empirical evidence has been provided to validate whether they produce similar results. We compared activity curves from two common camera trapping techniques to those from radiotags with four species that varied substantially in size (~1 kg-~50 kg), diet (herbivore, omnivore, carnivore), and mode of activity (diurnal and crepuscular). Also, we sub-sampled photographs of each species with each camera trapping technique to determine the minimum sample size needed to maintain accuracy and precision of estimates. Camera trapping estimated greater activity during feeding times than radiotags in all but the carnivore, likely reflective of the close proximity of foods readily consumed by all species except the carnivore (i.e., corn bait or acorns). However, additional analyses still indicated both camera trapping methods produced relatively high overlap and correlation to radiotags. Regardless of species or camera trapping method, mean overlap increased and overlap error decreased rapidly as sample sizes increased until an asymptote near 100 detections which we therefore recommend as a minimum sample size. Researchers should acknowledge that camera traps and radiotags may estimate the same mode of activity but differ in their estimation of magnitude in activity peaks.
Article
Full-text available
Understanding patterns of species occurrence and the processes underlying these patterns is fundamental to the study of ecology. One of the more commonly used approaches to investigate species occurrence patterns is occupancy modeling, which can account for imperfect detection of a species during surveys. In recent years, there has been a proliferation of Bayesian modeling in ecology, which includes fitting Bayesian occupancy models. The Bayesian framework is appealing to ecologists for many reasons, including the ability to incorporate prior information through the specification of prior distributions on parameters. While ecologists almost exclusively intend to choose priors so that they are “uninformative” or “vague”, such priors can easily be unintentionally highly informative. Here we report on how the specification of a “vague” normally distributed (i.e., Gaussian) prior on coefficients in Bayesian occupancy models can unintentionally influence parameter estimation. Using both simulated data and empirical examples, we illustrate how this issue likely compromises inference about species-habitat relationships. While the extent to which these informative priors influence inference depends on the data set, researchers fitting Bayesian occupancy models should conduct sensitivity analyses to ensure intended inference, or employ less commonly used priors that are less informative (e.g., logistic or t prior distributions). We provide suggestions for addressing this issue in occupancy studies, and an online tool for exploring this issue under different contexts.
Article
Full-text available
Time-stamped camera data are increasingly used to study temporal patterns in species and community ecology, including species’ activity patterns and niche partitioning. Given the importance of niche partitioning for facilitating coexistence between sympatric species, understanding how emerging environmental stressors – climate and landscape change, biodiversity loss and concomitant changes to community composition – affect temporal niche partitioning is of immediate importance for advancing ecological theory and informing management decisions. A large variety of analytical approaches have been applied to camera-trap data to ask key questions about species activity patterns and temporal overlap among heterospecifics. Despite the many advances for describing and quantifying these temporal patterns, few studies have explicitly tested how interacting biotic and abiotic variables influence species’ activity and capacity to segregate along the temporal niche axis. To address this gap, we suggest coordinated distributed experiments to capture sufficient camera-trap data across a range of anthropogenic stressors and community compositions. This will facilitate a standardized approach to assessing the impacts of multiple variables on species’ behaviours and interactions. Ultimately, further integration of spatial and temporal analyses of camera-trap data is critical for improving our understanding of how anthropogenic activities and landscape changes are altering competitive interactions and the dynamics of animal communities.
Article
Full-text available
Debate about the conservation value of secondary habitats has tended to focus on tropical forests, increasingly recognizing the role of secondary forests for biodiversity conservation. However, there remains a lack of information about the conservation value of secondary savannas. Here, we conducted a camera trap survey to assess the effect of secondary vegetation on large mammals in a Brazilian Cerrado protected area, using a single-season occupancy framework to investigate the response of individual species (species-level models) and of all species combined (community-level models). In addition, we investigated the cost effectiveness of different sampling designs to monitor globally threatened species in the study area. At the community level, savanna that regenerated from eucalyptus plantation had similar occupancy estimate as old growth areas. At the species level, none of the ten species individually assessed seemed to respond to succession stage, with greater support for the effect of other covariates on occupancy, such as distance from water and vegetation physiognomy. These results demonstrate that secondary vegetation does not appear to negatively impact large mammals in the study area and suggest that, given a favorable context, Cerrado mammals can recolonize and use secondary savannas that regenerated from clearcut. However, our study area should be considered a best-case scenario, as it retained key ecological attributes of high-value secondary habitats. Our simulations showed that a sampling design with 60 camera trap sites surveyed during nine occasions is appropriate to monitor most globally threatened species in the study area, and could be a useful starting point for new monitoring initiatives in other Cerrado areas.
Article
Full-text available
An understanding of animal behaviour is important if conservation initiatives are to be effective. However, quantifying the behaviour of wild animals presents significant challenges. Remote-sensing camera traps are becoming increasingly popular survey instruments that have been used to non-invasively study a variety of animal behaviours, yielding key insights into behavioural repertoires. They are well suited to ethological studies and provide considerable opportunities for generating conservation-relevant behavioural data if novel and robust methodological and analytical solutions can be developed. This paper reviews the current state of camera-trap-based ethological studies, describes new and emerging directions in camera-based conservation behaviour, and highlights a number of limitations and considerations of particular relevance for camera-based studies. Three promising areas of study are discussed: (1) documenting anthropogenic impacts on behaviour; (2) incorporating behavioural responses into management planning and (3) using behavioural indicators such as giving up densities and daily activity patterns. We emphasize the importance of reporting methodological details, utilizing emerging camera trap metadata standards and central data repositories for facilitating reproducibility, comparison and synthesis across studies. Behavioural studies using camera traps are in their infancy; the full potential of the technology is as yet unrealized. Researchers are encouraged to embrace conservation-driven hypotheses in order to meet future challenges and improve the efficacy of conservation and management processes.
Article
Full-text available
Coatis (Procyonidae; 𝘕𝘢𝘴𝘶𝘢) are considered the only truly social mesocarnivore mammals in Neotropical forests. In Mexico, white-nosed coatis (𝘕𝘢𝘴𝘶𝘢 𝘯𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘢) are suspected to have undergone population reduction due to habitat loss and fragmentation and led to a lack of genetic adaptability and genetic isolation throughout its range. We examined patterns of genetic diversity and connectivity of five populations of Nasua narica distributed throughout Mexico (𝘯 = 60) by sequencing an ≈ 800 bp fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene and also by screening 12 microsatellite loci. We found moderate to high levels of genetic variability for both genetic markers. We recorded twenty-two different cytochrome-b haplotypes throughout the 5 sampled areas and found that each of the sampled population of white-nosed coatis in Mexico harbors unique haplotypes and only three haplotypes were shared among two different populations that were closer geographically. All populations had high haplotype diversity (𝘩) (0.968 ± 0.008 (SD)) but lower levels of nucleotide diversity (π) of 0.007 ± 0.001 (SD). All microsatellite loci were polymorphic in all of the populations and the mean number of alleles per locus was 5.033 ± 1.545 (SD) with expected (H🇪 ) and observed (H🇴 ) heterozygosity values of 0.774 and 0.664, respectively. However, low Wright F statistic values suggest the existence of a reduced heterozygosity (𝘍𝘚𝘛 = 0.203, 𝘍𝘐𝘚 = 0.134 and 𝘍𝘐𝘛 = 0.310). Significant differences between the five populations confirmed isolation by distance, which suggests genetic structure among five subpopulations.
Article
Full-text available
To mitigate deforestation effects, reforestation programs with native and/or exotic species have been implemented in the Colombian Andes, but little is known about howsuch reforestations affect wildlife. Using camera-traps, we studied the species richness, activity patterns, and habitat use of middle and large mammals in two adjacent forests, a native forest and a Eucalyptus grandis refor- estation located at the Colombian Central Andes. Since the two forests were adjacent, we expected no differences between species richness in the two forests. The reforestationwas a monoculture and an artificial ecosystem, thus we expected differences in activity and habitat use by mammals in the two forest types. We did not find significant differences in the species richness between the forests. The activity of Sciurus granatensis and Mazama rufina was influenced by the time of the day, and there was a temporal and spatial segregation among the soil forager species Nasua nasua, Nasuella olivacea and Dasypus novemcinctus. The species N. nasua and D. novemcinctus used the Andean forest more than the reforestation, whereas N. olivacea used the reforestation more. D. novemcinc- tus and N. olivacea were mainly nocturnal and/or crepuscular, whereas N. nasua was mainly active during daytime. This suggests that the creation of a new habitat, such as the reforestation, might influence the interactions among some species and apparently, could reduce interspecific competi- tion and thus contribute to their co-existence at the study zone though niche differentiation in time and space.
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the home range size, habitat selection, as well as the spatial and activity overlap, of four mid-sized carnivore species in the Central Pantanal, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. From December 2005 to September 2008, seven crab-eating foxes Cerdocyon thous, seven brown-nosed coatis Nasua nasua, and six ocelots Leopardus pardalis were radio-collared and monitored. Camera trap data on these species were also collected for the crab-eating raccoon Procyon cancrivorus. We hypothesized that there would be large niche differentiation in preferred habitat-type or active period between generalist species with similar diet, and higher similarity in habitat-type or activity time between the generalist species (crab-eating foxes and coatis) and the more specialized ocelot. Individual home ranges were estimated using the utilization distribution index (UD– 95% fixed Kernel). With data obtained from radio-collared individuals, we evaluated habitat selection using compositional analysis. Median home range size of ocelots was 8 km². The proportion of habitats within the home ranges of ocelots did not differ from the overall habitat proportion in the study area, but ocelots preferentially used forest within their home range. The median home range size of crab-eating foxes was 1.4 km². Foxes showed second-order habitat selection and selected savanna over shrub-savanna vegetation. The median home range size for coati was 1.5 km². Coati home ranges were located randomly in the study area. However, within their home range, coatis occurred more frequently in savanna than in other vegetation types. Among the four species, the overlap in activity period was the highest (87%) between ocelots and raccoons, with the least overlap occurring between the ocelot and coati (25%). We suggest that temporal segregation of carnivores was more important than spatial segregation, notably between the generalist coati, crab-eating fox and crab-eating raccoon.
Article
Full-text available
Fragmentation and habitat loss are top threats to tropical forest biodiversity and the Atlantic Forest is no exception. Over 80% of Atlantic Forest remnants in Brazil are < 50 ha and lack resident populations of large predators (jaguars, Panthera onca, and pumas, Puma concolor). Mesopredators with opportunistic life-history characteristics (e.g., ocelots, Leopardus pardalis) are now hypothesized to be the dominant competitor(s) in these systems and may negatively affect the spatial or temporal distribution of other sympatric mesocarnivores. We used camera-trap data, occupancy models, and temporal overlap indexes to explore whether ocelot occurrence influenced the habitat use or activity patterns of 6 mesocarnivores in reserves of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Ocelot occurrence did not influence the habitat use of these mesocarnivores. Moreover, the ability of some mesocarnivore species, especially the little spotted cat (L. guttulus), to adjust their activity patterns to avoid direct contact with ocelots may facilitate their coexistence in these Atlantic Forest remnants. Ocelot occurrence did not influence the activity pattern of 2 nocturnal species (the crab-eating fox, Cerdocyon thous, and the crab-eating raccoon, Procyon cancrivorus), suggesting that these species are more tolerant of ocelots than other mesocarnivores. The probability of occupancy varied among species, with tayra (Eira barbara) and South American coati (Nasua nasua) having the highest occupancy estimates; overall, occupancy by mesocarnivores correlated negatively with reserve size. Because mesocarnivores are important drivers of ecosystem function, structure, and dynamics and may occupy unique roles that cannot be filled by larger carnivores, future studies should assess environmental factors influencing the use of these small remnants of Atlantic Forest by each mesocarnivore species.
Article
Full-text available
Coatis are among the most unknown small carnivore species in Colombia; even when all coati species have wide distributions, still many aspects of their ecology still need to be explored. Here we present the first confirmed records of sympatry between Nasua nasua and Nasuella olivacea for Colombia and their entire range. Using camera traps at different distances from Chingaza National Natural Park between August and November 2015 (1,367 trap-nights), we obtained fours records for N. nasua and two records for N. olivacea, with one locality shared by both species. So far, no confirmed records existed for two sympatric coati species, and all were considered to have disjunctive, non-overlapping distributions. This finding opens a wide range of new ecological questions, in order to understand how this species compete or share the same habitats, and the underlying traits and process that allow this type of sympatric distributions. We expect that with the growing number of field research efforts, especially with camera-traps, new information will be available about the ecology of both species and likely new localities will record both species using the same spaces
Article
Full-text available
RESUMEN Revisamos la información publicada sobre las once especies de cánidos silvestres presentes en Sudamérica, examinando seis categorías de conocimiento ecológico: distribución/hábitat, reproducción, comportamiento, hábitos alimentarios, poblaciones y parasitología. Un análisis del número de publicaciones referidas a estas categorías, para cada especie de cánido, nos permite hacer recomendaciones para orientar futuros estudios sobre su ecología. Palabras claves: Sudamérica, Canidae, cánidos, zorros, distribución, hábitat, reproducción, comportamiento, hábitos alimentarios, dieta, poblaciones, parasitología. ABSTRACT We review the published information on the eleven species of wild canids present in South America, examining six cate­gories of ecological knowledge: distribution/habitat, reproduction, behavior, food habits, populations, and parasitology. An analysis of the number of publications referring to these categories, for each canid species, allows us to provide re­commendations for orienting future studies on their ecology. Key words: South America, Canidae, canids, foxes, distribution, habitat, reproduction, behavior, food habits, diet, populations, parasitology.
Article
Full-text available
1.Reliable assessment of animal populations is a long-standing challenge in wildlife ecology. Technological advances have led to widespread adoption of camera traps (CTs) to survey wildlife distribution, abundance, and behaviour. As for any wildlife survey method, camera trapping must contend with sources of sampling error such as imperfect detection. Early applications focused on density estimation of naturally marked species, but there is growing interest in broad-scale CT surveys of unmarked populations and communities. Nevertheless, inferences based on detection indices are controversial and the suitability of alternatives such as occupancy estimation is debatable.2.We reviewed 266 CT studies published between 2008 and 2013. We recorded study objectives and methodologies, evaluating the consistency of CT protocols and sampling designs, the extent to which CT surveys considered sampling error, and the linkages between analytical assumptions and species ecology.3.Nearly two-thirds of studies surveyed more than one species, and a majority used response variables that ignored imperfect detection (e.g. presence–absence, relative abundance). Many studies used opportunistic sampling and did not explicitly report details of sampling design and camera deployment that could affect conclusions.4.Most studies estimating density used capture-recapture methods on marked species, with spatially explicit methods becoming more prominent. Few studies estimated density for unmarked species, focusing instead on occupancy modelling or measures of relative abundance. While occupancy studies estimated detectability, most did not explicitly define key components of the modelling framework (e.g. a site), or discuss potential violations of model assumptions (e.g. site closure). Studies using relative abundance relied on assumptions of equal detectability, and most did not explicitly define expected relationships between measured responses and underlying ecological processes (e.g. animal abundance and movement).5.Synthesis and applications. The rapid adoption of camera traps represents an exciting transition in wildlife survey methodology. We remain optimistic about the technology's promise, but call for more explicit consideration of underlying processes of animal abundance, movement, and detection by cameras, including more thorough reporting of methodological details and assumptions. Such transparency will facilitate efforts to evaluate and improve the reliability of camera trap surveys, ultimately leading to stronger inferences and helping to meet modern needs for effective ecological inquiry and biodiversity monitoring.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Article
Full-text available
Camera traps are an increasingly popular tool for monitoring medium to large mammals, but the influence of camera trap placement on the detection probabilities of different species has seldom been investigated. In this study we explore the influence of roads on the detection probability of medium to large mammals in three vegetation types in the Little Karoo, an arid biodiversity hotspot. We placed cameras in nine 100 m-long transects, running perpendicular from roads within a conservation area. The camera traps were spaced at*25 m intervals, and were active for an average of 88 days each. Detection probabilities relative to distance from roads showed extensive variation between species and habitat types. There was no clear relationship between distance from the road and the detection probability of most species and guilds, although carnivore detection probability declined significantly as distance from roads increased in all vegetation types. Our results suggest that there is considerable inter-specific variation in detection probability that is significantly influenced by camera trap location relative to roads. Therefore studies that seek to maximise the detection rates of particular species or guilds (e.g. carnivores) by placing cameras on prominent roads and trails are unlikely to provide reliable estimates of the relative abundance of the broader range of sympatric species; a trend observed elsewhere but hitherto untested in arid environments. We recommend that future studies employ a mixed design of cameras located on- and off-roads to provide better estimates of biodiversity in general and predators specifically.
Article
Full-text available
1.Activity level (the proportion of time that animals spend active) is a behavioural and ecological metric that can provide an indicator of energetics, foraging effort and exposure to risk. However, activity level is poorly known for free-living animals because it is difficult to quantify activity in the field in a consistent, cost-effective and non-invasive way.2.This paper presents a new method to estimate activity level with time-of-detection data from camera-traps (or more generally any remote sensors), fitting a flexible circular distribution to these data in order to describe the underlying activity schedule, and calculating overall proportion of time active from this.3.Using simulations and a case study for a range of small to medium-sized mammal species, we find that activity level can reliably be estimated using the new method.4.The method depends on the key assumption that all individuals in the sampled population are active at the peak of the daily activity cycle. We provide theoretical and empirical evidence suggesting that this assumption is likely to be met for many species, but may be less likely in large predators, or in high latitude winters. Further research is needed to establish stronger evidence on the validity of this assumption in specific cases, however, the approach has the potential to provide an effective, non-invasive alternative to existing methods for quantifying population activity levels.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Article
Full-text available
In recently fragmented landscapes, hunting pressure increases because hunters can access previously remote habitats. Yet fewer than 0.5% of fragmentation studies with mammals have also assessed the impacts of hunting. Herein, by means of camera-traps and track-plots, we analyzed the impact of hunting and forest fragmentation on species richness and relative abundances of twelve species of large and medium sized mammals. With both methods we found fewer species in hunted sites than in control sites, but the effect was inconsistent in fragmented habitats with hunting. Hunting negatively affected the indices of abundance for five of the 12 species and never had a positive effect. Contrary to the hypothesis that the combination of fragmentation and hunting would lead to the largest decrease in abundance, we found that the addition of fragmentation in hunted landscapes negatively affected only two species (red brocket deer [Mazama americana] and margay cat [Leopardus wiedii]) and positively affected three smaller species (crab-eating foxes [Cerdocyon thous], coatis [Nasua nasua], and agoutis [Dasyprocta spp.]). We also found a significant relationship between body mass and the effects of fragmentation (smaller species positively affected), but no relationship between body mass and the effect of hunting. Had we only compared results from the control with fragmented sites, we would have found a negative effect of fragmentation on five species abundance indices, a negative effect on species richness, and a positive effect on three species abundance indices. These results indicate that a failure to explicitly incorporate the effects of hunting into the design of fragmentation experiments can lead to widely different conclusions.
Article
Full-text available
The diet of some sympatric carnivore species in three Atlantic Forest remnants of Southern Brazil was studied in order to assess their food niche. We conducted monthly field trips between February 2003 and January 2004 to collect fecal samples that were subsequently examined together with others collected sporadically between November 1994 and January 2003. Of the 416 samples analysed, 198 had the "author" species identified through microscopic analysis guard hairs, which revealed the presence of 10 carnivores and some information about their diet. Puma yagouaroundi had the largest dietary niche breadth, whereas Leopardus tigrinus and Nasua nasua showed the lowest values. Extensive niche overlap was observed between L. tigrinus and N. nasua, L. tigrinus and L. wiedii, and between L. tigrinus and L. pardalis. Data presented here not only increases the understanding of carnivore feeding ecology, but also contributes towards their conservation in the study region and other fragmented landscapes in Brazil and neighboring countries.
Article
Full-text available
Noninvasive camera-traps are commonly used to survey mammal communities in the Neotropics. This study used camera-traps to survey medium and large mammal diversity in the San Juan – La Selva Biological Corridor, Costa Rica. The connectivity of the corridor is affected by the spread of large-scale agriculture, cattle ranching, and a growing human presence. An occupancy modeling approach was used to estimate corridor species richness and species-specific detection probabilities in 16 forested sites within four different matrix-use categories: eco-lodge reserves, tree plantations/general reforestation, cattle ranches, and pineapple/agricultural plantations. Rarity had a highly negative effect (β = -1.96 ± 0.65 SE) on the ability to detect species presence. Corridor richness was estimated at 20.4 ± 0.66 species and was lower than that observed in protected areas in the Neotropics. Forest cover was significantly less at pineapple plantations than other land-use matrices. Richness estimates for different land-use matrices were highly variable with no significant differences; however, pineapple plantations exhibited the highest observed richness. Given the limited forest cover at those sites, we believe that this reflects the concentrated occurrence of medium and large mammals in small forest patches, particularly because the majority of pineapple plantation communities were generalist mesopredators. Fragmentation and connectivity will need to be addressed with reforestation and limitations on pineapple production for the region to function as an effective corridor. Occupancy modeling has only recently been applied to camera-trap data and our results suggest that this approach provides robust richness and detection probability estimates and should be further explored.
Article
Full-text available
Rare and elusive species are seldom the first choice of model for the study of ecological questions, yet rarity and elusiveness often emerge from ecological processes. One of these processes is interspecific killing, the most extreme form of interference competition among carnivores. Subdominant species can avoid falling victim to other carnivores through spatial and/or temporal separation. The smallest carnivore species, including members of the Mustelidae, are typically the most threatened by other predators but are also exceedingly challenging to study in the wild. As a consequence, we have only limited knowledge of how the most at-risk members of carnivore communities deal with being both hunters and hunted. We explored whether activity and space use of a little-known small carnivore, the Altai mountain weasel Mustela altaica, reflect the activity and distribution of its main prey, pika Ochotona sp., and two sympatric predators, the stone marten Martes foina and the red fox Vulpes vulpes. Spatial and temporal patterns of photographic captures in Pakistan's northern mountains suggest that weasels may cope with being both predator and prey by frequenting areas used by pikas while exhibiting diurnal activity that contrasts with that of the mostly nocturnal/crepuscular stone marten and red fox. Camera trap studies are now common and are staged in many different ecosystems. The data yielded offer an opportunity not only to fill knowledge gaps concerning less-studied species but also to non-invasively test ecological hypotheses linked with rarity and elusiveness.
Article
Full-text available
Reducing the loss of biodiversity is key to ensure the future well being of the planet. Indicators to measure the state of biodiversity should come from primary data that are collected using consistent field methods across several sites, longitudinal, and derived using sound statistical methods that correct for observation/detection bias. In this paper we analyze camera trap data collected between 2008 and 2012 at a site in Costa Rica (Volcan Barva transect) as part of an ongoing tropical forest global monitoring network (Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring Network). We estimated occupancy dynamics for 13 species of mammals, using a hierarchical modeling approach. We calculated detection-corrected species richness and the Wildlife Picture Index, a promising new indicator derived from camera trap data that measures changes in biodiversity from the occupancy estimates of individual species. Our results show that 3 out of 13 species showed significant declines in occupancy over 5 years (lowland paca, Central American agouti, nine-banded armadillo). We hypothesize that hunting, competition and/or increased predation for paca and agouti might explain these patterns. Species richness and the Wildlife Picture Index are relatively stable at the site, but small herbivores that are hunted showed a decline in diversity of about 25%. We demonstrate the usefulness of longitudinal camera trap deployments coupled with modern statistical methods and advocate for the use of this approach in monitoring and developing global and national indicators for biodiversity change.
Article
Full-text available
We described the diets of two procyonids, the brown-nosed coati Nasua nasua and the crab-eating raccoon Procyon cancrivorus, through analysis of stomach contents of road-killed specimens in southern Brazil. We compared them with previously published dietary information for another syntopic mesopredator, the crab-eating fox Cerdocyon thous. The landscape of the study area includes native grasslands, forests, exotic tree plantations, and other crops. Food items were represented by frequency of occurrence (FO) and relative volume (RV). Stomach contents of 23 coatis were analyzed. Animal and plant items were equally frequent, although the volume of plants was greater. Exotic plant species were consumed more than native plants. Among prey items, invertebrates were more important than vertebrates, mainly because of the frequency of coleopterans and annelids and the volume of necrophagous dipteran larvae. Five specimens of raccoons were analyzed, in which animal items had the highest FO and plant items had the highest RV. Both invertebrate and vertebrate prey had the same FO, although vertebrates had a higher RV. Our data suggest that these procyonids are opportunistic hypocarnivores, utilizing anthropic sources, with diet overlap. The coatis also overlapped their diet substantially with the foxes. The stomach-contents analysis revealed the importance of fruit pulp biomass, soft-bodied animals such as larvae, and also soil, which might indicate feeding habits such as scavenging and geophagy.
Article
Full-text available
We determined the diet of the brown-nosed coati (Nasua nasua) in an urban semideciduous forest fragment in southeastern Brazil. Coati feces were collected weekly for 3 years. The 226 fecal samples included plant parts (85.4%), insects (75.7%), millipedes (53.9%), fruits (48.7%), spiders (33.6%), organic waste (9.7%), vertebrates (9.3%), and gastropods (2.6%). More spiders and millipedes were consumed during the wet season, and more fruits were consumed in the dry season. The consumption of vertebrates, fruits, and millipedes differed among different years. The monthly consumption of spiders and millipedes was positively correlated with rainfall. The consumption of fruits was negatively correlated with the consumption of millipedes and insects. Fruits were an important resource during periods of arthropod scarcity. Coatis ingested and defecated intact seeds of 49 plant species, indicating that they can be important seed dispersers. The consumption of vertebrates was occasional and varied.
Article
Full-text available
Ecological research uses data collection techniques that are prone to substantial and unique types of measurement error to address scientific questions about species abundance and distribution. These data collection schemes include a number of survey methods in which unmarked individuals are counted, or determined to be present, at spatially- referenced sites. Examples include site occupancy sampling, repeated counts, distance sampling, removal sampling, and double observer sampling. To appropriately analyze these data, hierarchical models have been developed to separately model explanatory variables of both a latent abundance or occurrence process and a conditional detection process. Because these models have a straightforward interpretation paralleling mechanisms under which the data arose, they have recently gained immense popularity. The common hierarchical structure of these models is well-suited for a unified modeling interface. The R package unmarked provides such a unified modeling framework, including tools for data exploration, model fitting, model criticism, post-hoc analysis, and model comparison.
Article
Full-text available
Twenty one species of Neotropical carnivores are found in Venezuela. Ten are considered in a critical situation and the Venezuelan government limits the capture of sex species by a present low population level. Up to now the distribution and habitat association of carnivores may have no positive or negative effect on human activities. Among candids the bush dog (Speothos venalicus) could be endangered depending on the extent to which its range is being destroyed. The gray fox and the common fox may persist or even increase in modified areas. The spectacled bear has a very localized distribution in the Andes zone. They are affected by the human impacts, but are not found in immediate danger. Five species of procyonids are found in Venezuela. The mountain coati (Nasuella olivacea) by their habitat requirements and restricted range of distribution may make this procyonid more vulnerable to habitat modification. The kinkajau and olingo are forest dwellers and arboreal with a frugivorous diet, these species may be vulnerable to forest fragmentation. The raccoon and the coati flexibly respond to habitat modification and may even increase their populations. The weasel (Muslela frenata), tayra (Eira barbara), grison (Galictis vittata) and skunk (Conepatus semisiriatus) are widely distributed in many habitats and the human activities may have a positive or negative effect on their populations. The river otter (Lutra longicaudis) and the giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) are classified to be in a critical situation by the illegal hunting and the habitat destruction. The puma and the jaguar are widely distributed in the country, but their populations are negatively affected by the hunting and the habitat modification. The ocelot and the jaguarundi are widely distributed in the territory. They are probably the felids least affected by destruction and disturbance of their habitats. The tiger cat (Felis tigrina) and the margay (Felis wiedii) show a more scattered, but apparently localized distribution. The human activities have a negative effect on these felids because they seem to be specific in their requirements.
Article
Full-text available
A complete bibliographic review of Western Mountain Coati Nasuella olivacea was made to improve and disseminate the state of knowledge about the species in the Colombian portion of its range. Reports are distributed across the three ranges of the Northern Andes in Colombia (West, Central, and East), but little is known about the biology, ecology or natural history of the species. In total, 53 geo-referenced records were compiled for Colombia plus some confirmed records for Ecuador. All the records ranged from 1,300 to 4,000 m in the high Andean forests and páramo biomes; these elevations represent some of the most disturbed habitats in the country. There is little information about the species's conservation status but it is probably threatened by habitat loss, hunting and human–wildlife conflict. It is potentially present in 10.11% of the protected areas within the Colombian portion of the Tropical Andes hotspot. With this first published review of the state of knowledge of the species, and the first explicit extent of occurrence estimation, we propose that it be considered Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Article
Full-text available
Se presenta una lista comentada de los mamíferos terrestres, acuáticos y marinos nativos de Perú, incluy-endo sus nombres comunes, la distribución por ecorregiones y los estados de amenaza según la legislación nacional vigente y algunos organismos internacionales. Se documenta 508 especies nativas, en 13 órdenes, 50 familias y 218 géneros; resultando el Perú como el tercer país con la mayor diversidad de especies en el Nuevo Mundo después de Brasil y México, así como quinto en el mundo. Esta diversidad incluye a 40 didelfi-morfos, 2 paucituberculados, 1 sirenio, 6 cingulados, 7 pilosos, 39 primates, 162 roedores, 1 lagomorfo, 2 soricomorfos, 165 quirópteros, 34 carnívoros, 2 perisodáctilos y 47 cetartiodáctilos. Los roedores y murciélagos (327 especies) representan casi las dos terceras partes de la diversidad (64%). Cinco géneros y 65 especies (12,8%) son endémicos para Perú, siendo la mayoría de ellos roedores (45 especies, 69,2%). La mayoría de especies endémicas se encuentra restringida a las Yungas de la vertiente oriental de los Andes (39 especies, 60%) seguida de lejos por la Selva Baja (14 especies, 21,5%). Se comenta la taxonomía de algunas especies, cuando éstas discrepan de la taxonomía aceptada. El marsupial Marmosa phaea; los roedores Melanomys caliginosus, M. robustulus y Echinoprocta rufescens; la musaraña Cryptotis equatoris; los murciélagos Anoura fistulata, Phyllostomus latifolius, Artibeus ravus, Cynomops greenhalli, Eumops maurus y Rhogeessa velilla; y el carnívoro Nasuella olivacea son primeros registros para el Perú. Finalmente, se incluye una lista de 15 especies introducidas. Abstract We present an annotated list for all land, aquatic and marine mammals known to occur in Peru and their dis-tribution by ecoregions. We also present species conservation status according to international organizations and the legal conservation status in Peru. At present, we record 508 species, in 13 orders, 50 families, and 218 genera, making Peru the third most diverse country with regards to mammals in the New World, after Brazil and Mexico, and the fifth most diverse country for mammals in the World. This diversity includes 40 didelphimorphs, 2 paucituberculates, 1 manatee, 6 cingulates, 7 pilosa, 39 primates, 162 rodents, 1 rabbit, 2 soricomorphs, 165 bats, 34 carnivores, 2 perissodactyls, and 47 cetartiodactyls. Bats and rodents (327 species) represent almost two thirds of total diversity (64%) for Peru. Five genera and 65 species (12.8%) are endemics to Peru, with the majority of these being rodents (45 species, 69,2%). Most of the endemic species are restricted to the Yungas of the eastern slope of the Andes (39 species, 60%) followed by Selva Baja (14 species, 21.5%). The taxonomic status of some species is commented on, when those depart from accepted taxonomy. The marsupial Marmosa phaea; the rodents Melanomys caliginosus, M. robustulus, and Echinoprocta rufescens; the shrew Cryptotis equatoris; the bats Anoura fistulata, Phyllostomus latifolius, Artibeus ravus, Cynomops greenhalli, Eumops maurus, and Rhogeessa velilla; and the carnivore Nasuella olivacea are first records of species occurrence in Peru. Finally, we also include a list of 15 non-native species.
Article
We developed a new modeling framework to assess how the local abundance of one species influences the local abundance of a potential competitor while explicitly accounting for differential responses to environmental conditions. Our models also incorporate imperfect detection as well as abundance estimation error for both species. As a case study, we applied the model to four pairs of mammal species in Borneo, surveyed by extensive and spatially widespread camera trapping. We detected different responses to elevation gradients within civet, macaque, and muntjac deer species pairs. Muntjac and porcupine species varied in their response to terrain ruggedness, and the two muntjac responded different to river proximity. Bornean endemic species of civet and muntjac were more sensitive than their widespread counterparts to habitat disturbance (selective logging). Local abundance within several species pairs was positively correlated, but this is likely due to the species having similar responses to (unmodeled) environmental conditions or resources rather than representing facilitation. After accounting for environment and correcting for false absences in detection, negative correlations in local abundance appear rare in tropical mammals. Direct competition may be weak in these species, possibly because the ‘ghost of competition past’ or habitat filtering have already driven separation of the species in niche space. The analytical framework presented here could increase basic understanding of how ecological interactions shape patterns of abundance across the landscape for a range of taxa, and also provide a powerful tool for forecasting the impacts of global change.
Article
We determined the diet of the brown-nosed coati (Nasua nasua) in an urban semideciduous forest fragment in southeastern Brazil. Coati feces were collected weekly for 3 years. The 226 fecal samples included plant parts (85.4%), insects (75.7%), millipedes (53.9%), fruits (48.7%), spiders (33.6%), organic waste (9.7%), vertebrates (9.3%), and gastropods (2.6%). More spiders and millipedes were consumed during the wet season, and more fruits were consumed in the dry season. The consumption of vertebrates, fruits, and millipedes differed among different years. The monthly consumption of spiders and millipedes was positively correlated with rainfall. The consumption of fruits was negatively correlated with the consumption of millipedes and insects. Fruits were an important resource during periods of arthropod scarcity. Coatis ingested and defecated intact seeds of 49 plant species, indicating that they can be important seed dispersers. The consumption of vertebrates was occasional and varied.
Book
Bayesian statistics has exploded into biology and its sub-disciplines, such as ecology, over the past decade. The free software program WinBUGS and its open-source sister OpenBugs is currently the only flexible and general-purpose program available with which the average ecologist can conduct standard and non-standard Bayesian statistics. Bayesian Population Analysis Using WinBUGS goes right to the heart of the matter by providing ecologists with a comprehensive, yet concise, guide to applying WinBUGS to the types of models that they use most often: linear (LM), generalized linear (GLM), linear mixed (LMM) and generalized linear mixed models (GLMM). Comprehensive and richly-commented examples illustrate a wide range of models that are most relevant to the research of a modern population ecologist. All WinBUGS/OpenBUGS analyses are completely integrated in software R. Includes complete documentation of all R and WinBUGS code required to conduct analyses and shows all the necessary steps from having the data in a text file out of Excel to interpreting and processing the output from WinBUGS in R.
Article
Bayesian modeling has become an indispensable tool for ecological research because it is uniquely suited to deal with complexity in a statistically coherent way. This textbook provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the latest Bayesian methods-in language ecologists can understand. Unlike other books on the subject, this one emphasizes the principles behind the computations, giving ecologists a big-picture understanding of how to implement this powerful statistical approach. Bayesian Models is an essential primer for non-statisticians. It begins with a definition of probability and develops a step-by-step sequence of connected ideas, including basic distribution theory, network diagrams, hierarchical models, Markov chain Monte Carlo, and inference from single and multiple models. This unique book places less emphasis on computer coding, favoring instead a concise presentation of the mathematical statistics needed to understand how and why Bayesian analysis works. It also explains how to write out properly formulated hierarchical Bayesian models and use them in computing, research papers, and proposals. This primer enables ecologists to understand the statistical principles behind Bayesian modeling and apply them to research, teaching, policy, and management. Presents the mathematical and statistical foundations of Bayesian modeling in language accessible to non-statisticians. Covers basic distribution theory, network diagrams, hierarchical models, Markov chain Monte Carlo, and more. Deemphasizes computer coding in favor of basic principles. Explains how to write out properly factored statistical expressions representing Bayesian models.
Article
Madagascar's Eupleridae carnivores are perhaps the least studied and most threatened family of Carnivora. Investigating potential direct and indirect competition among these native species and sympatric exotic carnivores is necessary to better direct conservation actions. From 2008 to 2013, we photographically surveyed a diverse rainforest landscape, comparing six native and three exotic carni-vores' activity patterns throughout the diel cycle. We used hierarchical Bayesian Poisson analysis to describe the activity patterns of Madagascar's carnivore community , assessed effects of season and site on temporal activity patterns, and estimated coefficients of overlap between carnivore pairings to assess effects of body size and ecological niche on temporal overlap among native and exotic carnivores. We observed changes in temporal activity patterns across seasons particularly during the austral summer (hot–dry season) for four native and two exotic carnivores, including evidence of fossa Cryptoprocta ferox altering their temporal activity during their mating season (hot–dry season). We found evidence of high overlap between natives and exotics indicating the potential for increased interactions and competition. The greatest overlap in temporal activity occurred between both ring-tail Galidia elegans and brown-tail vontsira Salanoia concolor and exotic dogs Canis familiaris. Cr. ferox, falanouc Eupleres goudotii and spotted fanaloka Fossa fossana also overlapped in activity with the nocturnal, exotic Indian civet Viverricula indica. Cr. ferox avoided humans and Ca. familiaris across all seasons. Unexpectedly, carnivore body size and ecological niche were not important predictors of temporal overlap. Previous research has shown these native and exotic carnivores overlap spatially and these new findings of temporal overlap among native and exotic carnivores add urgency to the need to manage exotic carnivores across Madagascar.
Article
The common genet (Genetta genetta) and the stone marten (Martes foina) are two species that overlap extensively in their distribution ranges in southwest Europe. Available diet data from these species allow us to predict some interference competition for food re-sources in sympatric populations. We checked the food interference hypothesis in a sym-patric population. The diet of both predators was analyzed through scat collection. Seaso-nal differences in biomass consumption were compared between both species in those items considered as key resources according to biomass consumption. Strawberry tree fruits can be considered as key resource exclusively for genets whereas fungi, blackberries and rabbits are keys for stone martens only. For other key resources consumed by both species (wood mouse and figs) we suggest that a possible mechanism to reduce diet over-lap could be the sequential use of these resources: no intensive exploitation by both spe-cies of the same key resource during the same season was detected. Figs and wood mouse were used alternatively. Although strawberry tree fruits and blackberry are exclusive key resources of one of the species, their consumptions showed the same pattern. Diet niche overlap in our study is low compared with other carnivore communities suggesting that exclusive use of some key resources and sequential use of shared ones is an optimal sce-nario to reduce overall competition for food resources.