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Habitat use and activity patterns of Puma concolor in a humandominated landscape of central Argentina

Guerisoli, María de las Mercedes, Caruso, Nicolás, Vidal, Estela Maris Luengos, Lucherini, Mauro
Journal of mammalogy 2019 v.100 no.1 pp. 202-211
Puma concolor, camera trapping, habitat destruction, habitat preferences, habitats, landscapes, population dynamics, ranching, rangelands, seasonal variation, woodlands, Argentina
Habitat loss, poaching, and legal hunting are the main causes of decline in populations of pumas (Puma concolor) globally. We used camera trapping to assess the habitat use and daily activity patterns of pumas, and we identified the major factors affecting this species, in a human-dominated landscape in central Argentina. The intensity of habitat use by pumas was related positively to the presence of woodland, habitat complexity, and richness of wild prey. Pumas also avoided areas with a high concentration of ranches, indicators of more-intense human activity. Although some seasonal variation was detected in the activity patterns, pumas clearly preferred nighttime hours. We conclude that human-related factors strongly affect habitat use and activity of pumas in central Argentina's rangelands.