Carnivore use of avocado orchards across an agricultural-wildland gradient

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Wide-ranging species cannot persist in reserves alone. Consequently, there is growing interest in the conservation value of agricultural lands that separate or buffer natural areas. The value of agricultural lands for wildlife habitat and connectivity varies as a function of the crop type and landscape context, and quantifying these differences will improve our ability to manage these lands more effectively for animals. In southern California, many species are present in avocado orchards, including mammalian carnivores. We examined occupancy of avocado orchards by mammalian carnivores across agricultural-wildland gradients in southern California with motion-activated cameras. More carnivore species were detected with cameras in orchards than in wildland sites, and for bobcats and gray foxes, orchards were associated with higher occupancy rates. Our results demonstrate that agricultural lands have potential to contribute to conservation by providing habitat or facilitating landscape connectivity.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Carnivore use of avocado orchards across an agricultural-wildland gradient
Series title PLoS ONE
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0068025
Volume 8
Issue 7
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Public Library of Science
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description 6 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title PLoS ONE
Country United States
State California
County Santa Barbara County;Ventura County
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