Protected areas are extremely important for the long term viability of biodiversity in a densely populated country like India where land is a scarce resource. However, protected areas cover only 5% of the land area in India and in the case of large carnivores that range widely, human use landscapes will function as important habitats required for gene flow to occur between protected areas.
We examined predation habits of cougars (Puma concolor (L., 1771)) following the recent recovery of gray wolves (Canis lupus L., 1758) in the southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. With the extirpation of wolves in the early 20th century, cougars likely expanded their niche space to include space vacated by wolves, and increased use of habitat better suited to the foraging of a coursing predator, like wolves. We predicted that as wolves recolonized their former range, competitive exclusion would compel cougars to cede portions of niche space occupied in the absence of wolves.
Modern extirpations within the Carnivora have generally followed the human footprint. The contagion hypothesis predicts that range contractions should occur along gradients in human activity, leaving relict populations in remote areas at range edges. We evaluated this hypothesis for cougars (Puma concolor), a widely distributed and heavily exploited North American carnivore.
Populations of generalist foragers may in fact be composed of individuals that select different prey. We monitored 9 pumas (Puma concolor) in Chilean Patagonia using Argos–global positioning system (Argos-GPS) technology for a mean of 9.33 months ± 5.66 SD. We investigated 694 areas where puma location data were spatially aggregated, called GPS clusters, at which we identified 433 kill sites and 6 acts of scavenging. Pumas as a population specialized upon guanacos (Lama guanicoe), whereas only 7 of 9 individual pumas specialized upon guanacos.
We tested whether Andean condors influenced the foraging behaviors of a top predator in Patagonia, the puma (Puma concolor), in ways comparable to direct risks of predation for prey. Our data suggested that condors exacted foraging costs on pumas by significantly decreasing puma handling times at carcasses, and that pumas increased their kill rates by 50% relative to those reported for North America to compensate for these losses.
We define African savannahs as being those areas that receive between 300 and 1,500 mm of rain annually. This broad definition encompasses a variety of habitats. Thus defined, savannahs comprise 13.5 million km2 and encompass most of the present range of the African lion (Panthera leo). Dense human populations and extensive conversion of land to human use preclude use by lions. Using high-resolution satellite imagery and human population density data we define lion areas, places that likely have resident lion populations.
Many Eastern European countries still host landscapes with high value due to their habitat quality and size. Some of these countries are new member states of the European Union, and EU-accession is accompanied by huge investments in the development of traffic infrastructure. Environmental assessments mandatory for road constructions in the EU do not necessarily require explicit measures for the mitigation of fragmentation, and technical constructions associated with road building are frequently assumed to provide sufficient possibilities for wildlife crossings.
We investigated potential advantages in birth timing for mountain lion (Puma concolor) cubs. We examined cub body mass, survival, and age of natal dispersal in relation to specific timing of birth. We also investigated the role of maternal age relative to timing of births. We captured mountain lion cubs while in the natal den to determine birth date, which allowed for precise estimates of the population birth pulse and age of natal dispersal. A birth pulse occurred during June–August.
The snow leopard is a keystone species in mountain ecosystems of Central Asia and the Tibetan Plateau. However, little is known about the interactions between snow leopards and sympatric carnivores. Using infrared cameras, we found a rocky junction of two valleys in Sanjiangyuan area on the Tibetan Plateau where many mammals in this area passed and frequently marked and sniffed the site at the junction. We suggest that this site serves as a sign post to many species in this area, especially snow leopards and other carnivores.
Solitary felids are commonly associated with structurally complex habitats, where their foraging success is attributed to stealth and remaining undetected by competitive scavengers. Research in North America suggests that pumas (Puma concolor), a wide-ranging species found throughout the Americas, conform to the general characteristics of solitary felids and avoid open grasslands with aggregating prey. Researchers hypothesize that pumas are limited to structurally complex habitats in North America because of pressures from other large, terrestrial competitors.
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