Population density of Geoffroy's cat in scrublands of central Argentina

  • Pereira J
  • Di Bitetti M
  • Fracassi N
 et al. 
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We studied the density of a Geoffroy's cat Leopardus geoffroyi population in a semiarid scrubland of Argentina, by comparing density estimates obtained during camera-trapping surveys in a national park and in nearby cattle ranches in 2006 and 2007-2008. Overall, we obtained 247 pictures of Geoffroy's cats. The density (mean +/- se) of the species at the park ranged from 1.2 +/- 0.3 to 2.9 +/- 1.4 individuals km-2, depending on the buffer applied, whereas density estimates at ranches were on average 32% lower. Only 11% of the Geoffroy's cats identified in 2006 could still be detected in the area 2 years later, indicating that there was a high turnover of individuals in this population. The sex ratio (M:F) estimated during both surveys at the park was 1:1.4, whereas at the ranches it was 1:0.8. The capture success of sympatric pampas cats Leopardus colocolo and jaguarundis Puma yagouaroundi was < 0.3 records per 100 trap-days, and no evidence of these species was found in the ranches. Geoffroy's cats seem to be tolerant to some degree of habitat alteration produced by livestock management, and the numerical response of this species in ranches could be largely the result of human persecution and the effects of livestock management on the habitat structure and prey base.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Activity patterns
  • Camera trapping
  • Density
  • Geoffroy's cat
  • Leopardus geoffroyi
  • Livestock management

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  • J. A. Pereira

  • M. S. Di Bitetti

  • N. G. Fracassi

  • A. Paviolo

  • C. D. De Angelo

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