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Temporal partitioning facilitates the coexistence of carnivore mammals in a large but isolated Atlantic Forest remnant
  • Richard Hatakeyama,
  • Rodrigo Lima Massara,
  • Flávio Rodrigues
Richard Hatakeyama
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas
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Rodrigo Lima Massara
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
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Flávio Rodrigues
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas
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Abstract

Temporal partitioning is an important mechanism for carnivore mammals that live in sympatry in current forest remnants. We evaluated whether temporal partitioning would facilitate coexistence among carnivores in a tropical forest and its adjacent human-related area, as well as if there is a possible correlation between the activity patterns of these carnivores and their potential prey. We used camera traps and circular statistics to explore the degree of temporal overlap between dominant and subordinate predators, as well as between predators and their potential preys. Pumas (Puma concolor) were less active when jaguars (Panthera onca) were more active. Overall, ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) and crab-eating foxes (Cerdocyon thous) presented either a strong or a weak temporal partitioning with jaguars and pumas, respectively, but apparently spatial or dietary segregation might facilitate more their coexistence with these large predators. Tayras (Eira barbara) and coatis (Nasua nasua) were diurnal and, therefore, did not overlap temporally with nocturnal carnivores, except pumas. In the human-related area, ocelots were mostly nocturnal and pumas diurnal, probably due to the temporal activity of their related preys. Our findings suggest that temporal partitioning may allow coexistence between our studied predators in one of the largest Atlantic Forest remnant in Brazil, but preys have an important role, shifting the activity pattern of their predators according to the studied area.