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Movement ecology of jaguars and predator-prey interactions.
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  • Carlos Cruz González,
  • Daniela Medellin,
  • Vicente Urios,
  • Heliot Zarza,
  • Gerardo Ceballos
Carlos Cruz González
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
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Daniela Medellin
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
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Vicente Urios
University of Alicante
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Heliot Zarza
Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana Unidad Lerma
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Gerardo Ceballos
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
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Abstract

Jaguars (Panthera onca) are the largest felids in America, mainly threatened by habitat and prey density loss and hunting. Jaguars are mainly nocturnal predators that need large portions of suitable habitat with abundant prey populations. The aim of this work was to assess both jaguar and prey activity patterns, their relations and to understand if the presence/absence of prey and their activity patterns might determine the movements of jaguars in a spatio-temporal frame. We used data from camera trapping records of 125 jaguar events of presence from 9,360 camera trap days effort and data from five jaguars with GPS collars, to analyze: 1) Activity patterns; 2) Speed movement; 3) Traveled distances and 4) Co-occurrence for jaguars and preys. Differences between sexes and between seasons were also evaluated. A total of 12,566 segments of movement were recorded. Two activity peaks were identified between 07:00-08:00 and 22:00-23:00 hours. Average traveled distance was 265.66 m/h (± 390.98 m/h). The maximum hourly distance was 2,760.25 m/h; with significant differences considering the hour of day (χ2 = 324.51, df 11, p < 0.001), with higher mean values between 00:00 and 08:00 h. The average distance covered by males was higher than females (Z –24.827, p < 0.001): 341.64 ± 440.03 m/h and 146.31 ± 259.04 m/h respectively. Significant differences considering seasons were found (Z = –16.442, p < 0.001): average distance during the dry season was 230.35 ± 365.87 m/h and was higher during the rainy season: 337.082 ± 430.45 m/h. Differences according to season were also consistent considering males and females separately (males: Z = –6.212, p < 0.001; females: Z = –15.801, p < 0.001). Occupation model analysis revealed that two of the five pairs of species (P. onca and P. tajacu and P. onca and C. paca) occur with more frequency than if they were independent, while in terms of co-detection, P. onca and P. tajacu and P. onca and C. paca showed independence

Peer review status:IN REVISION

25 Aug 2021Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
26 Aug 2021Assigned to Editor
26 Aug 2021Submission Checks Completed
06 Sep 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
11 Oct 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
12 Oct 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor